CERRITOS — The city's seemingly endless quest for a local cable television system moved closer to a conclusion this week when the Federal Communications Commission bestowed its blessing on a proposal that has raised strong objections from the state's cable television industry.
"We're very excited, very pleased," said city spokeswoman Michelle Ogle. "We're planning construction within three months."
One of the last communities in Southeast Los Angeles County to be without cable television, Cerritos had difficulty finding a company willing to meet its demands that all cable lines be placed underground and that customers be offered a variety of novel cable services, such as home banking and shopping. Then when General Telephone Co. of California finally agreed to become partners in the local franchise through a joint venture with Apollo Cablevision, the state cable industry protested, throwing the matter into the FCC's court.
The California Cable Television Assn. contends that the proposed Cerritos system violates federal rules protecting cable companies from unfair competition because it would in essence allow the telephone company to provide cable service in its own telephone service area.
But Tuesday the FCC sided with General Telephone, approving the Cerritos plan with certain conditions, Ogle said. The company cannot pass any of the $7.5- million system's costs on to its telephone customers, and it must annually report to the FCC on the system.