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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

observant 1 year, 8 months ago

No service change. That I can vouch for. Had outage where I manage IT dept on 7/6 for 5 hours. Had another outage on 7/20 for 5 hours. Guess what, businesses don't get any priority for service despite paying much more than average residential customer. Just note, if there was any viable option, I'd switch in a heartbeat.

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labratt 1 year, 9 months 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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Liberal 1 year, 9 months ago

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.

I certainly hope so..

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Steve Swaggerty 1 year, 9 months ago

Try DIRECTTV!! Been a customer for 21 years. For the most part they are FANTASTIC!!

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madcow 1 year, 9 months 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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Agnostick 1 year, 9 months ago

Comcast It's just a matter of time, really.

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Sharon Nottingham 1 year, 9 months 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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FranklinBluth 1 year, 9 months 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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lionheart72661 1 year, 9 months 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!

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nekansan 1 year, 9 months 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.

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mikekt 1 year, 9 months ago

My cable & i-net bill just recently went up by $14, for over two months in a row. No changes ? Well,.... gouge them on the way out the door is a good motto !

Coming soon to a bill near you..........A leveraged buy out?.........an inflated bill to cover it all?

Happiness is !!!!!!

Has Knology even owned this for a year?

Ah.....The best sex that deregulating Re-Publicans, ever had with your wallets ! Want a cigarette ?

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Matthew Herbert 1 year, 9 months ago

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

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thisiknow 1 year, 9 months 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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Rachael Sudlow 1 year, 9 months ago

"at knology, you dont pay extra for great service". That was their motto that was repeated on the hold line I had to wait in for an hour last week...when they'd billed me for a service I shut down in April. Before that, they'd overbilled me 3x. Before that, a technician purposefully cut the line to my satellite dish, knocking out directtv service.

If you havent ditched this company yet, RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

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NotASquishHead 1 year, 9 months 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.

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irvan moore 1 year, 9 months 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

kugrad 1 year, 9 months 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.

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oletimer 1 year, 9 months ago

The clock is ticking, Lawrence. Never in history has there been a change of ownership in a company without changes. They just have not figured out how to gouge everyone yet. But they will, no problem. They did not pay big money and not expect to get a big return, soon.

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Trekkerbek 1 year, 9 months ago

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

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 9 months 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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Jean Robart 1 year, 9 months 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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Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 9 months 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

IgnorantYokel 1 year, 9 months 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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Rustycleats 1 year, 9 months 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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g_rock 1 year, 9 months ago

At least they weren't stupid enough to try to do changes before all of the college kids moved back in this August....that would be a nightmare.

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cheeseburger 1 year, 9 months ago

Gotta wonder about WOW's wisdom in leaving Kutemeier in place - that would have been a good change to make right off the bat!

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FlintlockRifle 1 year, 9 months 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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Andini 1 year, 9 months ago

and hopefully I'll be able to use less foil on my rabbit ears.

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Andini 1 year, 9 months ago

If they'll just bring back Broadband Man, I'll be happy.

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BlackVelvet 1 year, 9 months ago

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

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