It’s a bittersweet moment for the CBPU telecommunications department as they approach the September 10th shutdown date of their legacy analog cable system. The shutdown is necessary to make room for higher speed Internet services. The changes started earlier this year with the addition of Skitter TV, an advanced IP video provider who offers all High-definition programming, restart TV, remote storage DVR, and TV Everywhere applications.
Throughout the years technology has evolved and the analog system that was established in 1998 has become obsolete. More content, high-def and 4k video, tv-on-the-go apps, and cloud storage DVR are just some of the many demands from customers, as well as the broadcasters. Twenty years ago, 90% of American cable channels were owned by fifty different companies. Today, that same 90% is controlled by just four companies; Comcast-NBC, CBS-Viacom, Time Warner, and The Walt-Disney Company (who also owns ABC and ESPN and just purchased FOX last month for $71.3 Billion). These broadcast media giants demand huge programming contract obligations and fees to carry their signal. Again, the cable TV industry has changed immensely and will continue to evolve in the near future.
Today, twenty years later, the CBPU has introduced Skitter TV, an upgraded IP based cable product to Coldwater. The CBPU also offers high-speed data, fiber, and voice services to much of the community. With the introduction of Skitter TV to the CBPU, residents and businesses are getting a major upgrade to their internet speeds. The CBPU has been able to free up bandwidth previously used for cable services and can now deliver higher internet speeds directly to all internet customers for no additional cost.
By September 10, 2018 the outdated analog system will be officially shutdown and all sections of the City will be converted. Although the analog system will be shutdown, the CBPU will still remain the local provider of television services within the City. The CBPU is looking forward to what the future has in store for customers by providing faster internet speeds and digital services.
The CBPU is exceptionally proud of the fact that they were one of the first municipal utilities in the nation to offer competitive cable television, internet, and phone services. “We would like to thank previous Directors, Dwight Woodman and Paul Beckhusen, Telecommunications Managers, Lindy Cox and Jim Royer and the many employees and citizens that helped to make the department such a success.”, said current Director, Jeff Budd. The citizens of Coldwater have benefited greatly from the competitive telecommunications system they voted in. Since the telecommunications network was launched, it is estimated that Coldwater consumers saved approximately six million dollars due to having a competitive alternative.
The Coldwater Board of Public Utilities Customer Service Department is located at City Hall, One Grand Street, Coldwater, MI 49036 and is available Monday through Friday 8:30a – 5:00p. Residents can also call 517-279-9531 to speak to a customer service representative.