Comcast delays digital switch until ’11

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Comcast has delayed its digital service switch in Northeast Mississippi for a second time.
The new date for the switch to start is Feb. 8, according to a Comcast official.
The switch will add more high-definition channels, standard-definition channels, On-Demand movie titles and HD On-Demand movie titles.
Comcast’s Internet speeds in the region also will increase, with standard speed doubling as soon as the switch is made.
The lower Internet speeds will go from 6 megabytes per second to 12 MB per second and 8 MB to 16 MB.
Comcast plans to roll out 50 MB speeds in Tupelo, but Comcast said it will happen later in 2011. Customers also will have an additional charge for the 50 MB speed.
Comcast originally planned to do the switch in August, but the date was moved to Dec. 14, which was Tuesday.
This week, Patricia Collins with Comcast said the switch has been pushed back to February to allow for more testing of the service. The company said it wants to make sure all customers have the digital boxes before the change takes place, she said.
“Our No. 1 priority is high-quality, uninterrupted service,” said Collins, the senior director of government affairs with Comcast’s Delta area.
Comcast will make the digital transition neighborhood by neighborhood starting Feb. 8 and wrapping up April 19.
The tentative schedule:
- Feb. 8 – areas of southwest and east Tupelo, all of Okolona, all of Plantersville and all of West Point.
- Feb. 22 – areas north of Main Street in Tupelo and some of Fulton.
- March 8 – areas of downtown Tupelo (mostly hotels and some residential) and the rest of Fulton.
- April 19 – all customers in all areas who subscribe to the limited basic plan.
After the switch is made, all TVs will have to have a digital converter box to continue receiving a signal from Comcast. TVs without a box will lose access to channels after the switch.

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.

Cable rates to rise
- Comcast will raise its rate Jan. 1. According to a legal notice for the Tupelo market, the monthly rate for limited basic TV service will go from $15.50 to $16.95 per month.
The digital starter package – one of Comcast’s most popular services – will go from $54.95 monthly to $56.95 monthly.
What you need to know
- Comcast will switch to digital service starting in February.
- The switch requires all TVs to have a digital converter box.
- The digital service will add high definition channels, standard channels and On-Demand choices.
- Call Comcast (877) 634-4434 if you have questions about the switch.

The schedule
- Feb. 8 – areas of southwest and east Tupelo, all of Okolona, all of Plantersville and all of West Point
- Feb. 22 – areas north of Main Street in Tupelo and some of Fulton.
- March 8 – areas of downtown Tupelo
– mostly hotels and some residential
– and the rest of Fulton.
- April 19 – all basic customers