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Windstream Brings Kinetic TV to Communities Around Charlotte, North Carolina

Phillip Dampier August 25, 2016 Broadband Speed, Competition, Consumer News, Rural Broadband, Windstream 3 Comments

Kinetic WindstreamWindstream will bring its fiber to the neighborhood service Kinetic TV to around 50,000 homes in 13 suburban and exurban communities surrounding Charlotte, N.C., to stay competitive with Time Warner Cable/Charter and a publicly owned cable system serving Mooresville.

The independent phone company submitted a formal application for a cable television franchise with North Carolina’s Department of the Secretary of State to begin offering television service in Albemarle, Badin, China Grove, Concord, Harrisburg, Hemby Bridge, Indian Trail, Kannapolis, Matthews, Mooresville, Mt. Pleasant, New London and Oakboro.

Windstream claims Kinetic TV leverages “a 100 percent fiber-backed network,” which leaves customers with the impression they are getting fiber optic delivery of television, broadband, and phone service. In fact, for many communities Windstream is constructing a network similar to AT&T U-verse. The phone company brings fiber optic cables into each neighborhood, but relies on existing copper wire infrastructure connecting individual homes to a nearby fiber optic-connected neighborhood hub. The upgrade allows Windstream to expand broadband capacity to support concurrent use of television, phone and internet access. For many Windstream customers complaining about the poor performance of Windstream’s DSL service, that offers a significant improvement. But Windstream does provide even better upgrades in some communities. In April 2016, Windstream launched gigabit speed internet service for seven North Carolina towns: China Grove, Concord, Davidson, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, Lewisville and Matthews. By applying for a statewide video franchise agreement in North Carolina, Windstream will be able to sell cable television service along with gigabit broadband speed.

Kinetic TV is now an exceptionally good deal for new customers.

Kinetic TV is currently available in Lincoln, Neb., Lexington, Ky., and Sugar Land, Tex.

Kinetic TV is already available in Lincoln, Neb., Lexington, Ky., and Sugar Land, Tex.

Windstream aggressively prices its most deluxe double play package of 50Mbps broadband and 270+ channels and Whole House DVR service at a one-year introductory price of $89.99 a month with a one-year service commitment. Customers can upgrade to a triple play package with the same 12 month commitment that includes a phone line with unlimited long distance calling for just $2 more — $91.99 a month. New double/triple-play customers also receive a one-time bill credit of $250, which will generally cover the first two months of service. This promotion is by far the best value for money. Unfortunately, after the promotion expires your price increases by $72.99 to $162.98 a month.

Kinetic TV operates with wireless set-top boxes that can be moved to different televisions as needed. The DVR can handle recording four channels at the same time and Windstream promises no lag while channel changing. The usual $80 installation fee is waived when new customers sign up under a promotional offer. Anyone can register to be notified about Windstream’s promotional offers on the company’s website and will likely receive an invitation as Kinetic TV becomes available in your area.

Earlier this year, Windstream debuted Kinetic TV in Sugar Land, Tex., joining the communities of Lexington, Ky. and Lincoln, Neb. The 13 small cities and communities in North Carolina will be Windstream’s fourth service area for Kinetic TV.

Kinetic TV's Whole House DVR

Kinetic TV’s Whole House DVR

The service has received generally positive reviews from those not expecting to place a lot of demand on the service. The fastest internet package tops out for most at 50Mbps and some customers report their actual speeds are sometimes slightly lower. Windstream currently offers Kinetic customers unlimited, uncapped data plans. If you cancel service before the end of your contract, the penalty as stated in Windstream’s terms and conditions is among the steepest we have ever seen: 100% of the charges you would have paid had you kept the service through the rest of your contract.

There is other fine print:

  • Kinetic TV cannot support more than four Standard Definition video streams (television sets in use concurrently). HD channels for recording or viewing are limited to between one and four, depending on the capacity of your connection. If you exceed it, the remaining video streams or recordings will be in Standard Definition.
  • Kinetic TV will not allow pay per view or video on demand charges to exceed $200 in a calendar month.
  • Prices above include one Kinetic TV receiver. Each additional box is billed at $7 a month, and may be limited in quantity. A Windstream gateway, also required for service, is assessed a separate monthly charge.
  • Your internet speeds may be affected by how many televisions are concurrently in use in your home.
  • Windstream collects information about programming watched, recorded, or accessed. Currently, they use this information to make general programming recommendations to all customers and/or specific recommendations to you based on your personal viewing habits.

(Windstream pricing information gathered by entering a residential street address in Sugar Land, Tex., Zip Code 77478.)

Currently there are 3 comments on this Article:

  1. Donald Watsion says:

    Horrible service. please do not get kinetic TV. Its a disaster. I am warning you you. Windstream should be shamed of themselves for introducing this garbage in the cabarrus county area.

    Had 5 technical guys to my house including supervisor. They lie and do not tell the truth. they say everything is fixed and leave. they also tell you they see that there is a prob;em and put something totally different in there computer. DISHONEST REPAIR FOLKS.

    • Windstream is trying to power Kinetic TV with souped-up DSL and as a Windstream customer I am sure you already know how bad their DSL can be. So for television, if their lousy network doesn’t work well for data, it sure as heck isn’t going to work very well for television, and you see the result.

      Repair crews don’t want to spend the time to isolate and repair intermittent issues these days. They want a quickie repair and get on to the next service call.

      Here is how you deal with them:

      I assume you are in North Carolina. If that is the case, call the NC Attorney General to file a complaint by dialing 1-877-5-NO-SCAM (1-877-566-7226) or 919-716-6000. In reality, what this usually gets you is a quick response from a senior customer service specialist who works to put the fire out with an upset customer. It usually gets you special treatment, bill credits, upgraded repairs — whatever you ask. It can take some time in some states for them to forward your complaint, so you might want to start with….

      the Better Business Bureau.

      You can do that here: https://www.bbb.org/arkansas/pages/business-reviews/telephone-communications/windstream-communications-in-little-rock-ar-90003565/file-a-complaint

      What this does is put you in direct contact with executive customer service, which again will cut through your red tape and get you more responsive action. Also don’t forget to ask for bill credit for all the time you’ve experienced lousy service. You deserve a bill break.

      Let me know how it goes.

  2. James Carpenter says:

    I just got Kinetic. Works fine but on one tv does not allow use of the whole screen, actually only about 60% of screen. However if I order a pay per view movie it uses the entire screen. There customer service was worthless when I called. They blamed on tv manufacturer. I previously had Dish on this tv an it filled up the screen.

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