Competition on the horizon for Comcast in Morton

MORTON, IL -- Morton is near completing the legal work that would allow high-speed internet, cable and telephone service provider iTV-3 to install its fiber-optic network in various parts of Morton.

Village board trustees heard of the possibility Monday night during a village board meeting at Freedom Hall when Morton Mayor Norm Durflinger said the village is working to complete an agreement that will give iTV-3 the go-ahead to install fiber wire into the ground and begin offering service to customers.

Once an agreement is finalized, iTV-3 will immediately begin installing its fiber wire through various portions of Morton. The initial plan is to offer service to businesses, but it will also include various residential areas in the village. Details of where the service will be available initially are still in the works, said the company’s general manager Brian Olson.

iTV-3 was formerly know as OmniLEC, which was purchased by Family Video in 2009. The Peoria-based company began as BitWise Communications Inc. The company began testing its internet service in Pekin and has moved forward to offer the service in packages to new customers.

“We’re to a point where most of the testing in Pekin is complete and we are in business now,” Olson said.

The agreement between iTV-3 and the village will be well-received by businesses, said Jennifer Daly, executive director and CEO of the Morton Economic Development Council. She told Olson before he left that business owners are “very excited” for iTV-3’s service.

Olson said Daly played a major role enticing the company to bring its service to Morton.

“(Daly) has done a great job of making Morton our next destination,” Olson said.

Morton will be iTV-3’s second town to receive the company’s full internet-, television- and phone-service packages. It will directly compete with Morton’s current provider for cable and internet service, Comcast.

“People would like to have a little competition in the cable industry,” Durflinger said.

According to Olson, that competition has already changed a lot of customer’s minds.

“The customers that are hooking up are disconnecting primarily from (Comcast),” Olson said.

“The people that have hooked up have said, ‘Wow, that’s fast,’ or ‘Wow, that’s incredibly fast,’” he added.

iTV-3 will offer a variety of packages including internet, television and phone starting $59.99. Customers will have two options for internet — 10 or 20 megabits per second. Television service will include a “value” package, an “ultra” and an “insane” package. Each one will offer a larger number of channels respectively. iTV-3 will offer more than 300 channels, 100 high definition channels and DVR (to record shows and movies).