LyncStar Integrated Communications LLC last week filed an
application with the Federal Communications Commission for a third Colorado
The Lakewood, Colo.-based SMATV operator wants to build an
OVS system capable of delivering 325 video channels to multiple dwelling units in Fort
Collins, Colo., a college community already served by Tele-Communications Inc. SMATV
stands for satellite-master-antenna TV.
LyncStar already has FCC authorization for a similar
network that will take on TCI in portions of Denver and Aurora, Colo., including a
still-undeveloped area around Denver International Airport.
Under rules established in the Telecommunications Act of
1996, the FCC has 10 days after receiving LyncStar's application to act on the
request. Company officials expect a ruling by Oct. 26.
Meanwhile, LyncStar's vice president of operations,
Jim Honiotes, said the company currently offers service to a single Fort Collins apartment
complex, and it has an agreement in principle with a second.
As a college town, Fort Collins has its share of MDUs, he
"There are a lot of opportunities," Honiotes
said, "and we're working on a acquiring a number of them. We're also
working on a single-family-housing development."
The company expects to begin construction of its network
within 120 days, or after the FCC mandated open-enrollment period for alternative-service
providers. During that period, qualified service providers are allowed to lease up to 66.7
percent of LyncStar's channel capacity.
The FCC created the OVS process out of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996 as a means for allowing local-exchange carriers to offer
video services. However, LyncStar is allowed to request a license as long it allows
nonaffiliated third parties to lease up to two-thirds of its capacity.
Although it is not required to obtain a local franchise,
LyncStar will still have to comply with all must-carry, retransmission-consent and
PEG-access (public, educational and government) requirements as the incumbent cable
LyncStar officials said they plan to compete on price with
"When combined with our fiber optic technology and
superior customer service, we believe that LyncStar will be the service of choice among
many residents," LyncStar CEO Alax Burney said, in a prepared statement.