On Your Side: Cable Controversy

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News 12 at 6, April 28, 2008

BLYTHE--It's almost hard to imagine in 2008, people living less than a mile from a city's limits and they cannot get cable or cable internet.

But that's what the Mayor of Blythe says is happening in his town. The Mayor says nearly two dozens homes in his town are still not wired for cable. The cable company says it all comes down to dollars and cents and it doesn't make enough of either for this to work.

The town of Blythe sits just about 20 miles from Downtown Augusta. It's a peaceful place where the farm animals might out-number the humans. And with a population of around 800, civilization is slowly coming in.

But not at a fast enough rate for Mayor Tom Cobb. Tom's house is one of nearly two dozen that aren't wired for cable. And he doesn't understand why.

"That's question I really liked to have answered, because we have it to the majority of everyone in neighborhood." he said.

All of the homes sit around a half mile from the town center of Blythe, but their occupants dial up for internet and have to have satellite if they want more than a handful of channels.

"To be the mayor of the city and not to be able to get service is totally frustrating." he said.

So Mayor Cobb called 12 On Your Side to help get some answers and we went straight to Comcast.

It turns out the cable provider has put in a lot of new lines in Blythe including for a house surrounded by empty lots that are supposed to be built on to form a new neighborhood. But for those other 20 plus homes, it comes down to money.

"Projects move up and down based on costs, residences, and the payback models. It's a business decision." said Bill Botham, Director of Public Relations for Comcast.

Basically, Comcast says they won't make enough money to warrant putting lines in here. Laying cable can costs 10's of thousands of dollars a day and with long driveways and long distances between those 20+ houses, it's cost prohibitive right now.

And that means Mayor Cobb and his neighbors won't be getting cable or cable internet anytime soon.

We did contact AT&T about that company providing DSL in the area. We were told they would get back to us with an answer, but they never did.

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