RV Parks Lose Cable Service When Lines are Disconnected
About 120 New Day Broadband cable television customers in Forks, Wash., including several RV parks, were left without service after the company’s cable transmission lines were disconnected last week.
New Day Broadband rents space on the Clallam County Public Utility District power poles for its cable television transmission lines, and those lines were disconnected Monday (April 23), PUD spokesman Mike Howe said Wednesday.
Howe said New Day failed to meet its financial obligations, and as with any customer, when a past-due account is not paid, service is disconnected, the Peninsula Daily News reported.
Howe said he could not reveal details about the account, such as how much the cable provider owes.
Calls placed to New Day Broadband requesting comment were not returned last week.
Both PUD and city of Forks representatives said they had not been able to reach New Day.
Cable television service is not popular in Forks, and most residents have changed to satellite television service, said Rod Fleck, Forks planning director and attorney.
At this time, there are no more than 100 to 120 cable customers in Forks, Fleck said.
Many of New Day’s customers are motels and RV parks, which depend on cable services to provide individual television access to their guests.
Bob Zornes, owner of Forks 101 RV Park, was one of New Day’s major customers, serving up to 30 RV park customers daily.
“I don’t expect New Day to return,” Zornes said.
“It’s a sign things are changing.”
Zornes said he believes cable television is a dying business in small rural towns, where it is not cost-effective to run cables long distances to serve fewer people.
However, he also expects to lose 20 percent of his business by not having cable television service available for his guests.
“People want to watch their ‘Survivor’ or a football game,” Zornes said.
A bare-bones satellite television system that could serve all 30 of the spaces in his RV park would cost $10,000 or more, he said.
Broadstripe operated cable services in Forks until it was replaced in late 2010 by New Day Broadband.
Cable customers have declined steadily since 2007 to about half of what they were at its height, according to city documents.
Frequent cable line cuts and service outages were cited as reasons for the residents’ move away from cable television service.
Although the specific number of customers was not available, the city receives revenue from a 6 percent tax on all utilities.
In 2007, the city received $9,962 in taxes from cable, and by 2010, that number had dropped to $4,175.
Forks 101 RV Park does offer an alternative: It has Wi-Fi services for its guests, Zornes said, so those who have computers can still take advantage of online television and movie streaming websites such as Netflix or Hulu.
Many television networks also offer current programming on their own websites, including live sports feeds.
Clallam County PUD is not the only utility to shut down New Day
In February, Douglas County PUD reported more than $30,000 in delinquent payments for New Day’s use of PUD-owned utility poles.
On April 9, the Douglas PUD commission authorized legal proceedings against New Day Broadband to recover money owed to the utility.
New Day also is the subject of a complaint filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Cox Enterprises, owner of Seattle’s KIRO TV Inc., submitted paperwork to the FCC on April 12 requesting a $4.44 million ruling against New Day.
Cox said New Day had retransmitted KIRO’s programming in Forks and Anderson Island without permission for 592 days, between Aug. 1, 2010, and March 15, 2012.