Long Lake may see upgraded TV services

LONG LAKE - Town residents may see improved television service, as town officials mull over a new service agreement that would - in effect - transfer service rights from defunct Plattsburgh provider Charter Communications, Inc. to CH Communications, Inc. of Albany.

According to town officials, the aging television infrastructure, combined with Charter's location - roughly two hours away - have resulted in often slow response times to residents complaints. Further, the most wide-spread package currently provided by Charter only offers 36 channels - 10 of which suffer from poor reception, residents said at an April 8 public hearing.

"With the closest technician being two hours away, it was inconvenient for us and represented poor service to our customers," said Charter representative Tom Cohen. "We specifically looked for a local cable company that would be interested in picking up the contract."

CH Spokeswoman Debra Sheehan said a company technician resides in Minerva, and would provide faster, more efficient service.

Sheehan said that the Charter 36-channel package costs $36.19, while Minerva residents currently pay $36.95 for a 40 channel package that also offers several upgrades like expanded HBO service under the CH system.

Sheehan said, that CH carries local channels through satellite service in order to avoid problems related to the impending analog switch this summer.

Long Lake Supervisor Gregg Wallace stated that there is an ongoing push to bring broadband internet service to the park.

"Is this something that CH is equipped to provide for," Wallace asked.

Sheehan said that the CH carries broadband through satellite connections, and the systems works well in other upstate communities.

"I certainly don't see fiber optics running through downtown," she said. "The satellite internet system has been a great success in Minerva and Newcomb."

According to Sheehan, CH has a history of updating existing infrastructure, and that the local lines would likely be replaced.

The town is likely to vote on the new agreement at the April 29 board meeting.

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