Knology vs. Bright House
I would like to provide some clarification about the City of Largo's incoming and outgoing service with Knology and Bright House Networks cable providers as it relates to Vice Mayor Guyette's inquiry made at the January 15, 2008 Work Session. Vice Mayor Guyette requested that staff investigate the cost of switching our service from Bright House to Knology. To help answer this question, I would first like to provide some background information.
All City facilities with the exception of Highland Complex receive a cable signal from Bright House Networks at no cost to the City which stems from our franchise agreement with them. This allows our facilities to tune in cable channels on the "standard" tier including Bay News 9 and, previously, LTV Channel 15. Since Bright House moved LTV to channel 615 on December 11, 2007, facilities have needed to install digital boxes on any TV that needs to tune in ch. 615 or the other local government access channels. Bright House agreed to provide Largo with five free boxes at City Hall and one free box at every facility. The remainder of the necessary boxes will be billed to Communications and Marketing each month at a rate of $1.00 per box. As a result, while the service is complimentary, Largo will be billed approximately $30 per month for these boxes. In order to reduce the number of digital boxes needed at City Hall and the Police Department, Bright House has provided at no charge a modulator device which allows ch. 615 to be shown on ch. 47 throughout those two buildings.
Separate from the cable signal we receive for viewing TV channels is the signal we transmit to the cable providers in order for them to broadcast LTV. This is accomplished by one transmitter for each of the two cable providers in the LTV control room. The transmission of LTV signal is not affected by which provider we use to view cable.
My understanding of Vice Mayor Guyette's inquiry was that if we used Knology to provide our viewing cable instead of Bright House, our facilities would no longer need the digital boxes because Knology still carries LTV on their channel 15. This is true; however, there are a few things to keep in mind as this option is considered. I spoke with Steve Markiewicz with Knology who helped provide the following points:
Based on these factors, I recommend we continue to use Bright House Networks as our cable provider. Even though the digital boxes do cause some inconvenience, overall I believe it's the best option right now. Please let me know if there's any additional information I can provide. Thanks and have a great day.
-- Brandon Graham, LTV Channel 15, City of Largo
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