New Cable Option

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 6, 2008

Batesville has new cable option: AT&T

By Jason C. Mattox

Cable customers in the City of Batesville will now have a second option after the board of aldermen voted to enter into a contract with AT&T to provide cable service.

Batesville is currently served by Cable One.

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Gunner Goad of AT&T addressed city leaders Tuesday for the second straight meeting regarding a new cable service in the city.

Goad told aldermen that AT&T already possesses contracts with Jackson, Southaven, and several other Mississippi municipalities.

At the previous meeting, aldermen asked Goad to provide them with a channel line-up and pricing for the service. He provided a partial channel listing and no price.

The Panolian did not receive pricing information either, but according to AT&T’s Web site, the cable service begins at $84 per month.

The Web site does not give a channel listing.

“There are several channels we have not been able to get, and we want to make sure we can get them,” Ward 3 Alderman Stan Harrison said. “We get a lot of complaints because we can’t get some of the football games on our existing system.”

Ward 4 Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders said she was interested in the service, but needed more information.

“We’ve got to know that we are improving our cable service,” she said. “We don’t want to bring in one that is less than what we are offering now.”

Goad explained that the decision to go with AT&T would be a choice for city customers – not a requirement.

“You have a non-exclusive cable agreement,” Assistant city attorney Colmon Mitchell said. “It is basically just bringing someone in as competition.”

Goad told the board that AT&T will provide the same financial incentives as Cable One.

“There will be some people who are on one of the satellite providers that might change over to the new service, and the city will get the same incentives from us on our customers,” he said. “You aren’t drawing any revenue off of the satellite customers now.”

Aldermen unanimously voted to enter into a contract with AT&T.

Once the vote was taken, Pounders asked if the service would be offered in the eastern portion of the city near Wal-Mart and Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

“We are going to offer the service anywhere that has the phone service,” Goad replied. “We might have to add some equipment, but it will be available to them.”

In other board business:

•Aldermen voted to allow Leslie Smith to meet with city employees regarding long-term care insurance.

•The board will hold an amended budget work session June 18 at 10 a.m. and are also expected to discuss a wage matrix with Bill Crawford.

•Jessie Stitcher’s request for a commitment letter for water service at a building on Thermos Road was granted. A request for sewer was tabled until the meeting on June 17.