It looks like Guemes Island residents will lose their only cable TV service soon. In a recent letter to subscribers, Index Cable announced that they "will be closing down the system, including the cable Internet access, at the end of the year."
In a letter to Index Cable subscribers, owner Irene Varhaug said “"there's no possible way we can afford to buy the digital equipment needed to convert... Our programming costs, the price of gas, insurance, utilities have all mushroomed over the last two years, and 200 subscribers just isn't enough to meet our expenses."
She said she has talked to both Comcast and Wave Cable, which are the county’s other cable providers and “no one seems too interested.”
Meanwhile, Guemes resident Edith Walden has scheduled a meeting to discuss alternatives, including the possibility of establishing a non-profit co-op for the Internet service.
“We will have other information about services for both TV and Internet, but the focus will be on providing Internet services, since so many people depend on it for their businesses here on the Island,” she posted on the Guemes LineTime Web site.
Verizon DSL Internet service only reaches a few homes on the south side of the island. One other option for Internet service could be Clearwire, but their location on Guemes also leaves most island residents out of range.
For cable access, satellite is available for most of the island.
The meeting is set for 3pm Sunday at the Guemes Island Community Hall.