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Archive for Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Knology sale to WOW now official; customers not expected to see immediate changes

July 17, 2012

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Lawrence’s largest cable television provider now officially has a new owner.

Officials with WOW Internet, Cable & Phone announced Tuesday that it had completed its $1.5 billion systemwide acquisition of Knology Inc., including its cable, Internet and telephone operations in Lawrence.

Area customers of Knology are not expected to see any immediate changes in offerings now that Knology is owned by Englewood, Colo.-based WOW, said Rod Kutemeier, who remains as general manager for the company’s Lawrence operations. Kutemeier said there are no immediate changes planned for the lineup of cable channels or changes to rates. He also said there are no plans to require area customers who have e-mail accounts with Knology to migrate over to the WOW domain name. Many Knology customers still have an email domain of @sunflower.com, which is left over from when Knology purchased Sunflower Broadband from The World Company in October 2010. The World Company is the parent company of the Lawrence Journal-World.

“As far as today goes, this is just the beginning of the merging of two companies,” Kutemeier said. “But we’re excited about what comes next. WOW has a great reputation.”

WOW, also known as WideOpenWest, was ranked earlier this year by Consumer Reports magazine as the top provider of both cable television and Internet services. It ranked second in the magazine’s phone services category.

WOW announced in April that it had reached a preliminary deal to buy Knology, which had about 800,000 customers in primarily the southeast and Midwest. WOW, which is a privately held company, says with the merger it now serves more than 2.8 million households and is the ninth largest cable operator in the country.

Kutemeier said the merger has not resulted in any lost jobs for the company’s Lawrence operations. He also said WOW has not yet made any changes to Channel 6, which provides local newscasts and local programming in the Lawrence area.

In April, WOW officials said their other cable systems did not have such local programming channels, but that the company would evaluate the local operations after the deal was completed.

“There is no doubt that WOW understands the value of Channel 6 to this community,” Kutemeier said. “All those discussions about the future can really start now.”

Kutemeier also said he did not expect an immediate re-branding from the Knology name to the WOW name.

“There is no plan to change the name anytime soon,” Kutemeier said. “There will be a lot that goes into that decision.”

Comments

BlackVelvet 2 years ago

Damn...no immediate changes.....and I was hoping the service might improve. It surely can't get any worse.

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Hooligan_016 2 years ago

The options for internet are laughable. I typically get a lackluster connection with Palladium and Gold is prohibitively expensive (for just 1 person)

ed. I should clarify, really the issue I have is with the data allotment. Streaming/gaming can use up some large chunks of data quickly. Palladium is decent for streaming, but absolutely horrible for gaming. The Silver tier would be preferred, but 50gb can be used up in less than 2 weeks with consistent use.

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kuguardgrl13 2 years ago

Definitely U-Verse if you want good internet for a low price. I can get their 300 TV package and 12mbs of internet for about $80/mo for 6 months, and the guys at the store say you can keep that price for a year if you say the cable company has a better deal, or you can downgrade for free after the 6 month period. Seriously, if you can get U-Verse where you live, do it! I've had Knology in Lawrence and Verizon internet elsewhere, and neither compare. I have yet to test the service of U-Verse, but I've heard good things.

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asixbury 2 years ago

Do they have cable, or ethernet? I don't have a phone line even installed in my house, which prevented me from going with AT&T when I first moved to Lawrence.

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Currahee 2 years ago

Are you serious? Gold is actually really cheap compared to what Comcast and Verizon offer. They charge $100/mo for a 20Mbit line. Also I game just fine on Palladium. Where I give I get a solid 25Mbit down and 4Mbit up.

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Hooligan_016 2 years ago

Guess I've been spoiled by having roommates, thus making Gold super cheap.

As for gaming on Palladium, your experience sounds very surprising! Every time I run speed test with Pal. my d/l speed is never consistent and jumps all over the place.

