More cable operators in telco joint ventures

Cable operators are lining up to take a slice of the telecommunications pie.

Eleven cable system operators are entering joint ventures with Teleport Communications Group, a Long Island-based long-distance access company.

The cable companies will share in revenues from TCG to businesses in yet-untapped suburban markets. The telco’s fiber optic lines will be using the right-of-way of the cable companies’ coaxial lines.

Dedicated phones

TCG offers corporate customers dedicated phone lines for high-speed transmission of voice, data and images to long-distance carriers from a number of large metropolitan areas.

In the future, say observers, the cable operators could offer long-distance access to their subscribers via TCG.

Teleport’s new partners will include Cablevision Industries Inc.; Crown Media Inc.; Hyperion Telecommunications Inc., which is a unit of Adelphia Communications; InterMedia Partners; Maclean Hunter Cable TV; Times Mirror Cable Television; and Viacom Cable.

Top ownership

TCG is already owned by four of the top operators, with Cox Enterprises Inc. and Tele-Communications Inc. each owning 30% apiece.

The remaining 40% evenly split between Continental Cablevision and Comcast Corp.

Network development

The new networks will be developed in Detroit; Miami; Providence, R.I.; Phoenix; and St. Louis.

Teleport said existing networks in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles will be expanded.

In each joint venture, Teleport will be responsible for managing the construction, operation, sales and overall administration of the network.