The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 12, 2001


Gill ponders the future of cable in Carlisle

Paul Gill of the cable committee uses phrases like "hard to deal with," "stonewalling," and "you can't expect much" when describing negotiations with AT&T Broadband. Unfortunately, there are few short-term alternatives. "We've been open to a secondary bidder," says Gill, "but so far there's been no candidate. The revenue prospects are too small." In the longer term, he expects towns with similar dissatisfactions to develop consortiums to enhance their negotiating positions with cable providers. "That's where I think towns will make inroads." He also points out that AT&T Broadband may soon be sold, and Carlisle may have an opportunity to negotiate concessions when asked to approve transferring the contract to the future buyer.

Or, alternatively, Gill says, "The market for cable could implode." He points to third-world countries never adequately wired for phone service which have now gone directly to cell phones. As satellite and wireless services improve and come down in price, he believes that customers will go directly to those technologies and bypass cable. "People are already pulling away to satellite," adds Gill, "and the lack of adequate services in Carlisle will only speed that migration."

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito