GA: Timing on new cable till fuzzy

Posted on March 25, 2008 - 7:14am.

from: The Albany Herald

Timing on new cable till fuzzy
AT&T’s is licensed to provide cable TV in Albany, but there is no word on when — or if — service might start.


ALBANY — A new Georgia law allowed AT&T to purchase on Feb. 14 a single state video franchise that includes much of metro Albany, but the company is slow to say when it will bring U-verse television service to Southwest Georgia.

“We do have a limited launch in the Atlanta area and we are committed to bringing our U-verse products to other markets,” AT&T Corporate Spokesman Joe Chandler said Friday.

Called the “Consumer Choice for Television Act,” Georgia House Bill 227 was signed into law last year. Under the law, beginning Jan. 1 companies have been able to apply for statewide video and cable franchises.

AT&T’s application, filed Jan. 2, became effective Feb. 14 and covers many of the state’s metro areas, including Dougherty, Baker, Mitchell and portions of Lee, Worth and Miller counties in Southwest Georgia.

U-verse can be delivered over AT&T’s existing infrastructure, where it exists or is upgraded, and through a single home telephone line a customer can purchase voice, high speed internet and video service, Chandler said.

“The customers that have our product really like it,” he said.

U-verse is already available in metro areas in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin.

The service carries more high-definition channels, four DVR streams and “so many things that make it different” from tradition cable television, Chandler said.

“What’s really amazing about it is the channel-changing speeds — it’s instantaneous,” he said.

Down the road, U-verse will stem from a single service box record TV that can be watched on any set in the house, he said.

Most local television channels will be included in the service, Chandler said.

The new law, lobbied for heavily by AT&T, allows a cable provider to request the same franchise terms a municipality has in place with another provider, in Albany’s case, Mediacom, City Attorney Nathan Davis said.

The city’s 10-year, non-exclusive franchise agreement guarantees Albany 5 percent of Mediacom’s gross revenues and expires Nov. 9, 2011, Davis said.

The agreement has never prevented other cable providers from selling service in Albany, he said.

Dougherty County’s agreement with Mediacom expires April 30.

( categories: AT&T | GEORGIA | State Franchises )