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Cable Technology Feature Article

June 30, 2009

RCN to Donate $3 Million in Cable TV Time, Again

By Vivek Naik, TMCnet Contributor

RCN Corporation reportedly announced that it will once again donate more than $3 million in cable television time to United Way in 2009.
The United Way is a nonprofit organization with more than 1,300 nationwide centers that help charitable organizations in fundraising efforts and other real time social improvement efforts by getting actively involved with schools, government agencies, businesses, organized labor, financial institutions, community development corporations, voluntary and neighborhood associations, and faith communities. Its efforts originally revolved around education, income and health, and have now spread out to embrace more initiatives that are dictated by the down economy.
“We take the role of being a good corporate citizen in the markets we live in and serve very seriously,” said Peter D. Aquino, president and chief executive officer for RCN (News - Alert). “What better way to do that than to work with United Way, the nation’s premier community based charitable organization.”
“We thank RCN for its strong, continued support of United Way,” said Brian A. Gallagher, president and Chief Executive Officer for United Way. “From RCN’s President and CEO Peter Aquino (News - Alert), who serves on our Board of Trustees, to all of the RCN employees who have been so generous with their financial and volunteer support, RCN has been a true partner in creating positive, sustainable change in our communities.”
Company officials at RCN, which was originally known as Residential Communications Network, claim their company provides all-digital and High Definition video, high-speed internet, and premium voice services to residential and small to medium business customers, as well as high capacity transport services to carrier and large enterprise customers.
In middle of 2008, the company implemented determined strategic plans to increase its bandwidth and number of digital communication channels available from 40 to 100 in an initiative it termed as “Analog Crush.” This futuristic move, at that time, helped the company to deliver up to 10 standard definition digital or three HD channels per analog channel, also helped it to use some of the reclaimed spectrum to support the growing demand for high speed data services.
“RCN’s commitment to donating air time in 2009 will greatly help United Way communicate its message to the thousands of households within the RCN markets,” Gallagher said.
Official sources at RCN claim that the donation of its air time, or rather advertisement time, is made possible because select time slots per paying customer per market segment have been set aside for charitable and own corporate promotions.
The following recent commentary gives a clear snapshot of some of the compassionate work United Way is currently involved in: Calls to the agency’s help line jumped 53 percent to 30,600 in the first quarter, from 20,000 calls during the first three months of 2008 because many 2-1-1 callers had lost their jobs and needed money to stay in their homes and apartments and pay for food, utility and medical bills. A faltering economy and publicity about the agency’s new Fund to Prevent Homelessness were two factors driving the demand for its hope injecting intervention solutions.
“This marks the third year that RCN has contributed more than $3 million worth of cable television time to United Way. This brings the total donated to nearly $11 million. We view this as a valuable investment in serving the communities where we operate,” said Richard Ramlall, Senior Vice President, Strategic External Affairs, Programming and International Marketing for RCN. “We are proud to again support United Way and look forward to continuing a long and productive relationship.”

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Vivek Naik is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Vivek's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan