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Cable Assn. Vows to Fight FCC Approval for Cerritos

April 17, 1988|BETTINA BOXALL | Times Staff Writer

CERRITOS — Officials of the National Cable Television Assn. promise to continue fighting this city's planned cable television system, saying that, if necessary, they will go to federal court to block construction of the long-awaited system.

James P. Mooney, the association's president, said that his group intends "to pursue all available remedies to reverse" the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) approval of the Cerritos proposal. "We will not rest until it is, in fact, reversed."

Despite the threat of a prolonged appeal, city spokeswoman Michelle Ogle said the city will start installing the system within the next few months unless barred from doing so by the courts.

The FCC last week granted General Telephone Co. of California, the cable franchise holder, a waiver to proceed with the system, concluding that General Telephone's plan was the only one that could bring cable television to Cerritos.

The cable television industry has objected to the proposal, complaining that the financial arrangements of the deal will allow the telephone company to provide cable services in its telephone service area, thus giving it an unfair advantage over the cable industry.

Both the national association and the California Cable Television Assn. argue that there is no reason for the FCC to grant a waiver.

"Cerritos is nearly in the center of an urban area, which, except for Cerritos, is fully served by independent cable operators. . . .," said Michael Morris of the state cable association. "This is clearly not an area where cable service will not be provided unless the phone company is involved."

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