Pitcairn officials have given the deadline for shutting down their services in Pittsburgh by July 31, and asked customers to look for other cable TV alternatives. The borough-owned cable has been providing services to the community since early 1950’s, but are now forced to close their services due to the vast competition in the arena. John Prucnal, council Vice President and head of cable committee said, “It’s a sad day, but time marches on and the world progresses.”
Though the decision to shut down the services was mainly linked with the competition from advancement in technology, the costs for maintaining the services also played a great role in the downfall of the cable company. Pruncal said that the service were not able to cope up with the major cable and internet providers who are now experts in the business. According to Pruncal, if the cable service tried to upgrade their equipments to match a better standard for its 400 customers, they would have required a substantial amount of money for the whole process, which would have been an unwise decision.
The council expected offers from providers like Comcast and Verizon to take advantage of the situation, but no attempt was made by both companies for providing their services in the region. As a result, the council is encouraging customers to seek other cable TV alternatives like DirecTV or Dish Network, or buy an antenna to avail a few channels available through air.
According to utility supervisor for the borough’s public works department, James Comunale, the amount saved by the borough by taking responsibility of providing the services will be huge, and allow him and his team to focus on more pressing matters of the community. Comunale also added that the cable service was never really profitable.
The borough was required to raise the fees in order to reach the breakeven with the same outdated system, without any additional channels corresponding to the hike. Though the council acquired a loan for its upgrade in 2007, it was paid seven years later. The council is still searching for any interested buyers for the equipments owned by borough.
Speaking on the matter, Mayor Betsy Stevick said that though the cable service has been there for decades now, it is time to move on.