|Shane Baggs. director of operations stands in the "Head End" control center in Price showing the fiber optic transmitter that provides Wellington with cablevision. Wellington was the first part of the Precis rebuild and the first community to receive their signals over fiber optic lines. Other parts of the county are being upgraded as well.|
Price received a big bonus in May when Precis Communications purchased Peak Cablevision and began expanding its operation. Not only did the former cablevision stay intact, but Price became the Precis headquarters for its entire cable systems operation, which extends to 46 communities in Utah, Arizona and Nevada.
According to Shane Baggs, Director of Operations, Precis plans on investing $12,900,000 over the next 18 months in the three states.
On May 1 Precis Communications became the cable television service provider in Carbon and Emery Counties as well as many other rural Utah communities following its purchase of Peak Cablevision from Cox Communications. Since that time, they have been extremely busy with many activities that will benefit these communities in the very near future says Shane Baggs director of operations.
"Precis is looking at expanding to more rural areas," said Baggs, explaining that they are the largest rural cable provider in Utah. Precis currently employs 43 people.
The first part of August, Precis will complete a satellite uplink facility in Salt Lake City allowing Precis to deliver digital quality broadcast signals to customers in every community they serve.
"This is unheard of in the rural cable television industry and we are very proud of this project," said Baggs. As of the first part of August, Precis will provide KUTV, KUWB, KTVX, KSL, KUPX, KEUD, KZPN, KULC, KBYU, KJZZ, and KSTU in digital format, across the entire state.
Their satellite facility will allow for the potential delivery of distance learning services as well as the potential delivery of high-speed Internet access to all communities in Utah. In addition, Precis will be positioned to offer high definition television service as this product becomes economically viable.
"Over the past six weeks, we've studied in detail the customer's satisfaction with our current services and have found that the number-one reason for dissatisfaction is due to poor off-air signals from Salt Lake City," explained Baggs. "Therefore, we know that this improvement will dramatically affect our customers' satisfaction with our services."
In order to accomplish the offering of digital broadcast signals, Precis will be be making other changes to the current lineup.
Sometime in August, Baggs added, they will be expanding digital television services. This event will dramatically increase the number of channels available to customers.
"During our customer satisfaction studies, we also found that our customer's have two distinctly differing attitudes regarding sports programming," states Baggs. "They either want more, or they want less. Therefore, we're moving and expanding most of our sports programming to the completely optional digital tier offerings."
Once the digital service is launched, customers will have available to them over 150 channels with no equipment to purchase.
On top of the new services launching soon, Precis will also be upgrading their customer service center operations by investing in new customer billing software and hardware that will allow customer care representatives to handle telephone calls much more efficiently.
"The almost $13 million that Precis will invest does not account for the ongoing investments they make in local cities via purchases of gas, tools and materials during the normal course of our business," explained Baggs.
Also, Precis employees live in cities in which they perform service and many support local organizations by volunteering in the cities in which they live and raise families.
"The cable industry is really watching Precis," said Baggs, adding that as they deploy all the new digital cable, rural television has never looked so good. "Our success will dictate how other cable companies plan their strategies. We've launched a new form of digital technology last November and within six months had the highest penetration for any rural cable provider in the United States."