NTS May Soon Offer Cable to Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/17/03

NTS May Soon Offer Cable to Lubbock

NTS communication is looking into a new form of media called open video systems or OVS.

OVS is a new form of cable service through telephone companies, similar to cable television. On Monday, the city council unanimously approved an ordinance that essentially outlines the rules for new cable service in Lubbock.

NTS communications wants to become Lubbock's newest cable-television provider, but initially, their plan was only open to residents of Southwest Lubbock. It was that detail, that Cox Communications had the biggest problem with. "Our goal all along, since we are regulated industry, is that the solution to the city to come up with is equitable, non-discriminatory and beneficial to everybody in the city of Lubbock. We are pleased with what the council has decided today," said Connie Wharton, General Manager for Cox Communications.

The city of Lubbock had a problem as well. The OVS system is a brand new medium and so far no ordinance exists within the city to regulate NTS's new medium. That means managing and charging NTS for using public right-of-ways like streets and alleys to lay its cable.

"These are basically the same conditions that the incumbent cable companies had to comply with and so that's what the council took action on," said Tom Martin, Lubbock City councilman.

And under this new ordinance, NTS can't target customers in Southwest Lubbock. If it wants to get into the business, it will have to offer service to the entire city.

The council will hear the provisions again in a second reading, at which time, requiring NTS to be specific on when it will provide cable service to the whole city. A spokesman for NTS says they cannot comment on any future plans at this time.

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