ShareThis Page
New cable deal being negotiated |

New cable deal being negotiated

Cranberry officials are beginning to renegotiate a cable television agreement with Armstrong.

The current agreement, approved in 1989, is due to expire Feb. 1, 2004. If everything goes well, the township supervisors should have a plan to vote on the contract by the end of 2003.

Township Manager Jerry Andree said the township has limited powers in its ability to regulate cable operators. The Federal Communications Commission has the primary jurisdiction, he said.

While the township has no control over rates or channel selection, as it once did, Andree said the township’s primary goal is to ensure the cable company is offering adequate customer service and provides modern equipment for its customers.

He said the township is among the Butler-based utility’s biggest cable Internet customers.

Armstrong will have a public presentation at 7 p.m. Sept. 5 during the supervisors meeting at the municipal building, 2525 Rochester Road. Residents with questions or comments can send them to township by following the links on the township’s Web site: .

The township charges Armstrong a franchise fee, which generated $127,019 for the township’s efforts to acquire and develop parks in 2001. The township budgeted $150,000 this year for revenue from the cable franchise fee. The agreement and the fee allow the cable company to put its equipment in the township’s rights of way.

The agreement between the township and Armstrong is not exclusive, but Andree said it is rare for a second cable company to serve a municipality because of the expense of putting the infrastructure in place.

“It is very expensive to wire a community,” Andree said.

Cranberry residents pay $33.94 per month for basic cable, which includes about 60 channels. In September 2001, the utility raised its rates for the entry level package from $29.95 per month, said Joe Wyant, the general manager of the Zelienople system, which handles Cranberry and all of southern Butler County.

“People can send (the township) their comments if there is something they want to talk about,” Andree said.

Two months ago, Armstrong finished negotiating franchise agreements with Bradford Woods, Marshall, Pine and Richland in northern Allegheny County, Wyant said.

Wyant said the public presentation is a good opportunity for customers to comment on the service.

“This gives anyone who is unhappy with a service a chance to come forward and tell the company and municipal officials — a chance to give their two cents worth,” Wyant said. “People don’t tend to come to these things, which is unfortunate.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.