Charter Communications is reaching out to residents in West Richland and Benton City.
The cable company, which provides TV, internet and phone services in the Tri-City area, recently took over from Suddenlink, the company that previously had the West Richland-Benton City cable franchise.
It was part of an asset swap between the two companies. Charter gave up control of a similar operation in Iowa, La., to be able to provide services to West Richland and Benton City.
It makes sense to expand in geographically contiguous communities, said Charter spokesman John R. Miller.
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Charter is upgrading the West Richland network to provide services similar to those available to other Tri-City areas, with a greater selection of programming, high-definition, digital video recorders, on demand programming, multiple levels of high-speed internet and unlimited local and long-distance telephone service, he said.
The new services will be available by mid-October, Miller said, and may be activated in phases.
Charter will continue to pay 2 percent of its annual gross subscriber revenue to West Richland under the existing franchise agreement, said Julie Richardson, West Richland city clerk. The agreement will be renegotiated at its end next June, she said. The city got $9,736.24 in 2008 and $8,629.05 in 2009.
Benton City is negotiating an agreement with Charter, said Mayor Lloyd Carnahan.
Suddenlink had about 850 subscribers in West Richland, said Gene Regan, the company's director of corporate communications.