Century Cable Television has notified the cities of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood that rental fees for converter boxes will be changed beginning July 1.
Subscribers in West Hollywood will see their monthly fees lowered, but those in Beverly Hills will be charged a fee for the Tocom box for the first time. Letters notifying residents of the changes will go out this month and in June.
The changes are an attempt to standardize charges, said Frances Turner Brennan, a Century Cable spokeswoman.
The Tocom box allows customers to change pay channels and subscribe to pay-per-view programs instantly with a phone call instead of a home service call. Century Cable has about 11,000 cable TV subscribers in each city. In Beverly Hills, 6,000 customers have Tocom boxes; 5,800 have them in West Hollywood.
The box is available only in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Marina del Rey, although the company also serves Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys and other areas of Los Angeles County. A $5 fee for the Tocom box has been charged in West Hollywood since December, 1987. No fee was charged to residents of Beverly Hills, where the box was first offered in the fall 1989, Brennan said, because the company was in the process of improving the cable system in the area. Century Cable Television was awarded the Beverly Hills franchise in 1986 with a five-year renewal option.
Fees for the Tocom box now will be a maximum of $5, depending on how many premium services a subscriber receives.