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Currahee 2 years ago

Well I live in a house and not an apartment, so that shared bandwidth is spread over a neighborhood in a node so I probably get better performance. Don't get me wrong, there have been times when it drops to 2Mbit/s and I feel like using my phone's internet which would be faster... but Gold is definitely cheap for what Knology offers. We should really feel lucky that Sunflower did offer generous speeds for a really generous price, which is why I'm sad that it was sold to Knology.

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FlintlockRifle 2 years ago

Are not expected to see any immediate changes in offerings, gash I was hopeing service would improve. Called the company at 3:45 pm our TV was out, talked to the people up in S.D, will schd. me the next day somewhere between 8-10, is that called service or not.

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he_who_knows_all 2 years ago

If your TV is out like you say, wouldn't you have better luck calling a TV repairman instead of the cable company?

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Jean Robart 2 years ago

did you deliberately misunderstand what Flintrock said?

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he_who_knows_all 2 years ago

He's only still there to take all the complaints until the merger is complete.

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Rustycleats 2 years ago

I want my HBO Go Username and Password but they will not give it to me. Now I am paying for something that I am not getting.

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Stedman 2 years ago

Yeah. I've been clamoring for HBO Go access since the WOW purchase was announced.

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IgnorantYokel 2 years ago

Anyone know a cheaper way to get quality internet service in Lawrence without Knology/Wow?

Is Lawrence Freenet relevant/worth anything these days?

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kuguardgrl13 2 years ago

They're doing a 6 month deal right now for the 300 TV package and 12mbs internet for $80/mo. They also have deals for less channels and other internet speeds. Check out the website or go into one of the stores.

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ljwhirled 2 years ago

Works fine for me:

My Speedtest from Lawrence Freenet

My Speedtest from Lawrence Freenet by ljwhirled


Total cost:
Roku Set Top Box: $79.99 (One Time)
Lawrence Freenet: $37.78/Mo (after taxes, fees, etc)
Vonage: $17.55/Mo (after taxes, fees, etc.)
Netflix Streaming: $7.99/Mo (30,000 TV shows, movies, etc)
Hulu+: $7.99/Mo (TV)

Total: $71.31/Mo

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rightsaidfred 2 years ago

Thanks for the info!! I am seriously rethinkin knology/wow or whatever it is

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denali 2 years ago

I used to live in the LK, but I moved back home to Tennessee in December of 2011. Here in Chattanooga, we have a utility company called the "Electric Power Board" or EPB for short. They've installed an all fiber network throughout Chattanooga. I have the cheapest internet they provide, which is 30Mb/s Up/30Mbs down. I'm getting everything I had with Sunflower/Knology (Internet/TV/Phone) for about $70 cheaper.

Sorry, ain't missin' Sunflower.

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littlexav 2 years ago

I've never heard anyone call it "the LK" before...

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user111 2 years ago

Is there a data cap w/Freenet?

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pagan_idolator 2 years ago

Where are you located? My Freenet is slow as molasses. Called customer service and they said my router was the problem, Bought a new router and it is a tiny bit faster but still cant operate my Roku worth a darn. I have Knology at my business and I HATE their customer.service but my internet runs great.

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pagan_idolator 2 years ago

http://www.speedtest.net/result/2073723438.png Here is what I got. I am right by a water tower and was told the service here was recently bumped up.

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jhfickel 2 years ago

I just dropped AT&T they lie, had Knology they lie, set up my own service. I use FREENET, ROKU 2-for Netflix, Hulu and many other services. Got a indoor antenna from MOHU called the Leaf Plus it is great for local channels. I have great service from FREENET and now pay only $54.00 for Internet, Movies, Gaming and local TV. AT&T and Knology well over $100.00 and bad service. I'm a soon to be 60 year old fart. If I can do this you can to.

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Shane Rogers 2 years ago

Are you able to get all the channels from both Kansas City and Topeka with the Leaf Plus?

