Ask SAM

Q: Please let readers know, why in the heart of ACC country, where it all began, has Spectrum chosen to charge a fee to their subscribers in order to receive the ACC Network? This is a travesty!

J.P.

Answer: There is no extra charge. The ACC Network, channel 388, is part of the TV Select package for Spectrum customers, meaning that it is part of your basic service whether you have the most basic TV service or the higher-tier Silver and Gold plans, which have additional channels.

However, if you are still in an older service plan with Time Warner Cable, you are not able to get the new channel until you upgrade to Spectrum. When Spectrum took over TWC in 2016, the company let existing customers remain with their TWC plans until those expired, after which they have had to switch over to a Spectrum plan. At this point, more than 80 percent of customers are on a Spectrum plan.

Q: Last Wednesday, on a bright sunny day, we had a power outage along Reynolda Road for an hour and a half. There has been no coverage nor explanation as to why. This was obviously not weather-related like other recent outages. Can you tell us what happened and who did it? Please do not blame it on raccoons!

M.M.

Answer: No, raccoons weren’t to blame ... unless they sawed down a tree.

“On a clear day a very large tree outside of our right-of-way in the Bethania Park area fell and broke several poles,” said Jimmy Flythe, a spokesman for Duke Energy Carolinas. “We were able to isolate much of the damaged area to restore most of the power in the time frame your reader noted.

“The actual repair work took much longer.”

He recommended that if you are concerned about outages, you should sign up online for phone or email alerts or text REG to 57801 for text alerts.

“With outage alerts, we’ll notify you by text, voice message or email when you have an outage,” he said. “We’ll also send status updates and estimated restoration times.”

Q: When we have a storm, it seems that British Woods very often loses power. I know Duke Energy is starting to put underground cables in North Carolina, but is there any way we can get that done here soon?

E.H.

Answer: The British Woods neighborhood is not on the schedule to be a converted in the next three years, Flythe said, “but other grid improvements such as tree trimming can enhance reliability to the neighborhood.”

The Targeted Undergrounding program you refer to is currently focused on areas that experience many more outages a year (as many as 8 to 10) than a typical customer. In other areas, tree crews are working on clearing limbs and trees around power lines.

“This work will improve reliability and reduce outages,” according to Flythe.

“We understand that outages are inconvenient and we are working hard to build stronger electric infrastructure that is more resistant to power outages, restores power faster and is hardened against growing threats.”

As to the British Woods area specifically, that area has experienced more outages than average primarily due to vegetation-related damage.

“We will continue to monitor the circuit serving the neighborhood to see if it may be a good candidate for undergrounding in the future,” Flythe said.

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Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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