Menu System To Debut From CDE Lightband

Philip Tillman, left, Cornerstone, Michael Roark, Verimatrix, and Tom Imbro, Minerva Network, work on a CDE Lightband server. (Greg Williamson/The Leaf-Chronicle)

Menu system to debut from CDE Lightband:Move allows HD programming for telecom utility

By ERIC SNYDER - The Leaf-Chronicle -September 4, 2008

CDE Lightband employees and contractors will burn the midnight oil tonight as they prepare to go hi-def.

When the 1,000 CDE Lightband cable television customers wake up Friday, if all goes to plan, they will see a new menu system.
Changing menu systems is a tricky process, one that required CDE to put off adding any new customers to the network this week. "It is rather intensive," said Christy Batts, interim vice president for telecommunications. "Everybody started showing up Tuesday, and they've worked around the clock pretty much."

CDE is working with 10 contractors - each providing a different piece of the puzzle, from billing services to the channels themselves to make the switch. The change will do more than create a new menu system; it will, finally, allow CDE Lightband to offer high-definition programming. "That's huge," Batts said. "That will actually put us in a more competitive position," she said, noting that some potential customers have been reluctant to sign up for the new services without HD channels.

Customers will not automatically get the HD channels, of which CDE Lightband is offering 24. Existing customers will need to get a new set-top box for HD programming, which costs an additional $9.95 per month. Customers can also choose to get an HD/PVR (personal video recorder) box, which will allow them to pause or record television, for an additional $12.95 per month.

Batts said the new telecommunications services, which also includes high-speed Internet, are available to 12,500 homes so far. CDE Lightband plans to make phone service available in November.
Of the 10 construction zones across town, Batts said two the Rotary Park Service Area and the East Service Area are now fully completed.

Existing customers who'd like to request a new HD set-top box (available Monday), or new customers who'd like to sign up for telecommunications services, can do so by calling CDE Lightband at 648-8151.

Eric Snyder covers city government. He can be reached at 245-0262 or by e-mail at ericsnyder@theleafchronicle.com.