New cable company in town: Midcontinent Communications launching services
West Fargo residents now have another choice when it comes to cable television, internet and digital telephone services.
Midcontinent Communications, a Sioux Falls based firm, will be launching its services to almost half of the community Feb. 4, as it officially begins the 'hooking up' phase of its operation for future customers.
Tom Simmons, senior vice president of public policy, said three sections of the community are ready for services to be installed - areas north and east of 45th Street and Main Avenue; a stretch along 13th Avenue that includes Sheyenne Street from Main Avenue to Interstate 94; and neighborhoods that are located south of I-94 along Sheyenne Street from 32nd to 52nd Avenue East.
West Fargo City Commissioners approved a 15-year franchise agreement with Midcontinent last summer to provide its full complement of services to all parts of West Fargo, to both residential and business users.
The Company was already serving some areas south of the City that had been annexed earlier and wished to expand their services into the rest of the community. The agreement is patterned after, and nearly identical to, the one in place for the other local cable service provider, CableOne.
Midcontinent presently serves 200 communities in North Dakota and South Dakota including Grand Forks, Bismarck and Minot; and has been providing service in the local communities of Horace, Mapleton, Harwood, Reiles Acres and Oxbow.
In addition to the Internet and digital phone services with their new program package for West Fargo, Midcontinent will offer up to 59 basic cable TV channels with options to purchase digital channel tiers, including high definition.
Customers will have the opportunity to purchase different combinations of services, among them, a trio bundle with a digital DVR suite for $99 per month; digital DVR suite and broadband duo for $75.95 a month; and a digital DVR suite and digital phone package duo for $68.95.
Midcontinent has been testing their services in the community since last fall and Simmons said that has gone exceptionally well. "We have some of the greatest people living here and they have been exceptionally cooperative in letting us know how the systems perform. Thanks to their input, we are now blue-certified and ready to go. We encourage anyone with an interest to call our customer service line to find out if their area is active or when it will be."
Overall, the whole underground installation process has been going well Simmons said. "We had the benefits of a nice fall and got a good amount of the underground in place ahead of schedule. We will be back at that phase as soon as the frost is out of the ground and crews are able to continue construction. Our intent is to bring the rest of the areas up as fast as possible and have construction completed by the end of this summer. The contractors we worked with have done an excellent job."
Midcontinent will be utilizing their own technicians to handle the installation phase beginning Feb. 4. Their base of operation will be a technical office, currently under construction, just southwest of 45th Street and Main Avenue, expected to be occupied late this spring. Plans are also in the works for a retail customer service center to be located in the community.
Simmons said Midcontinent officials are excited about their new West Fargo connection. "This is a great opportunity. We like what is going on. Our intent is to be an excellent West Fargo provider, and we are working hard to make good both on our service promise and the fact that we want to be a part of the community as well."
Toward that end, they support a variety of community endeavors through their Midcontinent Media Foundation which is accepting grants from nonprofit groups and organizations until Feb. 15. In existence for 20 years, the Foundation has contributed well over $2 million dollars to nearly 250 organizational groups in over 150 of the communities it serves.
Anyone interested in securing a grant application can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consumers interested in scheduling appointments with Midcontinent Communication to discuss service and have service connected should contact 1-800-888-1300 or visit the Web site specific to West Fargo at www.midcocomm.com/West Fargo.
Simmons reiterated that individuals and businesses who become Midcontinent Communications customers will receive the best and most reliable service available, adding that customers will never be required to sign a service agreement or have cancellation penalties imposed. "We believe in keeping our customers happy so they will never want to leave."