For More Than 75 Years!

Learn about the history of the company, starting with our founder inventing cable TV in 1948 to the first cable TV company in the country to offer Home Box Office in 1972, Service Electric has been a leader in the industry. Now a third-generation company, we will continue to change and innovate into the future.

Our partners include PenTeleData and Alianza, working with us to offer cutting edge solutions for Internet and telephone service. Service Electric is a member of the America's Communications Association and Broadband Communications Association of Pennsylvania. We also partner with the Pennsylvania Cable Network to provide content as a public service to the people of Pennsylvania.

The Walson Family

Service Electric is a 3rd generation company, started by John Walson in 1948. His son John E. Walson took over in 1993 until his untimely passing in 2012, at which time John E. Walson’s son, John M. Walson became president. Each generation of the Walson family has carried on the tradition of quality service and community involvement that is synonymous with Service Electric.

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John Walson Sr.


John Walson Sr.

John Walson, Sr. (March 25, 1915 – March 28, 1993) was an American entrepreneur who is credited with inventing cable television. Walson was born in Forrest City, Pennsylvania, in 1915. He attended Mahanoy Township High School and then went on to study engineering at Coyne Electrical School in Chicago. After graduating, he returned to Mahanoy City.

In the early 1940’s, John Walson was employed by the Pennsylvania Power & Light (PP&L) Company, and he and his wife Margaret opened a GE appliance store in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania in 1945. In 1947 the Walsons began selling and repairing television sets at their store, but it was impossible to receive the three Philadelphia network stations because the town was surrounded by mountains. Mr. Walson decided to build an antenna tower near his store’s warehouse on top of a nearby mountain and run a cable from the antenna to the warehouse so he could demonstrate the new televisions. He would drive potential customers in his car from his shop, up the mountain to his warehouse and demonstrate the TVs.

In June of 1948, Mr. Walson struck a deal with PP&L and attached the cable line on electric utility poles, running it down the mountain to his appliance store. Along the way, several homes were connected to this new “community antenna system”. People gathered to see the television sets in the window of the store showing channels 3, 6, and 10 from Philadelphia and wanted to get connected to the antenna. As a result, the cable TV industry was started in America.

Over the next several years, Mr. Walson began constructing systems in nearby communities and looking for opportunities to expand the Service Electric Cable TV network.  As other cable systems were offered for sale, he purchased them. When franchises were available, he applied. He was guided by one, fundamental principle – people wanted television service, they were entitled to receive it, and it was his duty to provide quality access to television.

Mr. Walson’s pioneering achievements were recognized by the Congress of the United States and the National Cable Television Association in the spring of 1979. Quoting from the 96th Congressional record: “By adding new antennas and boosters, and by starting to wire individual homes, Mr. Walson was able to create the Nation’s first cable television system in 1948.”

In 1993, John Walson Sr. passed and his son became president, while his wife Margaret worked in the background with her son to keep Service Electric at the forefront of the industry until her passing in September of 2014.

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John E. Walson (John Walson, Jr.)


John E. Walson (John Walson, Jr.)

Following in his father’s footsteps, John E. Walson made it his mission to always have the best, most technologically advanced cable system. Prior to becoming president of Service Electric in 1993, John spent a number of years in the field operations of the company, including ten years as a headend technician, ten years as a field technician, and six years as a chief engineer for the company’s TV studio. As a result, he gained an in-depth understanding of the operations of the company and an extensive background in the technical aspects of the business.

As President of Service Electric Cable TV, Inc., Mr. Walson was responsible for the strategic direction of the company, along with project development and management. Like his father, John was a giant in the industry, but always had time to stop and talk. He was devoted to his family and had a deep compassion for those who were less fortunate. He was personally involved in several charitable organizations, truly wanting to make the world a better place where everyone is given a chance to succeed. He made it his responsibility to carry on his father’s legacy and give back to his community.

Spearheaded by Walson in 1994, Service Electric partnered with Blue Ridge Communications, Ironton Telephone Company and CATV Services Inc. to found PenTeleData, a regional Internet service provider. This partnership allowed Service Electric to be the first to introduce high-speed cable modem service to the Lehigh Valley in 1995.

Mr. Walson was also an avid sports fan, and made the commitment to bring local sports to Lehigh Valley customers. Through TV2 Sports, Service Electric expanded its coverage of high school and college athletics, plus began covering the Allentown Ambassadors baseball team and Pennsylvania Valley Dawgs basketball team from 1997 through 1999.  In 2008, Walson spearheaded the founding of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs baseball team and three years later helped negotiate to bring the Phantoms hockey team to the Lehigh Valley.

Mr. Walson passed away suddenly at the age of 63 in August 2012. Mr. Walson’s son, John M. Walson then took responsibility as President of Service Electric Cable TV, Inc.

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John Walson III


John Walson III

Since he was a young boy, John M. Walson was involved in the cable industry. He began learning about TV production as a teenager and has been part of the Service Electric team for virtually his entire life. Soon after taking over the company in 2012, Walson oversaw the final steps of making two-way cable modems the standard Service Electric high-speed Internet offering. He also was at the helm as the company consolidated its headquarters in Bethlehem, and officially penned the deal to be a founding partner of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Continuing his grandfather’s and father’s legacies, John M. Walson has made an ongoing commitment to the greater Lehigh Valley community by expanding the company’s charitable reach. Service Electric is involved with and donates to more than 60 community organizations, and its employees commit thousands of hours each year to a variety of nonprofit entities in the Lehigh Valley, western New Jersey and Wilkes-Barre markets.

In addition, under Walson’s tenure the TV2 Sports division of the company went through a rebranding and is now known as Service Electric Network (SEN) bringing more than sports to its viewers. Besides offering high school and college sports plus Phantoms hockey and IronPigs baseball, SEN covers Musikfest and a variety of community events like parades and festivals. SEN also produces more than a dozen original shows including “Lehigh Valley Sports Scene”, “The Mike Zambelli Show” and “What The Heck Were They Thinking with Larry Holmes”.

John M. Walson continues to lead the Service Electric team and advance new technologies in the communications industry, like the strengthening of its fiber optic infrastructure and the introduction of new products and services to further enhance the company’s offerings.


Service Electric may be looking for YOU to be part of our team. We are an equal opportunity employer, offering competitive pay, benefits and advancement opportunities. You can apply online, or send an email with your resume attached to apply@sectv.com.