NORTH RIDGEVILLE – Residents who have long griped about poor cable television service can look forward to some competition next year.
Talks between the city and WOW! Cable began in late summer and continued into September where the company announced it would go ahead with plans to begin offering digital and HDTV cable service to residents next year.
WOW! Cable’s Matthew Harper, who serves as the company’s systems manager for the Cleveland market, confirmed the Denver-based firm’s plans to begin serving a portion of the city by the end of 2014.
“We’re in the process of doing a walk-out, which involves gathering information about the number of (utility) poles and distances between them, and the number of homes we are able to get built out for next year,” Harper said. “Our goal is to build out the entire city over the next few years.”
Because the company will use existing utility easements to run wiring over utility poles, its plans do not require formal approval by City Council, according to both Corcoran and Harper.
Permits for construction of equipment and attaching wiring to power poles will need to be obtained from the city Building Department.
WOW! Cable will obtain required video service and state franchise agreements through the Ohio Department of Commerce, Harper said.
Under the firm’s universal pricing structure, North Ridgeville customers can expect to pay $60 a month for any two services such as cable TV and phone service, or $70 a month for three services including cable TV, phone, and high-speed Internet service, according to Harper.
More specific details and pricing for the company’s numerous packages of services can be found at www.wowway.com, Harper said.
Wow! Cable currently serves about 4,300 customers in AvonLake, and just completed work on a system to serve SheffieldLake, Harper said.
Cost figures for the North Ridgeville project were not disclosed.
Corcoran said he began to investigate prospects for bringing another cable TV provider to town after he and others heard periodic complaints from residents about the cable TV service they had from Time Warner.
“We’d heard that Time Warner doesn’t always have the greatest reputation for customer service and reliability, and that people were going off to Dish and DirecTV,” Corcoran said. “My only pitch was that people are dying for some competition.”
Realizing that “a lot of people like to stick with cable for various reasons,” Corcoran met informally with WOW! officials before more formal meetings were held with city officials including Mayor David Gillock and Safety-Service Director Jeffry Armbruster.
Time Warner spokesman Mike Pedelty said the company has been aware of WOW! Cable’s plans to enter North Ridgeville.
“We are well aware of them coming in and compete with them in other locations,” Pedelty said.
When asked about Corcoran’s comments concerning Time Warner’s poor service, Pedelty said “it’s hard to respond to that comment.”
“We respect all competitors, but are really driven by making sure we provide the type of services our customers expect at a good value,” he said.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.