NEWBERRY — Comcast is planning to bring upgrades to the City of Newberry. Andy Macke, vice president of Government and Community Affairs, and Ronald McGee, senior manager Government Affairs, presented what upgrades are coming to Newberry City Council on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately the system we have operated here in Newberry for some time is not reflective of what we want our system and services to be. We are rectifying that,” Macke said. “A lot of work is being done on the network here serving Newberry, and that is customer impacting at this point. Our game plan is to connect the Newberry system with Augusta. Ultimately that will allow us to provide the same service we do in Augusta. As we continue to make investments there, Newberry will ultimately benefit from that.”
There are a few steps that have to take place prior to getting to that point. The first step is converting from one billing platform to another.
“The second, we are converting the system from what is today a combination of analog and digital to all digital system,” Macke said.
According to Macke, digital is more efficient. He said the cable networks are divided into six megahertz slots, and they can fit one analog channel into that six megahertz, whereas they can fit 12 to even 20 digital channels into that slot.
“We can bring more channels, on demand and faster internet when we are delivering the services through all digital,” Macke said.
This will mean that customers will have to have a converter box, of some form, on every one of their televisions.
“In an effort to ensure customers have continuity of service, we are providing those boxes at no charge for 12 months,” Macke said.
After the 12 months, the boxes will be $5.99 per month, each.
“That does mean we can deliver our X1 platform, an IP based system that allows you to take advantage of opportunities and easily navigate through content being delivered,” he said. “We will also have on demand content, access to hundreds of movies and TV shows and the ability to record on the Cloud. You can watch what you record on your tablet or on your phone, anywhere in your home.”
Macke added that there will be increased internet speeds, but they are still working on what that will translate to, in terms of speed. He did say that it will be a significant increase of what is offered today.
McGee said that the analog/digital simulcast will be around Dec. 6 and they are going to remove the analog channel around the end of January.
“Everything should be up and running in full effect sometime as early as June, but sometime throughout 2018,” he said.
• Chris Carter was recognized for five years of service with the Police Department.
• Celia Dodgen was recognized from her recent retirement. She began her employment in April 1983 and held the position of Court Clerk.
• Mike O’Connell was recognized for his recent retirement, he has worked with the Police Department since Aug. 1991.
• The City of Newberry was recently named the overall winner by PEBA. PEBA is an awards program that honors employers that demonstrate a dedication to promoting a physically, emotionally and financially healthier workplace.
• Council approved a first reading and held a public hearing to amend the zoning map for 66 and 72 Nance Street and 83 Hartford Heights. The rezoning will allow for continued residential use.
• Council approved a first reading of an ordinance that conveys part of the Hal Kohn Memorial Library parking lot to Newberry County. The city still owns part of the parking lot due to an oversight.
• Patricia Caldwell was reappointed to the Newberry Housing Authority’s Board of Directors for a five year term.
• Council had a second reading authorizing a lease purchase agreement for a commercial garbage truck. The truck will be purchased from The Larsen Group for $258,601 and BB&T will finance at an interest rate of 1.75% not to exceed a three to four year period.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.