Terry Huval made another appearance during the “President’s Address” portion of last night’s council meeting. In this one he provided more details on pricing and installation….
My trusty TiVo picked up the broadcast; it will be rebroadcast by AOC on Channel 16 Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1:00 p.m. It is also available anytime on the newly established ustream channel “lcg-council-auditorium.”
If your interested in the details (and who isn’t?) I recommend you take a look at Huval’s presentation. It’s well-organized and packs a lot of information into a small time frame. You can also check out the press release at the LUS Fiber site and pages there on video, phone and internet pricing.
Some highlights & notes of interest:
- There will be “no deposit, no contracts, and no charge for a standard installation.”
- There will be some very low prices for some cable services—lower than had been previously anounced. The basic, no-box “analog,” tier will only cost $17:00 and includes “20 channels including local channels and The Weather Channel.” (Interestingly the “analog” channels on the local system are analog largely in the sense that they don’t require a set top box: the system itself is all IP. Customers who don’t want a box and have an analog TV will have their digital signals transformed into coaxial-happy analog at the fancy box on the exterior wall.)
- That low price, and other low prices for local phone service and internet will be mitigated by a minimum required purchase of $44 dollars. No customer will be signed up unless they initially agree to purchase $44 dollars worth of service. That’s a marketing mistake, I believe. You want everyone to sign up, even if they are low-return initally. Of course, without a contract I don’t know what is to prevent a frugal customer from signing up, paying for one month and dropping any extra services. Frankly, I don’t see the point of this requirement. Without a contract it won’t prevent folks from doing the obvious; will give the naysayers something pretty concrete to complain about; and will be used to by the opposition to undercut the city’s otherwise legitimate claim to be lowering prices and offering poor and working people a break. (This isn’t conjecture on my part—that was the response of the incumbents to a similar condition to join Bristol VA’s municipal system.) [Yes, sure, I do understand the rationale: that fancy box on the side of the house that translates light into analog and digital cable over coax, internet over cat6, and emulates a Plain Old Telephone system is very costly…and LUS reasonably wants to recover that cost in some reasonable period. Still; IMHO, dangling unattainable low prices in front of the public is a mistake that only accountants and engineers would make. It’s logical and sensible but mistaken. Where are the political, PR, and marketing folks? LUS needs a citizen’s advisory council.]
- The internet service will include email, 70 megs of personal web space, Instant Messaging, personal calendaring and file sharing….pretty nifty. Making those service available universally will potentially open up a huge range of network effects akin to having universal phone service. All these are more valuable if all have them.
- It looks like only HD digital boxes will be deployed, some with and some without DVR capacity but all with HD. Planning for the future, I presume.
- There will be “an interactive TV Web Portal, Video On Demand, Pay-Per-View and Digital Video Recording.” I’m still interested in that TV Web Portal.
Still missing: a channel lineup, details on the premium channel packages and any wireless hints.
PS: The Advertiser has a short piece up this evening. Expect a fuller story tomorrow and one from the Advocate as well.