Denver -- U S West will provide telecommunications services
to residents of the redeveloped Lowry Air Force Base here under a 10-year agreement
unveiled last week.
Initially, U S West will limit its offerings to telephone
and Internet-access services, although the $10 million project could deliver cable
television in the future.
Telco spokesman David Beigie confirmed that the regional
Bell operating company is still gathering information concerning "what's
required to apply for [cable] franchises" in the Denver area.
A franchise at Lowry would put U S West in competition with
Tele-Communications Inc., which is in the midst of a $70 million upgrade in Denver.
"[But] Lowry officials are supportive of a variety of
cable choices -- assuming that we get into that market," Beigie said.
City officials, however, continued to insist that U S West
would have to obtain a citywide franchise before it could operate in the public
rights-of-way at Lowry.
That franchise would also have to go before the voters.
TCI supported requiring U S West to serve all of Denver.
"If a company wants to provide cable service in a
community, it should have to make it available throughout the community," MSO
spokesman Matt Fluery said. "This is an opportunity for customers to pick a preferred
Residents at Lowry will pay $12 per month to access U S
West's telecommunications services.
However, Beigie said, the company will provide a
$10-per-month discount to those who sign up for its U S West.Net Internet-access service,
thereby defraying some of those costs.