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Council makes headway with cable concerns

LINDEN &045; After arranging for representatives from Mediacom to come to a city council meeting, council members were able to vent some of their frustrations with current cable offerings in the city.

In a previous council meeting, Councilwoman Mitzi Gates opened discussion on both getting the community bulletin channel to have updated information on it and also finding ways to get cable offerings that came with equitable prices.

Barbara Bonowicz, a representative of Mediacom, came to the meeting and discussed ways to get the community channel with updated information on it. This, however, may require some cost to the city to have a computer located at city hall to be linked to a computer at the company’s headquarters to transmit information. Bonowicz also addressed rate increases.

Since Mediacom is a smaller cable company in comparison to other companies, Bonowicz said their programming fees for each channel are much higher.

Another concern is the ability to create your own packages, with only the channels you watch, as addressed by Councilman William Curry.

According to Bonowicz, it is not cost effective to simply create your own programming, because program fees are based on the number of customers. Also, networks &045; not cable providers &045; often decide programming, she said.

Mayor Pro-tem Butch King also expressed his concerns, saying there have been no significant increases in services, but over the last year rates have gone up twice.

Rob Wynne, a resident who was present at the meeting, said he is close to switching to satellite because of his dissatisfaction with the cable service. When Wynne and his family came to the area in 1998, he said his cable bill was approximately $30 for basic cable. Now that price has increased drastically, he said.

Although the Mediacom representatives could not quell all of the council’s concerns, they did say they were hoping to add more features such as high definition capabilities and video on demand in the near future.

In other business the council:

-approved a three-year contract with Advanced Disposal

-announced the launch of the city’s Web site: www.lindenalabama.net.