Charter Cable Access may go to Digital Only - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Charter Cable Access may go to Digital Only

Kellene Stockwell
Channel 2 News

If Charter Communications gets its way, not all Reno area customers will get community access channels by the end of this month.

"The majority of consumers are calling us on a daily basis and asking for more HD programming, more digital programming," says George Jostlin.

By pulling cable access channels 13, 15, 16 and 17 off its analog system, Charter saves enough bandwidth to launch 12 new digital channels.

If that's the motive, Reno Councilman Dave Aiazzi suggests taking some of the millions made from the new channels to buy digital boxes for all the customers. "Why don't they just give those out to people who don't want to pay that extra $5 a month?" he asks.

Less than a fourth of Charter customers still use analog - where you plug the cable directly into your television from the wall. It means viewers will lose the ability to watch the legally required community access. "A lot of elderly people, a lot of handicapped people, the mentally ill, the very poor," says Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT) Director Les Smith.

The City of Reno, which owns one of the access channels, says it may sue Charter if it can't come to an agreement by next Wednesday.

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