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No, It’s Not the Mayor, Park Forest; AT&T Can Offer You Cable If They Want


I was concerned yesterday when two business owners in our DownTown reported that they had tried to have AT&T cable installed, but were told by an AT&T representative that “the Mayor” had not given permission for the cable company to offer cable in DownTown Park Forest. This struck me as more than odd, especially since the cable companies have been so deregulated that local municipalities have virtually no regulatory authority at all. The reply from the AT&T rep. was strange also since the mayor in Park Forest does not have any unique authority that would allow him to make such agreements on his own.

I asked about this at the Village Board’s Saturday Rules Meeting this morning. Village Manager Tom Mick affirmed that, indeed, the neither the Village Board – or certainly the mayor acting by himself – has no such authority. In fact, AT&T Cable’s agreement is with the state of Illinois, not local munipalities, unlike Comcast. Furthermore, per this agreement between AT&T and the state of Illinois, AT&T is only required to offer cable to sixty-six percent of the municipality. This explains why some parts of Park Forest have access to AT&T cable and others do not.

We do not have AT&T cable on Ash Street, at least not where I live. AT&T’s Web site tells me currently, AT&T U-verse is not available for my address. That also explains why my friends in the DownTown were unable to get cable installed.

The unavailablity of AT&T cable at my home address doesn’t bother me. More and more, as tempted as I am at times to explore a dish solution for television, I’m convinced that Comcast is still the best deal around.

AT&T may cover most of the country with orange fabric, but their cable coverage is still wanting.