Jun 21, 2010

Catemaco TV

Beautiful downtown Catemaco is hemmed between a few lovely volcanoes and antenna TV reception is therefore lousy. Talks of installing a repeater antenna have been in the "mañana" stage for years.

But much of Catemaco is wired for cable TV, which is impressive considering that most of the population earns less than two months of cable TV service per week.
The local monopolistic provider is Cablecom, a national outfit with about 3 million subscribers in Mexico. They provide possibly the finest gringo oriented selection of channels that I have experienced in Mexico hotels. At any time, there are usually up to 10 English speaking channels online, plus the occasional German or French ones.

Of course you have to spend most of your time channel surfing because this monopoly provides neither an on-air, internet or printed program directory.  And of course you have to hoof it to their offices to pay the monthly bill, because that is the only way they do business in Catemaco. If you forget, 10 days later a ladder truck rolls up and snips your cable line. One benefit, though, is being able to hook up half a dozen tellies for the same price, 286 pesos per month. (Forget about premium channels).

Satellite dishes are also available, with a comfortable package for one TV costing around 750 pesos.  Itty bitty VE dishes are now popping up with basic service around 310 pesos.

None of the services offer internet.