Cable Television Comes to Glendale
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Cable TV Comes To Glendale 
An Introduction by Tim Ernster

 

 

In the early 1980s cable companies across the nation were in a franchise war with each other in their effort to lock up the cable television markets in major metropolitan markets. During this period of time, companies were making many promises to cities to lure them into long-term franchise agreements. They were promising new technologies, dual cable systems, higher franchise fees, and programming equipment for local, public, and educational access programming.

Glendale was caught up in this excitement along with most of the other major cities in Arizona.  In 1982 Glendale advertised for proposals for the construction of a cable system. The City received nine proposals from multiple system operators.  After a competitive process, the City awarded a 15-year license to Storer Cable. They had promised to build a dual cable system offering 82 channels, as well as provide a government access channel, educational access channel, and public access channel. In addition, they offered an institutional network (INET), interconnecting major government, and education facilities on a separate network. A variety of equipment was promised to equip a government access studio and, a mobile production van was included in the offering.

To the credit of the cable company, most of what was promised was delivered.  The dual cable system was constructed, the studio equipment was provided, the INET was constructed, and the mobile production van was delivered as promised.

During the late 80s and early 90s, a shakeout of the cable industry occurred.  Due to over-promising in the early 80s, many companies could not deliver, or could not be profitable. A consolidation in the industry took place with larger MSOs (multiple system operators) buying out the smaller, struggling cable companies. Also, at the federal level, there was a movement towards deregulation that made it easier for the cable business to be successful. Rate regulation by local government was no longer allowed, and caps were established for franchise fees.

In the late 80s Storer Cable sold its system in Glendale to Republic Cable. A few years later, Republic Cable sold the system to Cox Cable, one of the largest cable companies in the nation. Today the system is still owned by Cox Cable.  During the last 20 years, Glendale, along with other cities in the Valley, have made significant progress in developing quality programming on the government access channels. Cities realize that it is an important source of information for citizens.

Much of the cable industry has changed during the last 20 years in technology and channel availability.  Also, today, cable companies offer many other services over the cable system besides programming. High speed Internet, telephone services, and telephone line maintenance are just a few.

Nationally, other service providers are challenging cable companies by offering similar services, but using different technologies.  Satellite service has emerged as a formidable competitor, and cable companies are losing subscribers to this competitively priced alternative. Competition from satellite services has become a major issue for cable companies during the last ten years.

Over the last 25 years, the cable industry has been able to adapt very well to the changing technological, political and regulatory environment. While it faces significant challenges, it continues to be a significant force in the telecommunications industry. This bodes well for an industry that has only existed for the last 30 years.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  


Report To The City Council
 From The Citizens' Cable 
Television Television Task Force
Letters also from Glendale City Offices and outside businesses as to 
how they would use the cable system and what they wanted from it.

 
 
 

Camelback's Commitment To Glendale

 

We at Camelback Cablevision feel privileged in offering to serve the people of Glendale with a modern cable communications system.
Our company is a joint enterprise of five shareholders who are actively involved in the Valley Community, and Storer Broadcasting Company, which recently marked its 53rd anniversary of service to the
public.

The design, technology and services offered in this proposal reflect our service plan for the Valley and include unique elements specifically intended to serve the needs of Glendale. We believe that our design is
unique and the best obtainable. We know that the equipment offered is of the highest possible quality.

What is unique about our proposal is its derivation from our long association with the Glendale community.

We spent numerous manhours ascertaining the needs of the community and alternative means of
serving those needs. You will find many examples of our unique approach including our fully addressable
system, InfoVision, InstaCam and the electronic library. We believe that the latter proposal is a unique
approach to development of a tremendous opportunity in your city.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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