I WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON HARRON'S NEW SLOGAN:|
DON'T MISS A MINUTE OF TOMORROW
I personally think that they should wait until the rebuild is complete before brainwashing their customers into thinking that they're "not missing a minute of tomorrow". As you may not know, Harron cable's most technological advance bringing tomorrow into our living rooms is The Sega Channel and Pay-Per-View, services I would hardly say are bringing tomorrow into Harron Cable homes. Harron cable is an okay cable company as far as channel line up and services; don't go pretending you're something you're not. Thanks.
A letter from John Mucha...|
I would like to answer your questions and at the same time give you some information on cable technology and on our company as well.
Let me try to explain the facts. Harron is a medium size cable TV company. It is an independent family-owned business, with about 240,000 customers spread out over New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Michigan. It is not part of a huge conglomerate like Time Warner or TCI. The cable industry is highly leveraged which means that most companies must borrow substantial amounts of money to finance purchases or expansion. Harron is no exception, but because Harron is independent it does not have the kind of borrowing power that Time Warner would have. A few years ago Harron made the decision that the Utica system needed to be rebuilt. It was the largest in the company and the plant was in terrible shape. It would make our system look great. Harron then committed $24 million to that upgrade and it took 3 years. The Utica rebuild was a tremendous effort for a small company and took virtually all the resources that were available company wide for rebuilds. As a result, every other system had to wait for the Utica system to be finished. And it took longer than expected and ran significantly overbudget.
This had direct impact on any rebuild plan for the Glens Falls area. There were only so many resources to go around. I don't know what you were told in the past and I don't know who you talked to, but I can tell you that in business things change. As the Utica rebuild dragged out and ran past deadlines and budgets, other rebuild plans had to be pushed back. No one lied to you. They were telling you the best information that they had at the time. But construction activity is not a science. Delays can occur and they did. But certainly there was no attempt to deceive you or anyone else. We bend over backwards not to make commitments that we cannot keep.
As for our current situation, let me elaborate on our rebuild plans in some detail. But let me emphasize that they are plans. We will undoubtedly encounter unforeseen circumstances that could change things.
We have committed to completely rebuild the Glens Falls/Queensbury system and the plan is already underway. We have set up a rebuild office in our warehouse and it is staffed currently by 3 new full time employees. Today 2/29/96 we signed a contract to hire a contractor to begin our rebuild activities. On March 11, 1996 our design firm will begin the process of surveying our entire cable TV plant in this area - it amounts to over 500 miles - which must be done for us to rebuild the system. The design work will take most of 1996. In 1997 we will begin physical construction. The complete rebuild should be done by the end of 1998. We would hope to start with the Town of Queensbury and to get that finished first. When complete we will have the same channel capacity as the Utica system, and be able to offer their lineup or even a better one. We have a written agreement with the New York State Commission on Cable TV to follow this timetable. You can check with them if you wish to verify that.
You stated in your email that you don't need fiber optic lines to add new channels. You are correct, in fact CVI was able to add a few channels using old-fashioned technology, nothing like the state-of-the-art plant in Utica. We are currently at absolute full capacity. We are not able to add even one more channel at this time. Only a rebuild will allow new channels to be offered. Would you prefer that we did a band-aid job like CVI did to add 4 or 5 channels, or do it right with fiber optic technology and increase our channel capacity from 38 to 77? I am also very interested in adding high speed data service via cable modem (speed up to 30 mbps) and that would never be possible without fiber optics. One day, CVI will have to rebuild their system again. We want to do it once and do it right. When we are done, Harron will have spent nearly $20 million for the rebuild here.
We do currently offer some things that CVI does not. We alone offer full time Pay Per View service. We offer The Learning Channel which is a high quality educational service not available on CVI. And we offer the Sega Channel. Those who play Sega love this service. And for your information, we carry this service in a gap in frequencies between other channels. It is an area too small to accommodate a regular channel but works fine for the Sega Channel. Believe it or not, we have many Harron customers who used to be CVI customers who tell us how much they prefer our lineup.
I agree completely that the threat of competition is certainly a big factor in why Harron has decided to upgrade the system in the Glens Falls area. We want to offer the best service possible to our customers. But if another cable company started up immediately, they would have to do just what we are doing - survey the area, design the plant, hire a project staff, order materials, hire a contractor, put up with bad weather, delivery delays etc., etc. There is no shortcut to creating 500 miles of state of the art cable TV plant. It takes time and a great deal of hard work.
As far as additions, we added The Disney Channel to our Cable Deluxe lineup in January. It is no longer a premium channel and is now available to our customers for about a dollar a month compared to $10.95 a month previously. You may not appreciate this change but many families have been very pleased that we made the effort to add value to their cable offering. It is certainly an addition to our expanded basic service.
Send your complaints and comments about
The Unofficial Harron Cable of
Glens Falls / Queensbury Page
Click here to go to
Brian's Home Page
Harron Cable TV has begun.
Email Harron Cable
if you have any questions.
The General Manager's name is
John Mucha (moo-ha).
(Drops CVS and Sneak Prevue to do so) 9/93
The Unofficial Harron Communications Page is a page dedicated to providing information about any events occuring at Harron Cable that may affect the way you watch television, including future plans for expansion as well as a list of all new channels and allocations, upgrades to existing channels, and projected dates of when the work will be started and completed.
For those wondering, this page is not a sell-out. It simply is the outcome of a lot of hard work and effort...
|People Now Know What's going on with Harron Communications in Glens Falls|