Ameritech New Media added to its Illinois and Ohio clusters
last week with two additional cable franchises that pushed its total to 113 in three
The MSO, which has signed 22 franchises this year, picked
up deals in Wheeling, Ill., and Obetz, Ohio -- communities currently served by AT&T
Broadband & Internet Services and Time Warner Cable, respectively.
In Wheeling, a suburb 10 miles outside of Chicago,
ANM's 15-year franchise covers 14,500 households. The Obetz franchise adds 1,600
homes in the Columbus area.
"Our village board has been committed to bringing in
cable competition for our residents, and we're confident that Ameritech New
Media's entry into the market will benefit Wheeling customers," Wheeling Village
President Greg Klatecki said in a prepared statementANM spokesman Geoff Potter said
Wheeling solidifies the company's position in the Chicagoland area, where it has
585,000 households under contract. "It fills in our presence in the area very
nicely," he added.
It also continues a streak that has seen ANM acquire one
Illinois franchise every month for the past year.
The company already serves the nearby communities of
Arlington Heights, Des Plaines and Prospect Heights, with Mount Prospect and Glenview
expected to come online soon. "And we're continuing to negotiate with another
dozen communities in the Chicago area alone," Potter said.
However, construction of the Wheeling system will have to
wait until sometime next year, since ANM is already actively building throughout the
Chicago area, he added.
The Obetz agreement gives ANM 47 Ohio franchises, where its
cluster now stands at some 575,000 households. Construction will begin early next year,
with a 36-month build-out schedule.