Chicago -- Ameritech New Media has signed three new cable
franchises in the past two weeks, giving the telco a total of 98 agreements in Michigan,
Illinois and Ohio.
The Glenview (Ill.) Village Board was the latest to
authorize a deal, giving Ameritech Corp.'s video arm a 15-year deal last Tuesday that
will allow it to compete against Tele-Communications Inc.
ANM spokesman Jim Szczepaniak said a survey by the village
indicated that 96 percent of current cable viewers would welcome competition in the local
On Feb. 11, Calumet City, Ill., another Chicago suburb,
signed a franchise agreement with ANM for its 16,000 homes. ANM will be competing with
MediaOne Group Inc. in Calumet City.
"Our citizens have been asking for more choices for
their cable-TV service, and we're happy to provide it for them with Ameritech's
help," Calumet City Mayor Jerry Genova said.
ANM also inked a deal with Bexley, Ohio, a community of
5,000 homes currently served by Time Warner Cable.
A spokesman for ANM -- which currently offers cable in 25
Columbus, Ohio-area communities -- said the MSO plans to build a largely fiber optic
system in Bexley that will begin offering service by the end of the year.
In related news, ANM has launched service on its 77th cable
system by unveiling its Americast program offering in portions of Woodhaven, Mich.
Officials in the Detroit suburb granted ANM a 15-year
franchise last May, putting the MSO in competition with TCI for the right to serve 5,300
Company officials said cable service will be offered
throughout Woodhaven as ANM completes construction of its fiber optic/coaxial network.
ANM currently serves some 200,000 subscribers in the three
states where it operates.