Friday, October 15, 2004

Council moves forward with EATEL cable plan (but not Cox's)

The Ascension Citizen carries news that EATEL's franchise for east Ascension (the parish is split by the Mississippi) is moving forward at an expedited pace. The Cable TV franchise will use the fiber optic network that EATEL is in the midst of installing.

EATEL's entry into the market will make East Ascension one of the very rare places to actually have real head-to-head cable competition. Lafayette is hoping to join Ascension parish in this competitive situation.

Interestingly Cox's franchise agreement is not moving forward. Cox and the parish have been in "negotiations" for almost three years with a major sticking point being Cox refusing to allow the sale of advertising on a public channel that the parish council contractural agreement with management allows. The parish council appears none to happy that Cox has presumed to tell them what is legal. Cox now appears to be caving in, allowing the station to sell "sponsorships."

Cox, belatedly, appears to be learning what happens when people have a choice: they don't tend to put up with the sort of shenanigans they had to tolerate when a the service was a monopoly. Competition is a bear...

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