Despite misgivings, more may get cable service

TAGHKANIC–When David Fingar, an engineer representing Mid-Hudson Cablevision, asked the Taghkanic Town Board at its July 7 meeting if he could install an amplifying station and emergency generator on town land currently occupied by the town garage, he did not expect a negative reaction.

He was, after all, offering cable to a community that had long ago given up hope that such a thing would ever happen, though service had recently begun to expand. Last year he oversaw the installation of seven miles of cable along Livingston Road in the hamlet of West Taghkanic, so some in the audience and on the board must have been aware of his company’s service.

Mid-Hudson Cablevision (MHC) was not offering cash for the opportunity to erect a 12-by-12 foot equipment cabin near the junction of Route 27 and Pumpkin Hollow Road, but he was offering the chance for residents in that neighborhood to purchase access to high speed digital cable, which would provide them with Internet access that is much faster than the dial-up service that is presently the only option for connecting to the Internet. The cable also carries TV service.

But that same neighborhood is also much prominent now, as the town considers its need for a new highway garage.

“It doesn’t happen this way. They try to get it for nothing,” said a member of the audience. “He has to go through a process.”

“I had hoped to nail down a location to further the design process. My mission is just to get this built,” said Mr. Fingar in a phone interview after the meeting. He is a Livingston resident and was the planner for the cable systems in Greenport, Hudson, Stockport, Claverack, Philmont, Livingston, Taghkanic and Gallatin, the towns in Columbia County served by MHC.

He said that when he saw he might not get the answer he wanted in a timely fashion, he left the meeting and started to consider other options on private land. The company plans to extend service from near Churchtown in Claverack eastward on Route 27 and on Pumpkin Hollow Road. An additional 130 to 140 homes will have the option of subscribing to the new service possibly by the end of the year.

“This is good news for Taghkanic. A lot of people who come up here need broadband to operate and have signal latency delay problems with their current satellite provider. Whenever there is snow or rain, the microwave signal is affected,” said Mr. Finger. That is an understatement for what some residents must go through–delivering stories like this one to this newspaper can mean driving them to Hillsdale, and posts by local bloggers abound with frustration over unreliable satellite service, the only alternative at the moment.

Mid-Hudson Cablevision provides cable and fiber optic services for television, telephone and data delivery, DVR(digital video recording), and HD (high definition TV) capability.

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