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Town to sign agreement with Shentel

Kenbridge has decided to renew its cable franchise agreement with Shentel after revising and updating some of the terms.

At its Tuesday, July 19, meeting, Kenbridge Town Council authorized Town Attorney Cal Spencer to sign the agreement with the company.

“Looks like to me they’ve done what we asked them to do,” Spencer told council. “This is about the best we can do.”

It will be a 15-year non-exclusive agreement between Shentel and the town.

The agreement calls for Shentel to provide cable to the police station and fire department. Meanwhile, the code has changed to allow localities to receive a 5-percent payment fee. Currently, Kenbridge only receives 3-percent. The town is considering asking for the maximum 5-percent.

Through the years and various provider mergers and acquisitions, the agreement has simply been rolled over, and the last real negotiation on it was in the 1990s, Spencer has told said.

But this time, council members said the town should research the matter and look to see what some other localities were getting. Mayor Emory Hodges said, “If that’s what they are getting, that’s what we should get.”

Council also said town services should be bundled through Shentel.

Shentel, officially Shenandoah Telecommunications Company, is a telecommunications company headquartered in Edinburg. The company’s website boasts that it brings advanced broadband services, digital TV, high-speed internet and phone services “to more of our neighbors” in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.

“We specialize in providing advanced services to rural and underserved markets, because we believe you deserve the same level of service that you would expect from a larger metropolitan area,” the firm’s website states.