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Shaw Reinstating Cable Radio Service; Angry Customers Win Reprieve

Phillip Dampier July 11, 2012 Canada, Consumer News, Shaw No Comments

Some Shaw Cable customers accustomed to their cable FM radio have successfully won the fight to reinstate the service.

Comox Valley in British Columbia appears to be the epicenter of the protests. When several popular FM radio signals imported from western Canada and the U.S. went missing in April, local residents complained loudly the service was dropped without warning.

Cable FM radio has been a part of Shaw Cable for years and years, and long-standing customers have held on to the service. Cable radio works by connecting Shaw’s cable to the antenna input of a traditional FM radio. Cable radio signals then appear up and down the FM dial.  The service has always been a complimentary add-on, and Shaw suspected its time of usefulness had come and gone as consumers gravitated towards satellite and online radio.

They were wrong.

“We certainly listened to the feedback we received,” Greg Pultz, vice president of operations for Shaw told the Comox Valley Echo. “We decided to [restore] the most popular [channels]. We freed up some capacity – we found a way that we could do both.”

That makes listeners like Rosemary Baxter happy.

“All of a sudden one morning I turned on the radio – and it was like a tomb in here,” Baxter told the newspaper.

Baxter’s gain is The Source’s loss. The electronics chain was doing a steady business selling small, portable $40 FM transmitters that allowed Shaw customers to stream radio stations over the Internet and hear them on their FM radios.

Shaw’s restoration of the service brings back a half-dozen of the most-requested stations, mostly non-commercial or public radio stations. Shaw cable radio customers on and around Vancouver Island can find signals on these frequencies:

  • 88.1 – CBC Radio One (Victoria, B.C.)
  • 88.3 – CBC Radio Two (Vancouver, B.C.)
  • 88.5 – KPLU Jazz (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • 88.7 – KUOW NPR (Seattle, Wash.)
  • 89.5 – KING Classical (Seattle, Wash.)
  • 89.9 – CBUF Première Chaîne/Radio-Canada (Vancouver, B.C.)

“We’ve had lots of very positive feedback from customers,” Pultz told the newspaper. “We are just thrilled that we have a good relationship with our customers and that we can make changes when they speak up.”

He also apologized to Shaw customers for any inconvenience.

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Stop the Cap!