As Hardy OneNet opens in more areas of Hardy County, the company also is working to expand the amount of exclusive local content that it broadcasts, such as high school football.
In a partnership with WELD radio that is still in the early stages, Hardy and WELD have begun showing local high school football with Hardy County teams on OneNet WELD TV Channel 914. WELD also has aired a live stream and repeat showings of WELD radio personality Steve Davis and his talk show, featuring Davis’ comments on local and national events and interviews with local personalities.
WELD films and edits the local content, which is then aired on OneNet’s WELD TV channel. To date, WELD has recorded and then later broadcast high-school football games featuring Moorefield vs. Frankfort, East Hardy vs. Tucker County and Moorefield vs. East Hardy. The Moorefield-East Hardy game was a focus from the beginning of the partnership.
“We all had the Hardy Bowl in mind when we first started installing OneNet,” said Hardy Marketing and Human Resource Director Derek Barr. “WELD has invested in equipment and personnel to film the content, and we are giving them a channel to air the content. It’s still just getting off the ground, but we both have hopes of showing other exclusive local content like government meetings and area events. There are many opportunities out there as this channel ramps up.”
Derek said there isn’t a set schedule yet of when certain events are broadcast, but Hardy and WELD are working to add more content.
“When we do have a specific event, like the Moorefield-East Hardy game, we try to get the word out on our website about the upcoming broadcast,” he said. “We give as much notice as we can.”
Construction continues on OneNet throughout Hardy County. OneNet is Hardy’s network that provides a fiber-optic cable connection directly to residents’ homes, the first of its kind in Hardy County. The network allowed Hardy to begin offering high-definition digital television, the fastest standard Internet speeds in the area and digital voice. OneNet is currently available in Moorefield, Lost River, and Mathias, with many other areas under construction.
Customers who have signed up for OneNet said the difference has been extreme.
“I am thrilled to death with it,” said Norma Arnold of Moorefield. “There’s the clarity of the picture, so much crisper, the speed of the Internet, and I get that plus the phone, all three, on one bill.”
Ms. Arnold said she even bought a new computer from HardyNet to get the full benefit of the faster Internet speeds, and she tells anybody that asks about the quality of OneNet television.
“You don’t have any idea how blah (other providers’ service) is until you see the TV with that fiber-optic cable,” she said.
Ms. Arnold also kept her existing telephone number when she switched to OneNet, an option available for everyone.
“That just made it easier for me, because so many people are used to reaching me at that number,” she said.
In Mathias, Nick Barb proudly displays a television showing OneNet’s lineup in his N&S diner.
“I really like it because the picture is clear,” he said. “You don’t get that ‘acquiring satellite signal’ all the time like I did before.”
Mary Ellen “Cookie” Bensenhaver signed up for OneNet as soon as it became available at her Moorefield home.
“For the most part, it’s been really good,” she said. She said she and her husband enjoy having WHSV-TV3 from Harrisonburg and the exclusive OneNet channels like WELD and the Helmick Rock weather cam.
She has more channels than she had with her satellite provider.
Being able to contact someone local for any help is another major plus, Mrs. Bensenhaver said.
“When I run into a problem, I call the office and they take care of it. Your service is top-notch,” she said.
Mrs. Bensenhaver said she thinks Hardy’s rollout of OneNet is good for the county.
“It’s such a positive thing for the whole area,” she said.