Baltimore -- Charter Communications vice chairman Barry
Babcock said last Tuesday that Paul Allen's $1.65 billion investment in RCN Corp. is
not the beginning of a campaign to overbuild the established players.
"I don't think the cable industry needs to be
terribly concerned about this. Basically, Paul Allen has invested in this company because
of the technology they have. This is not some sort of devious ploy to start overbuilding
the industry," Babcock said at East Coast Cable '99 here last week.
Allen stunned MSOs last week with his investment in RCN, an
overbuilder operating between Boston and Washington, D.C., and between San Francisco and
RCN's marketing campaign has been hard-hitting,
comparing cable operators with the former Soviet Union.
Babcock stressed that the RCN deal was not part of Charter,
but part of Allen's Vulcan Ventures Inc. "Vulcan has made an investment in RCN
just like they've made an investment in 300 other companies," he added.
Babcock spoke to reporters after a panel appearance at the
show here. Allen, the billionaire cofounder of Microsoft Corp., paid $4.5 billion for
Charter did say, though, that RCN would provide telephony
services to Charter's Los Angeles system.