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Cut Charter Cable franchise causes stir

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The Ellis County Press

FERRIS – The city council’s unanimous vote Monday night, June 2 to accept Charter Cable franchise cancellation stirred a bit of controversy among the 47 subscribers, but city officials said the move was justified.

"It’s an inconvenience to the city, but not too big with just 47 customers," said Ferris City Manager David Chavez.

"Something else should come up soon with all the alternatives [digital, satellite etcetera] the way they are coming up today."

Charter Cable, which provided the city with the fee (Chavez said in most cases, this was passed on to the customer) to install its cables on poles, provided yearly revenue for the city.

"With the number of subscribers in town falling considerably, they are not justified," read the city’s public meeting agenda.

Charter will terminate the agreement with the city on July 1.

Charter notified the city on May 23 in a letter stating "their intention to terminate operations of its cable distribution system within the City..."

Charter has given 30-day notice to Ferris subscribers they will terminate their service.

Charter expalined it was "no longer commercially practical to maintain cable operations within the City."

The original agreement, Ordinance 140, was dated June 2, 1980.

One disgruntled subscriber Eric Sims wrote, "I have searched all over the web, and there appears to be no alternative other than Dish Network or some similar company, all of which provide channels I will never watch but continually pay for.

"I think the city should seek some sort of alternative for our residents, especially those that cannot afford the DirecTV rates (they are great the first year then become too expensive for me to handle or ethically endure).

"Of course, maybe I should just consider antenna TV. Who knows," Sims concluded.

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