CenturyLink gets go-ahead to begin offering TV service in Springs
The Gazette (Colorado Springs)
July 10, 2012
In a 5-2 vote Tuesday, City Council approved a cable franchise agreement for CenturyLink to begin offering television service alongside its phone and internet offerings.
CenturyLink officials said bringing in a major competitor to Comcast would lower rates for subscribers and bring new jobs and investment to the city. CenturyLink plans to begin offering TV service in early 2013.
“We’re very excited to get started,” said Jim Campbell, CenturyLink’s
regional vice president for regulatory affairs. “I think it was
the consumers of
However, several community leaders at the meeting said they were concerned that the company wasn’t offering concrete promises to serve the city’s low-income areas. That practice, known as “redlining,” is illegal and CenturyLink officals said they don’t engage in it.
The company wouldn’t commit to specific targets for serving low-income areas, but promised it would offer substantial service to different income areas.
“If they gave more information, I don’t think we would have those concerns,”
said Rev. Savannah Jackson, associate minister at
Council members echoed both sides of the issue. Councilwoman Angela Dougan said that supporting the deal should have been an easy decision.
“I’m saying, give me a number, so that I have something to hold you to more than ‘significant,’” said Dougan, who voted against the deal.
Councilman Bernie Herpin said he’s a loyal Comcast customer and spends more than $200 a month with the cable company. But, he said, competition is good for the city and that, after seeing CenturyLink’s top secret rollout map, he believes the company will serve all areas of the city.
“I don’t understand the misgiving and the mistrust,” Herpin said. “The initial rollout, from what I’ve seen, is going to be over 50 percent what we would consider lower income areas.”
CenturyLink promised to provide service to at least 25 percent of the city
within three years. Company officials say that expanding that
coverage will depend on how quickly its customer base grows.