View Full Version : Cable flips channel (Ft. Payne, AL)

08-01-2006, 09:12 PM
The bell tolled at midnight Monday for Adelphia cable in Fort Payne.

That’s when Adelphia became no more and Time-Warner officially took over operation of the cable franchise.

A cable company manager said he doubts most subscribers will notice much of a change, other than having a different cable provider listed on their bill at the end of the month.

Time-Warner announced in April it would buy out the bankrupt Adelphia.

Former Adelphia and now Time-Warner General Manager Jim Bennett, whose office is based in Cullman, said he expects no immediate major changes.

“We will pretty much have the same Fort Payne office, the same Fort Payne employees and it should just be business as usual,” Bennett said.

He said there are no immediate plans for a price increase and said programming would remain unchanged, with the exception of ESPN University (142), which has been dropped from the digital lineup.

“That’s a channel that Time-Warner doesn’t have a contract with, so that channel will be going away,” Bennett said.

He said there are no immediate plans to add channels, but said the company would work to improve overall service.

“We’ll still have the same public access channel, the same everything. Other than those whose subscription included ESPNU, I don’t think many people will notice the change,” Bennett said.

Fort Payne City Clerk Jim McGee said Monday he expects the city’s franchise with Adelphia to roll over to Time-Warner. The 15-year franchise was issued to Adelphia in 2001.

McGee said the franchise agreement essentially gives the cable company non-exclusive use of city right-of-way to install and maintain its cables.

He said the franchise also gives the city a limited amount of authority to respond to complaints regarding the cable company, but said the city has absolutely no control over cable prices or channel lineup.

The city collects a 1 percent sales tax on cable subscriptions.

In May, McGee presented the council with an “open letter” from Common Cause, a consumer watchdog group, asking the council to take a formal stand against the then pending sale of Adelphia to Time-Warner.

The group claimed the sale would not be in the public interest or the interest of Fort Payne because it would allow Time-Warner to monopolize local cable television and Internet services and give the company “tremendous power to charge rates for cable subscriptions that increase annually far in excess of the increase in inflation.”


Reigster at SatelliteGuys