Any entity buying Adelphia Communications Corp.'s city of Los Angeles
franchises will definitely be getting a fixer-upper.
An Adelphia executive this past Friday told the city Board of Information
Technology Commissioners that only one of the company's five franchise areas is
even close to being completely upgraded to digital.
Some 97 percent of the company's west Los Angeles system is upgraded to
digital, according to Larry Windsor, director of government relations. The other
four systems -- in the East San Fernando Valley, Sherman Oaks, Eagle Rock and
East Los Angeles areas -- are cumulatively less than 50 percent upgraded.
Adelphia was stalled in its upgrade in 2000 when the city imposed a
pole-attachment moratorium. The company just caught up on its pole permits
within the past 90 days. Then came the financial crunch, and the company ceased
all construction the week of May 20, Windsor said.
The four areas include an Adelphia partnership with minority-owned
Buenavision Cable (East Los Angeles) and three systems doing business as
Century/TCI California LLC. The latter are 25 percent-owned by AT&T
Broadband, Windsor said.
The four systems need four to six months of further construction to complete
the upgrades, Windsor said. He added that customer-care personnel have not been
City officials at the meeting said Adelphia missed its quarterly
franchise-fee payment April 30. Local Adelphia executives vowed that a payment
will be forthcoming, but the company could face interest payments on the $1.1
million late payment.
Because reported improper financial transactions by Adelphia date back to
1999 -- prior to the date in 2000 when the city approved transfer of ownership
of the systems to Adelphia -- Los Angeles attorneys are analyzing whether
Adelphia can be found in material breach of its franchises for misrepresenting
financial data at the time of the transfer.