comcast

Kirk Dale, vice president and general manager of Comcast's Knoxville operation, fielded questions.

After the April "show cause" hearing for Comcast, the cable provider in Fairfield Glade, the company committed to holding an open meeting with residents approximately every 30 days. True to their word, they showed up at the Recreation Center on May 25 to "hold court" with their customers.

Kirk Dale, vice president and general manager of Comcast's Knoxville operation, brought along a team of knowledgeable department personnel to provide information and answer questions.

The company committed at the "show cause" hearing to running $330,000 worth of fiber-optic cable from Harriman in order to bring Fairfield Glade better reception. According to the company's construction manger, the project is, "right on schedule. We're on target." July 20 is the projected completion date. In response to a question regarding the cost of this project, the company stated they have no plans to pass the cost of this project along to customers in the form of higher fees.

The company's main focus for now, as far as channels go, is to bring better reception for Glade customers of the off-air or antennae channels like local CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates. They will also be working with the Weather Channel directly to see if they can improve reception.

Dale did state that in spite of the latest upgrades being accomplished, they have a long way to go before they'll be able to provide high-speed Internet service and, at the moment, they have no plans to launch high definition television into the market. It all has to do with the amount of bandwidth available, and the Glade is still operating with what the 1977 initial installation provided. It is an area they will assess for upgrades in the future.

Dale made it clear he would also like to form a committee of residents who can provide the company with customer preferences as far as what channels the cable provider should add or delete on the lineup. "We don't run programming, but we do have the ability to talk about programming," said Dale.

The manager also stated Comcast does answer trouble calls to their toll-free phone number on Saturday as well as doing a few installs. On Sunday, response is usually limited to emergency work.

Residents can expect another chance to voice their concerns with Comcast in two or three weeks. The meeting will be announced in the Glade Sun as well as by the Community Club.