Princeton, N.J. RCN Corp. last week doubled its
possible homes passed in Montgomery County, Md., when it signed a long-term agreement to
provide competitive phone, cable and Internet services to 240,000 homes in the county.
The Montgomery agreement nearly doubles the size of the
company's service cluster, which also includes the District of Columbia and
RCN calls the agreement a milestone, because the
overbuilder now has the potential to reach one-half million customers in each of its
initial markets. Those include the Washington, D.C., area, Boston, New York and Northern
RCN will immediately begin construction in the county and
anticipates launching bundled services early in 2000. The company said it has already
wired about 10,000 units in the capital, all of them multiple dwellings. In the wired
units RCN achieved a 30 percent cable penetration rate and local phone penetration about
25 percent. About 80 percent of its D.C. consumers, who do business with an RCN joint
venture with Potomac Electric Power Company under the working name Starpower, order
multiple services from the provider, according to RCN.