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MCI to Invest $30 Million to Buy 20% of Interactive Cable Systems : Communications: The move marks company's first venture into cable TV.

October 05, 1994|Times Wire Services

MCI Communications is investing $30 million for 20% of Interactive Cable Systems Inc., a private firm that provides local telephone service and wireless cable television to apartment houses.

On Monday, MCI filed to provide local telephone service in five states as it launched its first major effort to enter the $90-billion local telephone market. Interactive Cable's Active-Tel local telephone unit will be a distributor for MCI long-distance service as part of the investment agreement.

The investment marks MCI's first venture into cable television, said Kevin Inda, a company spokesman. He downplayed that fact. "We don't consider this a major investment," he said.

Interactive, based in Los Angeles, provides wireless cable TV and telephone service in competition with local cable and phone monopolies in more than 20 states. It has 85,000 cable subscribers and contracts in place to provide local telephone service to 20,000 apartment units, according to co-Chairman Andrew Adelson. The company also plans to provide security and energy management services to apartment dwellers. "The apartment is a very lucrative consumer unit that has yet to be exploited properly," Adelson said. He said the investment will give MCI "a jump in learning about the cable business."

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