Recently, the Prestonsburg City Council approved entering into an exclusive franchise agreement with InterMountain Cable to provide cable services for the city.

Officials said they hope the move will give residents more options to choose from regarding internet services.

On Dec. 31, during a special meeting of the Prestonsburg City Council, officials approved two actions which will see the city enter into an exclusive franchise agreement. The first topic the council tackled once the meeting began, was accepting InterMountain Cable’s bid for a franchise agreement with the city. The second action needed was to enter into the new 10-year agreement and pass the resolution which followed.

According to Mayor Les Stapleton, the city has been working with InterMountain Cable for some time regarding the agreement. Previously, the city has been in a non-exclusive agreement with Suddenlink, which he said expired in 2017.

He added that the city had been working with Suddenlink since the agreement expired, regarding a new franchise agreement, which featured some customer accountability language that he said the company did not want to sign. Stapleton said that’s when IMC came to the table.

“InterMountain Cable has been a big asset to the City of Prestonsburg, especially during this pandemic,” Stapleton said. “They came in to the Mountain Arts Center and put in a wifi service over there that allows people to go in the parking lot and have good, strong internet service.”

On Dec. 30, the City of Prestonsburg experienced internet service issues, which Stapleton said, caused a number of residents to come down to the MAC to access the wifi service IMC had provided. According to Stapleton, due to the internet issues, and many individuals working from home because of the ongoing pandemic, tables and chairs were set up inside, in a socially distanced manner, so that individuals could get some work done. According to Stapleton, with city’s and IMC’s agreement, the company will be able to offer internet services, due to internet services being non-exclusive, to residents, which will provide more options related to high-quality internet.

“We’ve had a good working relationship with IMC so far, and we’re excited to have this resolution going forward,” Stapleton said.

The resolution was unanimously approved after a vote and the resolution was passed to enter into the the agreement.

Stapleton concluded the meeting by reminding individuals of the fact “this is a franchise agreement,” and IMC has a “long way to go.” According to him, the company will need to do planning, designing as well as other aspects and that this agreement isn’t just something “you can flip a switch” and have done. Stapleton asks individuals to be please patient as this process is underway.

“InterMountain Cable has seen value in the City of Prestonsburg’s citizens,” Stapleton said. “They’re very interested in doing business with us, but we got to be patient and allow them time to be able to put everything in place … we can’t push them.

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