Mediatti gets 30 more days to get cable Internet set
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Mediatti Broadband Communications has been given a second 30-day extension to provide high-speed cable Internet services to U.S. military bases on Okinawa.
Mediatti took over the cable television system on Okinawa from Americable International of Japan on April 15 and had promised to upgrade the system and provide high-speed Internet service within 90 days. But technical snags on some bases caused delays and the company had to make an unexpected purchase of equipment from the United States in order to complete the job, a company spokesman said Thursday.
“The issue was that we had some high-end equipment that was required that we had to have custom-made for us,” said John Hadsell, general manager of Mediatti’s Okinawa operations. “We had underestimated the amount of work that would be necessary to upgrade the system.
“Perhaps the biggest mistake we made when we got the contract was making the promise to have everything in place in the 90-day time frame,” Hadsell said. “We thought the work would pretty much be plug-and-play, and it turned out to be a bit more complicated. We had some good challenges, but we are going to make the September 30 deadline.”
Mediatti set up cable Internet to most of Camp Foster, Camp Lester, Fort Buckner, Kadena, Camp Shields and Torii Station before it ran into technical problems and stopped taking orders for new Internet customers in mid-August.
That gave the company breathing room to concentrate on adding new channels to its lineup and converting its taped programs from VHS tape to DVDs.
“A notice of concern was issued to Mediatti by the 18th Contracting Squadron on August 10, and Mediatti has provided acceptable responses to the government’s concerns,” said Chip Steitz, an 18th Wing public affairs spokesman.
“The efforts that Mediatti has shown and the improvements they have made over the last couple of months were a huge factor in our decision to grant them a 30-day extension,” Steitz said. “The extension will give Mediatti until September 30 to have all nodes fully operational.”
Hadsell said Mediatti is close to finalizing its channel lineup.
“We’re still in the process of adding channels,” He said. “This weekend we will be adding three new AFN (American Forces Network) channels — an all-movie channel, the Pentagon Channel and AFN Family.”