CHARLESTON, W. Va. – City Council on Tuesday approved two cable franchise agreements for companies to offer cable services within city limits.
Board members approved deals with CAS Cable and Suddenlink, marking the first time the West Virginia capital has had more than one active cable franchise deal.
“It’s a competition for the city of Charleston to add another provider to receive television services other than Suddenlink and satellite providers,” said finance committee chairman Joseph Jenkins.
CAS Cable will build cable infrastructure throughout the city over the next five years. The Parkersburg-based company, like Suddenlink, will also offer phone and internet services to residents.
Board member Ben Adams, who chairs the cable franchise select committee, said CAS Cable is committed to providing high quality services; the company plans to open a data center in Charleston and hire local technicians.
“It has taken a long time to get to this point, and I wholeheartedly ask for this bill to be passed,” he added.
The city’s agreement with CAS Cable expires in 2037.
Suddenlink offered service in Charleston with little competition. The approval of the five-year deal came as the state’s Civil Service Commission investigates complaints against the company and how Suddenlink has responded to calls for better services.
Adams noted that Suddenlink’s shorter deal reflects complaints against the company.
“It’s a market economy,” Jenkins said. “The public will vote with their wallet on what they want to do.”
CAS Cable also works to provide service in the communities of South Charleston and Kanawha County.