New telecommunication services coming to region

A new world of telecommunication services – high-speed Internet, digital cable and local telephone – will soon be available to residents in some Texas County communities.

CableAmerica, which last year bought systems in Houston and Licking, will begin offering the services following a major upgrade of the system, said Tom Hopfinger, regional manager for the company, which has operated in the Fort Leonard Wood/St. Robert area since 1981. It also has systems in the St. Louis area, Republic and Clever and has operations at Mountain Grove and Willow Springs, which will eventually be connected to the Houston system.

Houston’s upgrade is set to be completed Aug. 20.

“We already have about 20 customers on the new system,” said Hopfinger. “Licking is running about three weeks behind due to past weather and storm damage.”

Hopfinger said the company was lucky when a storm hit May 8. Crews working on the upgrade were able to assist in fixing the damage. Customers never lost service – it was the new cable that was damaged.

“We are pleased, though, that we have met our schedule to start providing service,” he said.

The company will offer several tiers of high-speed Internet services, full-scale, high-definition digital cable and soon digital local telephone service. Several package deals or bundles will be available. Phone service will begin in September or October.

Hopfinger said the company is happy to be located in both Texas County communities. “We have developed a good relationship with the city leaders and also with Intercounty Electric. They have been very helpful and supportive for us,” he said.

CableAmerica’s office is at Second and Pine streets in Houston. Office hours have been expanded to five days a week, and its field staff also has enlarged. Calls placed after hours are automatically directed to its St. Robert office.

“Our goal is to provide better service and prompt response time,” Hopfinger said. “There is a lot of competition. We will never be the biggest company out there, but we do strive to rival them in quality of service. We strive for same day or next day response.”

“I have worked for 20 years in this type of business for other bigger companies in St. Louis,” Hopfinger said. “The company always came first in their mind. CableAmerica is very community minded and strives to be part of the locality they are located in. We look forward to being part of the Licking and Houston community as well as providing them quality service at a competitive price.”

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