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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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DirecTV offers refunds for viewers rejoining the service

Customers of DirecTV who paid hundreds of dollars to terminate their contracts are being given full refunds if they rejoin, the company announced recently. The action follows a recent ceasefire announced by DirecTV and Spokane TV station KAYU, a Fox Network affiliate. Since Jan. 1, Fox shows have been pulled off the air for regional customers of DirecTV. If the parties resolve a dispute over how much DirecTV will pay KAYU’s parent firm, the shows will resume on the satellite service.

Comcast upgrades broadband for businesses

Comcast Corp. is rolling out a very fast broadband service for Spokane County businesses. Comcast calls it 100 Mbps Business Class Internet service; company spokesman Walter Neary said the new service doubles download speeds for businesses, providing downloads at 100 megabits per second.

Theft interrupts cable service

The theft early Thursday of fiber-optic cable lines left between 5,000 and 7,000 Comcast customers in northeast Spokane without television, high-speed Internet and phone services. Comcast crews restored services in the afternoon.

Cable theft cuts services to Comcast customers

The theft early today of fiber-optic cable lines left an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 Comcast customers in northeast Spokane without television, high-speed Internet and phone services.

Most Comcast prices going up

Most of Spokane’s Comcast subscribers will see price increases in their Internet and video services effective in August, the cable company announced. Comcast’s last price increase went into effect October 2009. According to Comcast spokesman Walter Neary, most Spokane cable television subscribers will see an average monthly increase of about $3.21, or 4.9 percent.

Spokane Valley council still on the air

A unanimous yes vote from the Spokane Valley City Council Tuesday will allow the rebroadcasting of council meetings on Comcast Channel 14 to continue until the end of July. The council will then re-evaluate the cost of the broadcasting after a budget retreat. Up until now the Spokane Valley Business Association has been paying $1,300 a month to broadcast the meetings. Before adding his yes vote, Councilman Bill Gothmann said he had a disclosure to make. “Over the last six months I have given $3,000 to this effort,” he said. Gothmann also said he has spent an additional $240 on DVDs so copies of each meeting could be made and distributed for people to watch.

Council may suspend project

The Spokane Valley City Council hit on several different items during Tuesday’s council meeting, including another discussion on the future of the Broadway Avenue Safety Project. The council voted to prepare a motion to postpone the project. The project would restripe Broadway between Pines Road and Park Road from four traffic lanes to two traffic lanes, a center turn lane and two bike paths. In two previous meetings Councilwoman Brenda Grassel had said she wanted city staff to prepare a motion to kill the project, for which the city has received a large grant covering 80 percent of the cost. Acting City Manager Mike Jackson said that under the grant rules, the city has until next year’s construction season to begin the project. He suggested suspending the project instead of canceling it.

Broadcast costs weighed

A discussion on whether or not to broadcast the Spokane Valley City Council meetings received a lukewarm reception Tuesday, with some Council members strongly in favor of it and others saying it wasn’t a bad idea, but the city cannot afford it. In the end no decision was made, but the Council did agree to discuss the issue again at a later date. Currently the Spokane Valley Business Association is paying to have the meetings taped and then broadcast on Comcast Channel 14 the following Monday. The group has said it will only do that through June.

U.S. court rules against FCC on ‘net neutrality’

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks.

Council looks at TV fees

In their enthusiasm to spare residents from anything that smacks of a tax increase, no amount is too small to come up for debate for the newest members of the Spokane Valley City Council. Tuesday it was a 35 cent monthly charge from Comcast that drew their attention. The discussion began with city staff asking the council to reach a consensus on which option to explore for televising City Council meetings – whether to continue with Community Minded TV doing the work or use the money from Comcast to buy equipment and do it themselves.

Comcast adds streaming for TV shows, movies

Subscribers to Comcast Corp.’s TV and Internet services can now stream television shows or movies to their computers, the cable company announced. Called Fancast Xfinity TV, a test version of the new service was rolled out this week. The cable company, the largest in the country, said the service is available to many of approximately 15.7 million customers who use both high speed Internet and Comcast TV services.

Comcast strikes deal to buy NBC Universal

HOLLYWOOD – In a momentous shift in the balance of power of the entertainment industry, cable television giant Comcast Corp. on Thursday made it official by announcing that it was buying control of NBC Universal from General Electric Co. The proposed $30 billion transaction is the culmination of the longtime ambition by Comcast’s chief executive, Brian Roberts, to transform his family-controlled Philadelphia company from a passel of distribution pipes into a leading producer of movies and TV shows and owner of prominent cable channels.