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Since Jerry Parkerson, manager and spokesman for TDS Telecom here locally, announced that TDS Telecom will petition the town of Farragut for the rights to provide ďcableĒ television service in the town, talk around the water cooler has generated much discussion about how this new venture will pan out for the consumer.

In Knoxville, when Knology began knocking on doors, there was much talk about how new competition would bring down the rates that Comcast had monopolized for years.

Well, the rates didnít come down. In fact, in all actuality, the rates rose.

Itís not unusual for a household in Knoxville that has cable TV and high speed Internet to pay about $80 to $90 a month for service.

Knology, of course, offers telephone service in addition to cable TV and Internet for a bit over $100 a month.

Here, in Farragut, Charter supplies its enhanced cable for about $40 a month and Internet service at about the same price.

Hopefully, since cable was deregulated in 2000, the competitive trend will continue and the folks at TDS Telecom will drive cable prices down. However, TDS is not really proposing to provide cable service such as we know it.

TDS will use a fiber optic network and deliver the service over lines similar to its telephone service.

Since deregulation occurred in 2000, cable providers have had the opportunity to charge what the market would bear, which is the way of a capitalistic economy.

Rates in Knoxville have about doubled since cable first appeared.

Letís hope that with a new player in the fold, provided TDS is not nixed by the FBMA, that prices go down and selection goes up.


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