Hoboken, N.J. -- RCN Corp. expanded its potential
penetration in the New York metropolitan area, signing a long-term agreement to provide
cable, telephony and high-speed-data services here.
Hoboken is the first northern New Jersey community to sign
a pact with the telecommunications firm, which will compete against MSO Cablevision
RCN officials said the company has already begun initial
network design for the community -- a process that will continue through the rest of the
year. Construction will begin early in 2000, and service should be available to some homes
in the second half of the year.
Hoboken has 17,400 homes, and a license to serve the
community is desirable because there are 550 homes per mile of plant. RCN has targeted
densely populated corridors, but to date, its density levels have ranged between 150 and
300 homes per mile.
RCN expects to extend its New York City core operation into
Hudson, Bergen, Essex and Passaic counties in New Jersey.
The competitor promised the community 100 channels,
discounted service to senior citizens and free connections to schools, libraries and
RCN proposed expanded-basic service with 85 channels for
about $32 per month. A comparable package from Cablevision is about $42, according to the
To gain the contract, RCN committed to a 5 percent
franchise fee, compared with Cablevision's 2 percent fee. RCN also agreed to build a
city educational channel and to link government buildings with high-speed-data