June 18, 2013

Tuttle could shed title as largest city in America without cable

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star

TUTTLE — Tuttle may be on the verge of getting a new cable system provider after city officials met with @Link yesterday following a U.S. Marshal's sale.

Oklahoma State Representative and Tuttle City Attorney David Perryman said the Department of Justice and U.S. Marshals foreclosed on the former cable system provider in Minco and Tuttle. The company defaulted on a $4 million note with the department of agriculture, which led to the foreclosure.

"The system has been defunct for about three years, and Tuttle has been trying to work with various cable/internet providers to have the system resurrected," Perryman said.

City Manager Tim Young said he is optimistic about a future with @Link.

"It's been very difficult having the tittle of the largest city in America without cable and I am really looking forward to shedding it," Young said.

Currently, citizens use a wifi network set up by @Link and the schools have had special access to a network fiber connection.

"It will likely take several years before this comes to full fruition," Young said. "Lines will need to be dropped and many of the current fiber lines are outdated."

Tuttle will discuss franchising with @Link in hopes that high speed internet and cable will available to Tuttle residents in the near future, said Perryman.

Although the business model has yet be set, @Link will most likely provide wireless internet, while the city of Tuttle could become a cable provider and possible provider of cable modem internet, according to Perryman.

"The current goal of the city is to make certain that the citizens have access to reliable programming and reliable, fast internet," Perryman said. "If Tuttle does not end up being a provider, it will at least be receiving franchising fees."

Young said Tuttle is one of only a few communities that don't collect franchise fees from cable providers, which has greatly affected their budget in the past.

There were several bidders at the sale, but @Link proposed the most money at $61,500.