Denver Suburb Signs On with WOW

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Greenwood Village, Colo., a high-profile suburb south of the Denver metropolitan area, last week granted WideOpenWest LLC its third Colorado cable franchise.

City officials voted 7-0 to authorize a 15-year deal calling for WideOpenWest to compete for some 15,000 affluent residents currently served by AT & T Broadband.

The council also voted to issue a show-cause notice that gives AT & T Broadband 30 days to cure alleged violations of its franchise or face possible revocation of its right to operate in Greenwood Village.

Having already secured franchises in the Denver suburbs of Jefferson County and Aurora, WideOpenWest now has deals in place covering close to 200,000 area homes.

"Greenwood is a very pro-active community," WideOpenWest spokesman Mike Stein-kirchner said. "Our franchising people said it was the most competitive town they had met with."

Steinkirchner said the company will immediately start planning an 860-megahertz system capable of delivering cable, Internet and local and long-distance telephone services.

Greenwood Village management specialist Melissa Gallegos said the show-cause notice was issued against AT & T Broadband over the MSO's refusal to upgrade its local network and its reluctance to allow the city to use an area local-access studio to broadcast community events.

"AT & T has told us that they will not upgrade our system until we sign a new franchise with them," she added.

The city also objects to the company's plans to pass through to subscribers the cost of delivering cable service to areas recently annexed by Greenwood Village. "Obviously, we disagree, but we want to work with AT & T to resolve these issues," Gallegos said.

AT & T Broadband officials said they were "pursuing resolutions to the issues raised by the city, and we are confident that they will be addressed in a productive way."

Elsewhere, Denver officials passed a proposed franchise for WideOpenWest on first reading last week. The agreement will undergo a second reading May 22. If passed, the deal will be placed on the city's August 8 ballot for approval.

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