Archive for Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Mediacom adds TV services

Cable Internet access next on list

July 11, 2001

TV now has a few more features for Baldwin City residents.

Mediacom has been providing digital cable in Baldwin since June 29.

Mediacom's general manager Bill Fischer said a few residents have already been using the new service.

"So far, we're getting some real favorable comments," Fischer said.

The digital cable service is broken down into four packages, each one offering more cable, movie, pay-per-view and music channels.

Some of the channels included in the packages are special interest channels like the golf network and Fox Sports, movie channel packages including HBO and Cinemax and 24-hour music channels.

Included in each package are the 50 family basic channels already available.

Fischer said with the new service, up to 110 channels can be purchased.

He said the digital cable will be a better TV service for the city.

"A lot of TV service are going to digital, which have more clarity than analog," Fischer said. "Digital offers more of a selection. It enables us to add far more services into it for a lower price."

Mediacom will also offer high-speed Internet services to Baldwin by February 2002.

One of the advantages to the Internet service, Fischer said, is the way the data runs to and from the computer.

"The data flow coming in and going out is on cable," he said. "You don't have to use the telephone line. There will be no dialing up anymore. You just have to turn on the computer and you're automatically on."

He said the Internet service is 25 to 50 times faster than current services offered.

City administrator Larry Paine said the franchise for these services was approved February 2000 with an agreement that Mediacom would provide digital cable within 16 months and cable Internet in 24 months.

If the dates were not met, Mediacom would have to pay the city a $25,000 penalty for each date.

Paine said the digital cable was supposed to be available by June 21, but problems with laying fiber optics caused the small delay.

"They were planning on bringing fiber optics from Burlington east on Highway 56 to Baldwin," Paine said. "But they had problems with other utility companies and sharing lines. So they found a smaller unit to come in from east of Baldwin. That's where the delay was."

He said the city would be looking into the missed digital cable date and possible penalties.

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