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Cerritos : Cable Construction Begins

June 16, 1988

Workers have begun the 18-month task of laying lines for Cerritos' long-awaited cable television system, and cable service for homes in the northeast part of the city is scheduled to start in about three months.

T. L. Robak of San Luis Obispo, one of the largest cable system builders on the West Coast, is digging a narrow, 2-foot-deep trench along Shoemaker Avenue to hold the lines that will eventually deliver a mix of cable services to the city's 15,000 homes, including cable programming, home banking and shopping.

Robak has started construction even though the cable television industry has appealed the Federal Communications Commission's approval of the Cerritos system, claiming the approval violates federal rules by allowing a telephone company to offer cable service within its own phone service area.

Under the city's cable agreement, General Telephone Co. of California, the cable franchise holder, is financing construction of the $7.5-million cable network, and will then lease it in part to Apollo Cablevision, a subsidiary of Robak, and in part to General Telephone's parent company, GTE Corp. Apollo is to provide the basic programming and operate the system while GTE uses the lines to conduct experiments with transmission technology linked to 5,000 homes.

A cable company that provides service to nearby Orange County communities has joined the appeal, asking federal authorities to halt construction of the system pending resolution of the appeal. The FCC has not yet ruled on the request, and city officials say installation will continue unless blocked by court action.

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