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Time Warner Cable

December 21, 2017 - 9:08am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia Town Board, Time Warner Cable.

Town of Batavia board members are moving toward a cable TV franchise renewal with Time Warner Cable Northeast LLC and at the same time are leaving the door open to doing business with another cable provider, Empire Access.

The board, at its meeting on Wednesday night, voted to schedule a public hearing on the Time Warner (also known as Charter or Spectrum) franchise agreement renewal for 7 p.m. Jan. 3 at Batavia Town Hall.

Terms of the 10-year agreement include the ongoing 5-percent franchise fee that goes to the Town for all cable-related services offered by the company, said Board Member Patti Michalak, who serves on the cable television committee.

“While our contract doesn’t expire until March 2018, we’re doing this now because all towns (in Genesee County) basically will have the same contract (heading into the new year),” Michalak said.

She said that Philip Fraga of the Cohen Law Group of Pittsburgh, Pa., has negotiated the franchise agreement on behalf of all county municipalities, and “the agreements are pretty much the same, except for a few tweaks here and there.”

As far as Empire Access is concerned, Michalak said representatives of that business “asked us to settle the Time Warner contract first before they talk to us.”

However, she said, the Town may not be able to deal with Empire Access “since they want so many customers per mile” and many people without cable services live in less-populated areas.

Michalak did say that the Town is willing to talk with Empire Access personnel, despite rumors to the contrary.

In other action, the board:

-- Appointed Kimberly McCullough as Batavia Town Planning Board secretary, effective Jan. 1, replacing Brittany Witkop, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. It is a part-time position.

McCullough, a legal document analyst for M&T Bank in Amherst, lives in East Pembroke. Her husband, Paul, is a member of the planning board.

-- Authorized the purchase of three parcels of land for right-of-way purposes to advance the Ellicott Trail Project.

The parcels were bought from the Elmwood Cemetery Association on Harvester Avenue for $25,600, Sikes Realty LLC on East Main Street for $2,200 and Jeffrey D. Freeman on East Main Street for $5,700.

The purchase prices were subject to appraisals by an independent appraisal firm.

-- Renewed shared services agreements with the state Department of Motor Vehicles (hearing room at the Town Hall), Town of Pavilion (code enforcement), Town of Stafford (financial clerk services), Town of Alexander (code enforcement), East Pembroke Fire Department and Fire District), and voted in favor of an agreement with the Town of Elba Water District No. 2 for operation and maintenance of water facilities.

-- Scheduled a rabies clinic coordinated by the Genesee County Health Department for 4-7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Town Highway Facility on West Main Street Road.

-- Renewed the Town’s contract with the Town of Batavia Fire Department for fire protection under the same terms as the 2017 pact.

-- Scheduled a special Town Board meeting for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 28 to consider authorizing an amended water agreement with Genesee County.

May 22, 2009 - 3:15pm
Event Date and Time: 
June 5, 2009 - 5:00pm to 11:00pm

15th Annual “Festival of Hope” hosted by Genesee Cancer Assistance June 5, 2009 at the Batavia Downs Genesee Cancer Assistance Inc.

 

April 26, 2009 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Time Warner Cable.

If you're reading this at 12:50 p.m. on Sunday, and you're in Western New York, Time Warner is not your Internet service provider.

Customers throughout the entire northeast region have been hit with a service outage that has disabled Net access as well those customers using TW for phone service.

The outage started about 10 a.m. in the Syracuse area and spread from there.

The massive outage comes, ironically, after Time Warner tried convincing customers that some of them should pay more money for their service.

This from WHAM 13:

The company says they don't know what is causing the outage but once that is determined they will try to get service back up as soon as possible. 

There is no estimated time for restoration.

UPDATE: Service was restored about 5 minutes after I posted this.

April 18, 2009 - 12:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Time Warner Cable.

No so fast. Two days ago, we picked up on a D&C story that said Time Warner Cable was dropping it's plan to set up a tiered pricing model for broadband usage in the Rochester (which includes Batavia) market.

Now Evan Dawson at WHAM 13 has Time Warner officials putting a rather different spin on their plans.

