Two Columbia County towns will soon have choice in cable provider

PSC Continues Expansion of State’s Cable TV Services

New Cable Franchises Will Provide Competition and Choice in Four Upstate Communities

Supports Governor Cuomo’s Vision for Universally Available Broadband 

ALBANY —The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) today approved cable franchise agreements for the Towns of Austerlitz and Ancram (Columbia County), the Village of Dresden (Yates County) and the Village of Sidney (Delaware County). Importantly, the Commission’s confirmation of these cable franchises authorizes construction of facilities to be used for cable television service, which will be bundled with other telecommunications services, including broadband internet service. In most cases, the cable lines will be installed on existing utility poles located in existing rights-of-way.

“The availability of state-of-the-art telecommunication services is vital for urban and rural communities, alike,” said Commission Chair John B. Rhodes. “Approving these franchise agreements promotes consumer choice and provides new service offerings in the respective communities while enhancing competition in the telecommunication marketplace.”

In the telecommunications sector, the Commission is continuing its oversight of the State’s broadband build-out, helping achieve Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s vision for universally available broadband. As part of its approval of cable mergers in the past few years, the Commission has required substantial investment in broadband infrastructure, increased broadband speeds, and new low-income broadband programs throughout New York. Today’s approvals support the State’s broadband expansion initiatives.

The franchise agreements approved by the Commission today are:

  • The Town of Austerlitz (Columbia County): Austerlitz (population 1,607) entered into an agreement with Berkshire Cable to provide cable television services to its residents. Internet service will also be made available, either as standalone service or in bundles with phone and cable television service. Internet speeds start at 25 Mbps and are available up to 1Gbs. Berkshire Cable will also provide Austerlitz’s residents a choice as currently only Charter Communications is serving the Village.
  • The Town of Ancram (Columbia County): Ancram (population 1,503) entered into an agreement with Berkshire Cable Corp. (Berkshire Cable) to provide cable television services to its residents. Internet service will also be made available, either as standalone service or in bundles with phone and cable television service. Internet speeds start at 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) and are available up to 1 Gigabits per second (Gbs). Berkshire Cable will also provide of Ancram’s residents a choice as currently only Charter Communications is serving the Village.

Today’s decisions may be obtained by going to the Commission Documents section of the Commission’s Web site at www.dps.ny.gov and entering Case Numbers, 19-V-0359 [Village of Ancram], 19-V-0368 [Village of Austerlitz],

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