Cable competition is coming to Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cable competition is coming to Albany

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) --  Cable Competition is coming to Albany.

The city commission approved a new cable franchise agreement late Tuesday night. Now, L-2 Networks is poised to roll out the first phase of the new service in three to six months.

The cable and high-speed Internet service will be provided through fiber optic lines that company officials say will offer faster speeds than what's available now.

Technology a thousand times faster than current Internet or cable service available in Albany homes. That's what L-2 Networks has promised city leaders.

"The capacity that we're going to be delivering to each customer would rival beyond what New York City is deploying to its subscribers," said Kraig Beahn, L-2 Networks.

It's available now to many business, but in three to six months, new fiber optic lines could be delivering cable television to homes. City leaders say there's benefits to competition.

"It will make the companies themselves better because ultimately you hope they would increase their customer service and the value their providing the customer," said Christopher Pike, Albany Mayor Pro-Tem.

It won't happen overnight. L-2 Networks says it will take them between three and six months to lay the fiber lines to the first portion of northwest Albany seen in this red block extending from Hanover Street. The service will be rolled out in three phases.

"It's almost like a plate of spaghetti, we have to take the individual strands of fiber and pull them to each individual home or subscriber," said Beahn.

They'll use a backbone of fiber lines Water, Gas, and Light currently maintains and it's a win-win for the customers and city.

"The city gets a fee out of the contract a five percent and then Water Gas and Light has some revenue stream opportunities by L-2 using their fiber optics," said Wes Smith, Albany Assistant City Manager.

L-2 Networks hopes to get at least 12-thousand customers. They say customers will have to upgrade their home computers to take advantage of the true speed their franchise will provide.

In the next 72 hours, L-2 Networks hopes to have a web site up and running that explains their service and what interested customers need to do about inquiring.

Mediacom Cable previously said it is improving service as it prepared for possible competition. They recently rolled out more high definition channels. It could take four years for L-2 Networks to have the entire city linked to their system.


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