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New cable company seeks to do business in Coulee Dam


Coulee Dam is in talks with Charter Communications, a nationwide cable television company that wants to serve the town.

The town council reviewed a proposed contract last month that would grant a franchise agreement and allow the company to operate within the town.

The company already operates in other local towns, but Coulee Dam has been served by a small company called Country Cable, which council members said had been the subject of many complaints.

“One of the things that bothered them most was they called up this complaint line and they got nowhere,” noted Councilmember Fred Netzel.

Councilmember Keith St. Jeor, who had met with Charter representatives in a committee meeting, said the company seems anxious to come into town and serve it better. In fact, he said, they want to upgrade the whole area.

“They want to come in here and update Coulee Dam, Grand Coulee and Elmer City all at the same time.”

St. Jeor said they’d like to get upgrades done “before the snow flies.”

Unknown was the question of whether the company would also be interested in providing high-speed internet service, but that’s a service it offers elsewhere. A clause in the franchise agreement says Charter could not be prohibited from offering any service legal under federal law.

No one asked if an agreement with Charter might nix any future talk of seeking a fiber-optic based internet service for the town, which experts generally point to as a faster solution, less prone to bogging down with high traffic.

The council unanimously approved the first reading of the agreement, with a few changes. They could have a second reading, and possible approval, at the next meeting Sept. 12.

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