Robin Wolfgang of Time Warner said, "We really didn't think the customers were educated very well on what the plans were, and there's a lot of information in the marketplace. We want to take some time. We want to give them a chance to understand our plans."

Wolfgang says there is no timetable for how long the company will take to re-evaluate its plan to charge customers based on Internet usage.

But Time Warner is certainly not giving up on the idea.

"As we tried to tell you, in the first phase of the trial we found that most customers were able to right-size and pay less based on their usage,” Wolfgang said. “It takes a lot to use five gigabytes of space. A lot of emails, a lot of songs. So most customers would not be affected."

It's hard not to read between the lines here and conclude: Time Warner customers can expect, at some point, to get a new pricing plan, and it will likely attempt to punish heavy users with higher prices.

April 16, 2009 - 2:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Time Warner Cable.

BREAKING: We've had some discussion about Time Warner's tier pricing plan, so here's the latest news: The cable company has raised the white flag, according to the D&C. The D&C story states flat out that TW is bowing to the negative reaction of customers.

April 15, 2009 - 8:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Lee, broadband, Time Warner Cable.

City Paper's Jeremy Moule caught up with Congressman Chris Lee at a press conference and asked an unrelated question: What is his position on Time Warner's plan to tier broadband pricing.

Here's what Moule wrote about Lee's response:

Representative Chris Lee says that the federal government should get involved with Time Warner's broadband rate change only as a last resort.

He's looking into Time Warner's proposal and is aware that there's broad concern over it. Public officials should make sure "consumers are protected and that they pay a fair rate," he said after an unrelated press conference this afternoon.

The company has agreed to hold a public session on the plan, which would implement tiered, usage-based rates. Ideally, it would be able to develop fair-rate plans, said Lee, Monroe County's lone Republican Congressional representative.

Lee had called the press conference to support his push for a passport office in Western New York.

April 13, 2009 - 4:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, broadband, Time Warner Cable.

For any Batavians who thought maybe Time-Warner Cable wouldn't test its new tiered broadband pricing plan in Genesee County, we have some bad news. We just received this message from Lara Pritchard, public affairs manager for Time Warner Cable, WNY Division:

Our trial for monitoring internet usage will rollout across our entire Rochester footprint. Batavia customers will also be enrolled to work with us and provide feedback on their usage /plans.

For those who haven't heard, TW is planning to switch Rochester-area customers from a flat-price service for broadband (cable modem, in this case) Internet service to one which offers different pricing plans, based on anticipated usage. Heavier users would be faced with potential monthly overage charges, or plan on spending up to $150 per month for unlimited usage.

WHAM 13 explains the tiered plan here:

The "trial" is expected to begin in August.

For it's part, this is what TW says about the need for the pricing scheme:

Time Warner Cable said that steady increase in use, along with massive bandwidth consumption by a small percentage of customers, is the reason it's testing the new pricing policy. The company said it needs to pay for infrastructure upgrades.

Commenting on the criticism of the plan, company spokesman Alex Dudley said, "Customer feedback is a critical part of the trial."

But not so fast. As others have noted, there isn't really a cost justification for TW's plan.

Ars Technica:

Britt's rationale for the change—infrastructure is expensive—is tough to understand. Cable's physical plant has been in the ground for years; even hybrid fiber-coax systems have been widely deployed for some time. Internet access simply runs across the existing network, and one of cable's big advantages over DSL is that speeds can be upgraded cheaply by swapping in new DOCSIS headend gear, with DOCSIS 3.0 the current standard. Compared to what Verizon is doing with fiber and AT&T with its quasi-fiber U-Verse, cable Internet is a bargain (well, for the operators).

But perhaps consumers are insatiable bandwidth hounds who are simply overloading TWC's system—or perhaps not. The BusinessWeek article notes that only 14 percent of users in TWC's trial city of Beaumont, Texas even exceeded their caps at all. My own recent conversations with other major ISPs suggest that the average broadband user only pulls down 2-6GB of data per month as it is.

A site called Stop the Cap dug through some of TW's communications for shareholders and found that TW is telling its investors its costs are actually decreasing. (via Fighting 29th)

High-speed data costs decreased for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2008 primarily due to a decrease in per-subscriber connectivity costs, partially offset by subscriber growth.

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