MTC Cable plans Downsville expansion

By Brian Sweeney
Margaretville-based MTC Cable has begun the process of an expansion into the hamlet of Downsville. General Manager Glen Faulkner said that if all approvals are granted, MTC Cable will enter into a franchise agreement with the Town of Colchester and replace the current Downsville Community Antenna System.
Mr. Faulkner said that his company is currently going through the franchise process and hopes to be providing service in Downsville by the fall.
He explained that the Downsville company previously served about 500 customers and that number is now down to about 250. The system has reached its capacity of 36 channels, he said.
If the expansion is approved, MTC will be bringing Internet services, digital cable and its cable phone product to Downsville customers.
Mr. Faulkner said his company hopes to keep current system subscribers in Downsville and also attract some of the customers there who are using other options. He noted that Downsville has one of the last community-run cable systems.
The general manager said that MTC Cable had been considering expanding into the Downsville community for a few years, but the move did not seem feasible because there was a coverage gap of more than seven miles to the end of the current system, near Beech Hill in the Town of Andes.
The expansion became cost-effective when MTC Cable earned a subcontract from BOCES to add some schools into its communications network and this work included running fiber optic cable into Downsville.
“We have entered into a friendly agreement with the Downsville Community Antenna System and they have agreed to make our service available to all of their existing customer and they will dissolve the system at some point,” Mr. Faulkner pointed out.
He noted that MTC Cable has joined the Colchester Chamber of Commerce and is looking forward to becoming a part of that community.
MTC Cable has about 2,500 customers in its service area that stretches from Grand Gorge to Andes.
Mr. Faulkner said the company’s last expansion occurred in 2004 when MTC Cable purchased some Time Warner properties in the Denver and Highmount areas.