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Atlantic Broadband plans Delmarva cable upgrade in Charter land
by Optimized 10:31AM Monday Feb 09 2004
Help on the way for Middletown-area TV watchers

Staff reporter

Sometime in early March, a new company will be running cable television service in the Middletown area, an idea likely to appeal to customers who have clamored for better service for years.

Atlantic Broadband LLC will pay Charter Communications Inc. $765 million for cable systems in five states, including Delaware, that serve about 235,000 customers.

Once the deal is complete, Atlantic plans to spend $7.1 million to upgrade the system on the Delmarva Peninsula over the next two years.

Chief Executive Officer David Keefe said he spent two weeks in January raising money from investors to help ensure the company can bring all of its systems up to current standards, especially the network that serves Middletown and the surrounding area. "This is the one that is in the worst shape," Atlantic's Chief Financial Officer Patrick Bratton said.

In the last two years, Charter has had more complaints per customer than its larger rivals in Delaware, Comcast and Mediacom, which offer more services over modern networks.

"That is something that we are going to address," Bratton said.

Charter has about 7,000 subscribers in Delaware, according to the Public Service Commission, and its territory stretches from the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal to Townsend, one of the fastest growing areas of the state. That potential for growth is what attracted Atlantic Broadband to the market, Keefe said.

Continued @ Delaware Online