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United Cable Seeks to Extend Deadline Again

October 25, 1987

United Cable of Los Angeles is seeking a third extension of its deadline for providing cable television service to the East San Fernando Valley, the company's president said.

United Cable has completed just over half of the 935 miles of its installations.

William Cullen, president of the company, said Saturday that the city Board of Telecommunications has recommended that City Council approve the deadline extension from June, 1988, to December, 1988.

In 1983, United Cable and the city of Los Angeles entered a franchise agreement to provide cable service from Mission Hills to Studio City.

Under the agreement, the city will receive 5% of the company's gross revenue, which is expected to reach about $25 million a year, Cullen said.

Citations From DWP

Cullen attributed the latest delay to many citations from the city Department of Water and Power. DWP inspectors have cited the company for laying its cable lines on city utility poles in an unsafe manner, Cullen said. One such violation, he said, involved the laying of his company's cables too close to telephone and power lines.

Some of the citations occurred long after the cable was in place, requiring the company to "go back over those areas," Cullen said. He also said he agreed with some of the citations.

The company expects to invest $75 million in the project and estimates that $10 million in revenue has already been lost because of construction delays, Cullen said. When awarded the franchise in 1983, the company had expected to complete service in 1985.

United Cable might be able to complete providing service by the earlier June deadline but is requesting the extension in anticipation of delays from the DWP citations, he said.

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