I think I've looked into the Leaf previously and it does look promising. We've already got Netflix and Hulu Plus....and we're seriously considering dropping cable.

I've wondered if Freenet was any good for streaming and from some of the responses here it sounds like it'd be just fine.

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jhfickel 2 years ago

Freenet has been great for streaming thur ROKU. Here is a list of channels I get with my MOHU Leaf Plus: 4(1-2), 5, 9(1-2), 11(1-2-3), 19(1-2-3), 27, 29, 41(1-2), 62(1-2). I may have left out a few. You have to play with the antenna a little (position) but it works well. I also have all this set up wireless ( 2 laptops, 1 printer, 1 TV, and 2 Kindles).

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Shane Rogers 2 years ago

Thank you sir!

Freenet is looking better by the day. I may have to have them at least come out so I can see what kind of speeds I could expect.

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BinxBolloxed 2 years ago

Lawrence Freenet is the way to go...if they provide service in your area. They're cheap, they're local, and I've had nothing but great experiences with their customer service.

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Joshua Montgomery 2 years ago

Thanks to our recent partnership with the City of Lawrence, and a substantial loan from Emprise Bank we are already offering 1,000Mbps fiber connected services.

We are hoping to expand this service to more areas of town in the future.

Many fraternities and sororities near campus (TK, SN, DU, KS, KD, SAE, SK) are already hooked up and running at 1,000 Mbps. Customers at Village Square Apts and The Oaks Apts are hooked up at 100 Mbps.

100Mbps Fiber Connected Service

100Mbps Fiber Connected Service by Joshua Montgomery

If you want this kind of service, let your landlord know and we'll look at getting your apartment complex wired up. Sorry, no single family homes (yet).

As the only local broadband provider, we're going to keep working to build capacity and coverage in Lawrence, however, since we are self funding the project, it is going to take some time to complete the whole town.

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rcr 2 years ago

Joshua,

Just wondering if it would be possible to get this service brought into the condominium complex I live in at Bob Billings & Westbrooke Street. There are 85-90 units in here. I've tried both AT&T DSL (Uverse is not available here) and Knology, they both suck. AT&T said we are to far from their box and they couldn't do anything to improve it, and Knology only seems to work about half the time.

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Joshua Montgomery 2 years ago

I'd be willing to talk to Ben at MPM about this. I'll mention it when we talk this week.

We just spent a couple of days putting in a camera system at this site, so I am pretty familiar with it.

It is likely going to be at least a year until we get fiber to 15th & Kasold though.

We do have pretty decent wireless coverage in that complex though. Have you tried our WiFi service?

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BinxBolloxed 2 years ago

Joshua, I hope you are able to establish service for single family homes soon. We had Lawrence Freenet for a while (at an apartment complex) and were very happy with it. Now we're stuck with the wankers at AT&T. We'd switch back to Freenet in a heartbeat if service were expanded to our area.

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Kris Adair 2 years ago

Freenet is starting to offer Single Family Home connections again. Call Nell to get a free in-town site survey, 785-371-4214.

1

2 years ago

I have the single family home service in Lawrence and absolutely love it. No caps, no crap, just Internet.

Single family home speedtest

Single family home speedtest by jnovinger

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Shane Rogers 2 years ago

Those speeds are making me insanely jealous.

Can I ask how much you are paying for this service? With what I'm paying for Gold+TV service, I figure if it's less than $140 a month I'd be saving.

Assuming of course it's in West Lawrence.....which it most likely isn't.

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Shane Rogers 2 years ago

Joshua,

Do you guys happen to have a map showing where in Lawrence you do have fiber service? Perhaps also a roadmap showing where/when you plan on opening up new services?

We are possibly looking to move in the hopefully near future, and this might impact where that would be.

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Joshua Montgomery 2 years ago

We are pushing out a new website on August 14 that will have a lot of this information on it.

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Joshua Montgomery 2 years ago

If you can see a water tower from your home, we can do service like this now.

