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St. Charles population boom fuels Cox cable's recovery

By Staff Report -   Feb 22, 2007

Increased business and new customers in St. Charles Parish are helping Cox cable get back on its feet after Katrina devastated the communications giant's infrastructure and drove 200,000 people - including 74,000 subscribers - to new homes outside of the New Orleans area.

That report comes from Multichannel News, a Reed Business Information publication, an excerpt of which appears below. The entire, copyrighted article can be accessed at  http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6417005.html?display=Search+Results&text=one+of+the+parishes

"In terms of south Louisiana, as long as you embrace the New Orleans metro area which is really the four parishes and the North Shore, we're just displaced, we're not down and out," said Greg Bicket, a senior Cox executive in New Orleans.

"One of the parishes we serve is at 122% of the occupancy that lived there before the storm, St. Charles. So we're scrambling to serve new customers out there."

After Katrina, Cox's New Orleans operation took a big hit in basic-cable subscribers. And right now, it has 74,000 fewer subscribers than it did before the storm, 183,000 versus 257,000.

The question has been how many of the city's residents who fled will return or rebuild. The population of Orleans Parish is less than half of what it was before Katrina, 200,000, compared to 440,000.

I'm confident about the long-term renaissance and revival in Orleans Parish," said Bicket. "It's going to be one that is going to take longer than anyone wanted. ."

Cox's cable plant endured extensive flood and wind damage from Katrina but service has been restored to 93% of its network.

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