Residents of some Pacific neighborhoods are frustrated that the local cable company does not provide cable television service to their homes.
The city granted a franchise to Charter Communications to provide cable service to all Pacific residents, but the firm does not provide the service in some neighborhoods and the city says it’s powerless to require that service be provided.
Residents of Forest Glen subdivision on North Highway OO have petitioned city officials repeatedly to pressure Charter to provide cable TV service. They say residents who live in the adjoining subdivision of Osage Hills have cable television.
The first residents moved into Forest Glen in 2001 and now approximately 32 families live there. The residents recently petitioned Alderman Walter Arnette to speak on their behalf. Arnette brought the plight of the Forest Glen residents to the Aug. 6 board of aldermen meeting.
“These folks want cable television, like everyone else,” Arnette said. “What do we have to do to get Charter to provide cable there?”
Arnette said cable service is a valuable asset to residents. He said many television watchers, like himself, enjoy a specific set of channels that they can only get with cable or satellite service.
“I only watch the sports channels,” Arnette said. “But whatever people want to watch, they should be able to watch.”
Ward 1 Alderman Mike Bates said Forest Glen residents have petitioned him many times over the years for cable service and he has brought the request to the administration, which passed it on to Charter, but nothing ever happened.
“We keep asking when and nothing happens,” Bates said. “This is a city franchisee and these are our citizens. Why can’t we require the franchisee to provide the service?”
Mayor Herb Adams agreed that the city has a franchise agreement with Charter, but he said current legislation lacks the teeth for the city to require Charter to extend service throughout the city.
“There is legislation that lends toward the cable company using its own discretions about where to provide service,” Adams said. “Because of this legislation, our hands are tied.”
Residents of Eagles View subdivision on North Thornton Road and on Candlewick Lane of South Highway N also have requested that the city help them in getting cable service.
“We’ve approached Charter several times and all we get is, ‘We’ll look into it,’ and nothing happens,” Adams said. “We don’t like it, but at present those folks are limited to satellite or some other form of service.”
City Attorney Dan Vogel said because of a recent change in Missouri law, the city does not have the power to order Charter to deliver the service. Two new laws, HB 331 and HB 345, were passed by both houses and signed by the governor in July.
“The governor signed the bill and it is now the law,” Vogel said. “A city can have a franchisee for any utility service, but cannot require the franchisee to deliver service to its citizens.”
Residents of subdivisions not served by Charter Communication also have the disadvantage of not being able to get AT&T U-verse, a wireless high-speed Internet service. That service is provided to phone company customers in many areas of Missouri, but not in the 63069 ZIP code.
Selby said he spoke with Charter last week, but would not disclose with whom he spoke.
The Missourian was unable to reach a local Charter representative to question whether there are plans to serve the Pacific customers who do not have service in the near future.