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TDS to launch TV service

Farragut residents may soon have a choice in “cable” television service providers.

TDS Telecom, Farragut’s provider of telephone service for 50 years, has petitioned the town of Farragut for the rights to begin supplying video to Farragut homes. (TDS Telecom acquired Concord Telephone, which began service in the Farragut area in 1954.)

Jerry Parkerson, manager and spokesman for the Farragut service, said that “with the approval of the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen, service could be available as soon as early next year.”

Parkerson added that TDS was “excited” about the prospects of entering the video market in Farragut.

“This would be the largest undertaking that TDS has taken on,” Parkerson said referring to the more than 7,000 homes that TDS would initially offer video service.

Parkerson made the announcement of TDS’s plans to embark in the video service provider business at the “Technology in the Region” presentation for the National League of Cities, Small Cities Council Steering Committee meeting held in Farragut last week.

Farragut Mayor Eddy Ford, who emceed the private service providers’ portion of the technology presentation, expressed his excitement about the upcoming petition.

“Now, Farragut residents will have a choice of their cable television supplier,” Ford said pending approval by the board.

Parkerson said that details of packages and the fine tuning of the programs has yet to be ironed out by the TDS home office in Madison, Wis., but that a portion of the fiber work that will supply the video has already been laid.

Parkerson added that the video service would not be “cable” in the true sense, since the TDS video would be delivered via a fiber optic cable and not the traditional coaxial cable that most cable service providers utilize.

He said that the system would have digital and high definition capabilities at its inception.

Parkerson said that once the system is installed, TDS would be able to offer residents in its service area a complete package of telephone service, high speed Internet service and video delivery.

Parkerson said that though the details have not been ironed out as yet, he was confident that TDS would offer a compete package as well as individual services.

Parkerson will present his proposal before the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen at its June 24 meeting.

Currently, Farragut residents are offered cable television service by Charter Media, which has offices on West End Avenue and on Kingston Pike in Farragut.


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