Cablevision Systems Corp. will spend $145 million to
construct a new hybrid fiber-coaxial system over the next three years in 37 Massachusetts
communities, the MSO said last week.
The company had announced earlier that it would spend $160
million to upgrade its Boston and Brookline, Mass., systems to the new digital networks
within a similar time frame.
Construction on the new networks will begin this year. A
spokeswoman for Cablevision of Massachusetts said the company would sit down with
representatives from each town within the next few weeks to discuss construction schedules
for the rebuilds.
Corporate spokesman Charles Schueler said it was possible
that some of the system rebuilds and upgrades could be accelerated.
"We expect customers to see advanced analog and
high-speed Internet access immediately as we upgrade," he said, "and we expect
to roll out telephone service to our customers in Massachusetts as soon as possible."
The new digital network would also allow Cablevision to
offer services such as video-on-demand and high-definition TV, once they're
available. The company is already testing its own VOD service on Long Island, N.Y., and it
is examining other VOD options, Schueler said.
Cablevision has also talked about delivering HDTV
programming from its Madison Square Garden Network to New York-area subscribers. No
specific HDTV-programming plans have been announced for the Massachusetts market, Schueler
The 37 communities in eastern and central Massachusetts
represent about 200,000 Cablevision households..
Schueler said the rebuild follows Cablevision's
business strategy of rapidly deploying new technologies and services in its key markets,
especially where competition is looming.