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Blue Mount Television Cable Company (Mount Vernon, OR)

The amount of money we pay in retransmission consent fees keeps going up, and they keep increasing. But that's only one of a few problems facing Blue Mountain Television Cable Company as a small cable operator. The bottom line is that if our costs continue to rise, we may have to shut down!

My 48-year old company is based out of Mount Vernon, Oregon. We have about 850 cable subscribers, and we also offer broadband services. Even though times are tough, I remain in business because I don't want to abandon my customers and community.

Being a small cable operator is a challenge. The broadcasters charge me exorbitant rates for retransmission consent, and then I have to pay even higher fees to satellite companies so that I can receive the broadcast stations. You see, I can't receive the broadcasters' signals over the air using an antenna.

High programming costs prevent me from offering the advanced services that my customers desire. Instead of investing my limited resources on adding new channels to my lineup to compete with satellite, I'm putting that money toward unreasonable carriage fees and equipment costs. It's becoming increasingly difficult to offer a competitive product. My customers are starting to consider satellite.

Pole attachment costs are another major concern. My company serves a very rural area and we end up paying higher pole fees per subscriber than systems serving suburban and urban areas.

If my costs continue to rise, I will be out of business in a year. I provide cable to rural farm country, where the economy generally grows slowly, and people are not as wealthy. America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, but with unfair pricing, a business owner's dreams can fade away.

Jack McKenna
Blue Mount Television Cable Company

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    Pittsburgh, PA 15220-3704
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