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denali 2 years ago

Is this FIber to the Premises (FTTP) or Fiber to the Node (FTTN)?

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years ago

I am looking. The prices continue to rise, the servi e continues to deteroriate and you cannot call anyone in Lawrence for help, I think they are all located in Egypt, India or Botswana. What a lousey business model has developed in little ole Larryville.

1

Jean Robart 2 years ago

I switched to Knology and went back to ATT for telephone and internet because i was being gouged on my first bill. They were to have billed me for $69.99 for all three services. The first bill was over $200 dollars, and they were charging me individually for the services. Then, they charged more for a part month than for a full month. They also persisted in saying the bill was correct. The only reason I kept the tv is because uverse tv isn't available in my neighborhood yet. The switch back to ATT has not been seamless, however. I have had four weeks of problems, and today I was hooked up to their tech support for almost 6 hours to fix a problem that their tech guy caused last Friday. Gosh i love ATT!

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Jean Robart 2 years ago

and 6.5 hours yesterday trying to fix a problem that AT&T created.

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Leslie Swearingen 2 years ago

That's funny because I always get immediate and excellent help calling the office that is at the Riverfront Mall. Or you could even go down to 6th street and talk to someone in person.

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Trekkerbek 2 years ago

Your calls are directed to SD even though you dialed the local number. You have been lucky to get good service.

1

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years ago

That is correct, you cannot contact the local office by phone. Or the local Social Security office. Many local phone numbers send you off to "representative " in India, Banngladesh or Egypt. This is what you get when you let the likes of Romney into your business and they find ways to "save money" and to hell with the customers or country..

1

Leslie Swearingen 2 years ago

Well, well, I did not believe you, it had been a while since I called, but you are right. I think this changed when the WOW deal was official. I liked Sunflower and Knology, they were so sweetly patient with me. I hate changes like this. When does merging become creating a monopoly?

0

Jean Robart 2 years ago

This changed when Sunflower was bought by Knology. No longer any local help. It did not happen when the WOW sale was announced. It's been crummy for a long time.

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littlexav 2 years ago

Bangladesh or Botswana?

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kugrad 2 years ago

Since the customer service is so much poorer with Knology than it was with Sunflower Broadband (experience a problem, call, and you'll see what I mean), one can only hope that the new owner either doesn't outsource customer service to some other country or opens a local call center.

0

irvan moore 2 years ago

the people at the local office are helpful, the people at the end of the phone in south dakota might as well be in india or mexico

2

NotASquishHead 2 years ago

Great start WOW! My Internet just went out again! Second time in less than a month! I just love sitting on hold waiting for support. Nothing better! Stupid Sunflower/Knology/WOW.

0

thisiknow 2 years ago

Last week when I opened my bill I was shocked to see an increase of $9.95, I called and was told ,"They are calling it an annual rate increase." That is $119.40 a year ....just for TV? Needless to say I am looking for something else. I am totally sold on phone and internet with AT&T,never a problem and always good service. They said There is not Uverse where I an yet but, will be soon. Reading the above comments lets me know what to check out. I cannot wait to say BYE BYE Now .

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Jean Robart 2 years ago

Don't bank on uverse tv in your neighborhood any time soon. I've been getting that story since last summer. Still hasn't happened, and not in the forseeable future they now tell me. Of course, you get different answers from every ATT CSR.

0

Matthew Herbert 2 years ago

I would not recommend Knology to anyone. At&t has provided me much better service for about half the price

1

nekansan 2 years ago

Chad, how about an article covering the lack of other cable providers in Lawrence. It seems most surrounding communities have much lower rates for high speed Internet and television and many have multiple cable providers. Does Knology/WOW have exclusive rights to server Lawrence? Im curious if the city is making the best use of their right of way and utility pole infrastructure by limiting service to only one provider.

