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Sale of Covington Cable complete
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The sale of Covington Cable to Charter Communications Inc. is now complete, with Charter taking over control of operations on Saturday.

The acquired cable television system serves approximately 10,900 customers in Covington, Porterdale and Oxford.

"We're very pleased with the transaction," said Matt Favre, vice president and general manager of Georgia operations for Charter. "It came together pretty amicably. We're actively running the system. I'm so extremely excited."

Added Covington City Manager Steve Horton, "I think that as far as the closing, it probably couldn't have gone any better."

In January, the Covington City Council made the decision to divest the city of the cable system, rationalizing that the cost of keeping up with the evolving technology of digital communications was becoming too expensive for the city to afford.

The council accepted a bid from Charter and entered into exclusive contract negotiations with them that same month. According Horton, the sale of the cable system came to $27,261,925.

However since Charter agreed to pay the city $2,525 for each active cable subscriber at the time of closing, Horton said that price could change slightly.

"In post-closing periods, there can be some adjustments on this amount up or down on the city's behalf," Horton said.

 Added Favre, "Always on transactions, there are post-transaction details that you have to finalize. Essentially we're running the system. They still support us in some aspects."

Horton said the city council had not yet decided what they would do with the proceeds from the sale.

"Obviously I think they'll probably have some kind of work session to discuss what they intend to do, probably nothing right away," Horton said.

While there were a few minor hiccups in the crossover Saturday, Favre said overall the transition went remarkably smoothly.

Thus far Favre said Charter has received 20 service calls from Covington Cable customers who were briefly without Internet access due to issues arising from the conversion of their modem addresses.

Favre said that Charter was successful in transitioning over 99 percent of Covington Cable customers to the Charter system without any problems.

"Unfortunately what we are finding is that there are a couple of modems that would not sync up to the network," Favre said. "We believe it will all be resolved (Tuesday)."

No price changes are expected until Oct. 15 said Favre, when the company will begin rolling out new services such as video-on-demand and telephone which can be bundled together with other Charter services.

"We're trying to upgrade the plant to get it ready for some advanced services such as video-on-demand," Favre said. "We're trying to make sure that the local channels and everything else is there. At this time we haven't even thought about pricing."

Already Favre said new customers who weren't Covington Cable subscribers have called up to order Charter services.

According to Favre, the large majority of Covington Cable's approximately 20 employees have stayed on to work for Charter.

"We're really impressed with the employees," Favre said. "Pretty much all of them stayed on. There were a couple of people who retired."

Charter Communications is the third-largest publicly traded cable operator in the United States and the second-largest cable operator in Georgia. Charter provides a full range of advanced broadband services, including advanced digital cable, video entertainment programming, high-speed internet access, and telephone.

Customers with questions can call Charter Communications Customer Care at

1-888-GET-CHARTER (1-888-438-2427).