“ As a small independent CATV operator, it has always been tough, and continues to be so, to keep up with the big boys. Improvements are costly, and much more difficult to keep up with, with a small customer base. With the pace of technology ever increasing, that has only gotten more difficult.“–Marty Carollo, Network Manager at Sweetwater Cable
One of ZCorum’s oldest customers, Sweetwater Cable, provides cable TV, digital phone and high speed internet services in Sweetwater County, Wyoming.
Z: Founded in 1956, how did Sweetwater Cable come into being? Are your father and uncles the founders?We recently visited with Marty Carollo, Network Manager at the company, to find out what makes Sweetwater/Green River Cable such a successful family business.
Marty: In 1954, Rock Springs had a community based antennae system, which was unreliable. My grandpa, Al Senior, who only had an eighth grade education, started our company to bring the Salt Lake City Broadcast channels to our town in a reliable, constant way. He felt that people would be willing to pay $5.50 per month (with a $0.50 discount if they paid by the 10th of the month,) for a reliable service.
Z: Was the company always called Sweetwater Cable?
Marty: We’ve always called ourselves Sweetwater Cable here in Rock Springs. Because we had a separate head end in Green River, up until 2004, Green River had to have its own moniker.
Sjoberg’s Cable TV
“Even though a lot of things are changing in the way we view tv these days, the industry will adapt as it always does, and will be around for a long time.“–Dick Sjoberg, Owner of Sjoberg's Cable TV
Sjoberg’s Cable is a cable TV, phone, and Internet provider located in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, a primarily Scandinavian community about an hour from the Canadian border. Born and raised in Minnesota, Dick Sjoberg has lived there all of his life. He’s been happily married to his wife, Holly, for 41 years and has a son, Ben, who works in the family business with him. With his free time Dick enjoys hobbies such as landscaping, woodworking, and escaping to his Canadian cottage with his wife when time permits. He is also very active in many foundations and boards in the area such as the Minnesota Broadband Task Force and the Blandin Foundation, working to bring broadband to rural communities
Z: We asked Dick about the origins of Sjoberg Cable…
Dick: In 1946 when my mother and father returned from the war effort they started an appliance store selling radios, TVs, vacuums, kitchen appliances, and laundry equipment. In the early 1960′s color TVs became the new thing and my father soon realized that in order to sell color TVs in the area he needed a stronger signal. So in 1962, Bill Bresnan, later to become the owner of Bresnan Communications, helped the elder Sjobergs start up their own CATV company. In 1976 my brother and I took over the family business and for the next 22 years I’ve led a happy life filled with work and family and the cable tv business grew. But by the year 1998 it was clear to me that things were changing rapidly and we added high speed internet and digital data offerings for our customers.