3

kuguardgrl13 2 years ago

Comcast is EVIL. Time Warner is overpriced for crappy service. Their technicians cut lines all the time. If we could get good satellite signals, that would be awesome. U-verse has made some progress, but the spread across town is slow. Verizon routes you to India for even the simplest of internet problems. I've never had their TV service, but I do appreciate the good cell signal.

1

Joshua Montgomery 2 years ago

We also have a video franchise, but I think that cable is likely dead.

The total number of cable subscribers began to fall last year for the first time ever.

People are starting to fire cable and replace it with services like Netflix Streaming, Hulu+, Amazon Prime, Etc.

In the future you will pay for a single service to your home......data. TV, voice, etc. will be provided by Internet based companies like Netflix, Vonage, Google, Etc.

With this in mind, it makes very little sense to invest in video services right now.

Does Lawrence have an alternative data provider? Absolutely. Lawrence Freenet provides the fastest upload and download in the city with no data caps or contracts.

And we do it for much less than AT&T or Knology/WoW.

1

Jean Robart 2 years ago

Somebody needs to do a survey as to why people have unsubscribed to Knology cable. They will get few different answers, mostly price and South Dakota customer service reps.

1

Joshua Montgomery 2 years ago

Depends on the node and the type of equipment.

We can do 10Mbps Down/10 Mbps Up on a lot of gear lately. That is with a professional installation, which costs $50.

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Matthew Herbert 2 years ago

Freenet is a joke. I used to subscribe and was told that my service would be interrupted for a day or two while they worked on improving the quality. After I had been without service a full week (no discount mind you) I called in to see what was the deal. I was told again "a day or two". 3 days later when I called back again I was told "Why don't you just call us when. You're ready to cancel your service". Freenet can ride out of town on the same rail as Knology in my book.

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lionheart72661 2 years ago

WOW will be great. I researched them and they got great reviews. I used to work for Sunflower and Sunflower was very customer Care oriented unlike Knology. All Knology cared about was money. I sent 2 e-mails to WOW and got an immediate response. Knology changed my billing cycle and I was hit with a $400 bill and I tried to get an extension! I did get an extension....5 days. Been with the local cable company fo 6 years and that was the appreciation I got! GOOD RIDDENS Knology!

1

Jean Robart 2 years ago

I went to their website, and couldn't get any information. I'm interested in their rates, so i called them. Unless you are in a state they ALREADY serve (and Kansas isn't one of them) you cannot get through to a CSR. This does not bode well. I'd like to talk to them before we all get moved over to WOW.

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FranklinBluth 2 years ago

Knology charged me a $30 bounced check fee for entering my bank account info wrong on their buggy payment page. I contacted them via email and did not get a reply for 5 days. My reply to that reply still has not been answered. I sent it June 20th. Yesterday I got a card in the mail threatening to disconnect me if I don't give them the $30.

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Tomato 2 years ago

Be careful. You may be better off paying it and then fighting for the reversal (definitely call - don't email). Otherwise they will send it to collections and ding your credit for years. That credit score pain will haunt you and cost you more than 30 bucks over time - it is also hard to reverse!

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Sharon Nottingham 2 years ago

Knology had a notice in my may statement that said tv service was going to increase to 9.95 per month, then i got my june statement...they faiked to mention it was for EACH t.v. with a cable box...my bill increased $40 for all 4 tv's in my house...2 we barely use...like our spare bedroom and basement tv's. $40?! How the heck can we get raped this way? There are no other cable providers that service my area and I refuse to use satellite.

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Matthew Herbert 2 years ago

That's a lot of tv's in one house. I (hope) think your situation here is highly atypical.

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madcow 2 years ago

I hope they decide to swiftly execute the Knology brand.

Please hurry up so I can finally get HBO GO (which they said would be available by the end of last year... still waiting).

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Matthew Herbert 2 years ago

Minus all the channels you just lost this week....

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labratt 2 years ago

Google just announced this morning a July 26 startup in KC. It will be interesting to see what the details will be.

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