Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer announced today that Comcast Cable Television approached her to discuss the details of the company’s upcoming digital upgrade initiative in Monongalia, Marion and Taylor Counties. The planned enhancement is expected to begin rolling out neighborhood by neighborhood around mid-November.
Fleischauer said she was pleased to learn that all of Comcast’s customers will eventually be receiving more programming choices at no additional charge. She said she was especially pleased that the new digital equipment will make WNPB available to all Basic Cable and Standard Cable Customers in the Morgantown area.
“Basic cable customers who have not already gotten a digital converter will be eligible for up to three small digital adapters, at no charge. They’re about as big as your palm.” Delegate Fleischauer said. “These small boxes will be available starting next month at the Comcast office or will be mailed to your home for free. Most people will be able to connect these devices themselves, but if not, Comcast will come to your home and install them for a minimal cost.”
Standard cable customers will be provided one set-top converter and two digital adapters. Comcast’s move to all-digital delivery of its programming will roughly double the number of available high-definition channels and make possible faster Internet speeds and more On Demand content.
“I’ve been told that with the digital adapter, Standard Cable subscribers in our area will immediately receive, at no extra charge, more than 30 additional channels, and customers with Basic Cable will receive more than 10 additional channels, among other new services,” Fleischauer said. “But what is important to me is that among those channels is our own West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
“Like many others in our community, I truly enjoy the quality programs about our state that are produced right here at West Virginia Public Broadcasting in Morgantown. I prefer stations without commercials.” Fleischauer said. She and other Legislators were upset when WNPB, which is supported by state taxpayers, was moved to a digital platform . Many local citizens with basic or standard cable, including Fleischauer, were able to view WQED in Pittsburgh but had difficulty accessing WNPB. I am glad that Comcast is making this change,” she said.
Fleischauer said she was also pleased by Comcast’s promise to communicate early and often to customers via direct mail to explain what is happening and what action they need to take. The majority of Comcast customers have already made changes to receive digital programming, but all customers will need digital equipment from Comcast to view their channels before this initiative is completed sometime during the first quarter of 2011, she noted.
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