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I began my quest to fix my own broadband problems and ended with a great discovery that hasn't been reported: Benton's cable system has been sold to a new, much more customer-oriented company.  Big changes are coming this year.

I blogged about it on Nic Horton's "Arkansas Patriot" blog.

Hopefully our new cable/Internet provider will do a better job than Cobridge and cover the entire city, unlike AT&T.

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Tags: HSI, Internet, cable, cobridge, fidelity, high, speed, television, tv

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Interesting - when do they take over?

Cobridge is still collecting my bill.

Nicholas, I realize you were personally motivated to get answers on this new company, given the roller coaster of dash hopes that has been the changing of hands several times of an outdated money pit of a cable system in Benton... but kudos for digging and reporting to all those in Benton and other cities who are still underserved or unserved by broadband. Meanwhile, surrounding communities have had broadband 15 years prior. Dare we hope again? I used Horizon Broadband for about 4 years but they closed shop in 2011.

City of Benton, take note: There are very important reasons that I have now moved to Bryant - much lower cost for utilities and many more options for broadband.

Cobridge already sold  off the assets here?  Heck I was happy,  cheap fast internet with zero data caps.  I just looked at new company, they are very small, hope they have the capitol to invest, maintain good prices and improve speeds/service.

I was told by a Cobridge employee when they were installing service at my new house that a change would be made this summer which would better improve their services.  I'm all for better services no matter what type of company is making changes.

open range closed up shop too.   Great idea but they only held shop in a area already serviced by dsl/uverse/cable modem and priced themselves out of market. 

They aren't certain when they will totally rebrand.  It would serve them well to continue to operate as Cobridge for a bit.  Cobridge neglected the system, especially over the last year or so.  Fidelity recently installed a new caching server which should fix some speed issues.

I pay for 16 Mbps downstream.  I get 16 at night, but I get more like 2-3 from 5pm to 1am.

Cobridge didn't think they were making enough money off of their investment.  Makes sense, as their 16 Mbps limit isn't any better than Uverse, which is a much better product in areas where it is offered.  They also don't have a tenth of the features of satellite or Uverse on the cable TV end.  Cobridge just couldn't compete without doing the other upgrades.

A.B. - yes, big changes are coming.  The biggest for me is DOCSIS 3.0, which will allow top speeds to increase from 16 Mbps to 50 Mbps.  That should happen some time this year.

As Shelli mentioned, we've been *very* underserved here for quite some time.  People like she and I will move to a different town in a heartbeat if we can't get the services we need.  Our city leaders need to start paying attention to this.  It's an issue now.  It'll be a true handicap to the city in a few years if Fidelity doesn't work out.  Let's hope they do.

While he didn't expressly comment on data caps, the GM of Fidelity made it clear that they don't get into trying to regulate how much/what kind of data you send.  I'll be very surprised if they implement data caps.

Their desire to upgrade us to DOCSIS 3.0 (which should've been done a long time ago) is encouraging to me.


Duck Bill said:

Cobridge already sold  off the assets here?  Heck I was happy,  cheap fast internet with zero data caps.  I just looked at new company, they are very small, hope they have the capitol to invest, maintain good prices and improve speeds/service.

Good to hear you actually spoke to the GM  of Fidelity.  I look forward to some positive changes.  No data caps though lol.

I think this company would benefit from a committee of residents who can steer the company into what areas to add services too.  I know lots of people who want out of dsl but that is all that is provided.   If these folks get cable modem, they may also ditch the dish and get cable service.

If CoBridge has sold then the city has to approve either a transfer of the franchise or require the new owners to apply for a franchise. Has anyone heard of public hearings on a franchise transfer?

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