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Adelphias Plans Unaffected By Parent Companys Bankruptcy
Local Cable TV Operator Will Soon Start System Upgrade In San Juan As Part Of A Two-Year, $50 Million Improvement Program
BY JOSE L. CARMONA
October 10, 2002
Plans by Cable TV of Greater San Juan and Community Cablevision to reconstruct & upgrade their cable systems arent being affected by their parent companys bankruptcy filing, Francisco Toste, Cable TV of Greater San Juan vice president & general manager, told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS.
"Our plans continue; they havent been affected," said Toste. "We have to reconstruct & upgrade San Juans system, and we are about to do it."
Adelphia Communications Corp., parent company of Cable TV of Greater San Juan and Community Cablevision, sought bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 (reorganization) on June 25. It listed assets of $24.4 billion and debts of $18.6 billion in its bankruptcy petition. Adelphias bankruptcy case is the sixth largest in U.S. history.
According to Toste, reconstruction of the San Juan cable system involves replacing the unidirectional equipment with bidirectional gear. This will allow the company to launch interactive services such as Internet via cable modems in 2003.
"We cant provide a specific timetable for when these services will be available, because they are still in the development stages. However, we will launch them sometime in 2003," said Toste.
The system upgrade is part of a two-year, $50 million improvement program, noted Toste. The company continues to expand its local digital cable system amid strong competition from DirecTV.
Cable TV of Greater San Juan and Community Cablevision provide service to 140,000 subscribers in Bayamon, Cataño, Carolina, Guaynabo, San Juan, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, and Trujillo Alto.
Adelphia, the No. 6 U.S. cable TV operator, asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan to extend its exclusive period to file a reorganization plan until April 21, 2003, claiming it needed more time to develop a plan with creditors and shareholders. The company contended the sheer size and complexity of the bankruptcy warranted an extension. On Monday Judge Robert Gerber granted the extension.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Code gives bankrupt companies an exclusive right to file a reorganization plan within 120 days. Companies often request and courts routinely grant extensions. Adelphias 120-day exclusivity period was to expire later this month.
Last week Adelphia founder John Rigas, sons Michael and Timothy (both senior executives), and two other company executives pleaded innocent on charges of conspiracy and securities, wire, and bank fraud.
Adelphias problems began in March after the company disclosed it had guaranteed billions of dollars in loans to the Rigas family.
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.