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Office Closing In Birthplace Of Cable TV

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MAHANOY CITY -- Mahanoy City is known as the birthplace of cable TV but on Friday, Service Electric Cable Company closed its office in the community where the company and cable TV itself got their start.

Some people told Newswatch 16 that they feel like Mahanoy City is losing a piece of its identity.

A historical marker as you first drive into Mahanoy City declares this community the birthplace of cable television, where cable TV got its start way back in 1948.

Another sign welcoming people to town is a big billboard for Service Electric, the cable company started all those years ago.

"New York has the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State building.  Mahanoy City has the cable company.  It was born and raised in Mahanoy City," said Ramon Soto of Gordon.

Service Electric decided to close its office, an office that also has a sign reminding that this was the birthplace of cable.

We stopped by during the final hours of customer service, the end of a long era.

"We understand where the customers are coming from. We understand the sentiment that's down there.  It's not an easy decision.  We have struggled with this decision for over two years thinking how we could make it work and stay there but it just doesn't seem feasible at this point," said Tim Trently of Service Electric Cablevision.

The seven workers from Mahanoy City will now go to a much larger and recently expanded headquarters in the Hazleton area.

"It's easier to move seven employees up here to accommodate them then to spend millions of dollars to revamp that building down in Mahanoy City."

There is a now a cable bill drop off box outside the Mahanoy City food shop. Service Electric says it will still contribute to community events there, but the offices are gone.

"It is disappointing because obviously they started here. It's the birthplace of cable television.  It's sad to see them leave.  We don't like to see the jobs leave, we don't like to see the ease of residents going to pay their bills there leave," said borough manager Dan Lynch.

The office may be gone but the claim of being the birthplace of cable TV certainly isn't.