Los Angeles -- Time Warner Cable has negotiated a deal that
will give the operator free hub sites, while schoolchildren in 68 area schools here will
get fiber optic connections to improve Internet access to their facilities.
The company serves the western San Fernando Valley suburbs
of Los Angeles, and it is halfway through its fiber optic upgrade, which will be complete
in late 2000.
According to the terms of the public-private partnership,
Time Warner will upgrade the schools, which are each part of the Los Angeles Unified
School District. Those facilities will be able to use the expanded bandwidth as they see
fit -- for distance learning, communications or other uses.
In the near future -- as part of its social-contract
obligation, negotiated with the Federal Communications Commission -- Time Warner will
supply each school with a Road Runner cable modem and free connection service.
In return, Time Warner will get hub sites on school
property. Housed there will be passive electronics used to serve the 20,000 homes in each
node. Without the partnership, Time Warner would have had to buy or rent the space.
The deal with the district allows the operator to locate
its hubs for 15 years, with an option for two five-year extensions, said David Auger, vice
president and general manager of the MSO's Los Angeles division.
The connection is in addition to the operator's
support of Cable in the Classroom, which provides free educational programming to the