RCN Corp. should pay a fine of $750 per day for each of its three Chicago
franchise areas as a penalty for failure to pay its programming-access
commitment, according to a City Council subcommittee.
The operator owes $645,000 for access payments, which were due at the
beginning of the year, to Chicago Access Network Television. The group has kept
up the political pressure since the company missed the payment.
RCN acquired a local overbuilder, 21st Century Telecom, serving
the Gold Coast area of the city, and it also has franchises it is building. But
the cable competitor put the brakes on development, and the fee payments, due to
lack of capital.
The city's cable regulators, fearful of further stressing finances, has not
pressured RCN on the payment to date. But the Finance Committee vote signaled a
change in attitude.
The full council should vote on the fine resolution Sept.