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Archive for Wednesday, December 22, 1999

CABLE PROVIDER GETS EXTRA 10 YEARS

December 22, 1999

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— The Baldwin City Council has agreed to extend the cable TV franchise for Mediacom for 10 years with a few conditions.

Negotiations between the city and the company stalled earlier when the two sides disagreed over the length of the franchise, said Larry Paine, city administrator.

The company wanted a decade of security.

The city only wanted to go five years, Paine said.

Paine said the city felt a little burned by Mediacom's predecessor, Cablevision, which had a 20-year contract.

"They didn't pay any attention to it after it was built and didn't do the required maintenance," Paine said. "With a shorter term you have the attention of the cable company to address maintenance problems."

Mediacom, with an office in Excelsior Springs, Mo., took control of the franchise about two years ago.

Paine said the city council tentatively agreed Monday to the longer term, if the company is willing to put up a performance bond that would be forfeited if the company does not provide digital television service within 16 %% months and high-speed cable Internet service within two years.

Paine said the details of the agreement should be worked out by the end of February. The issue then will return to the council for final approval.

-- Kendrick Blackwood's phone message number is 832-7221. His e-mail address is kblackwood@ljworld.com.

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