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For Immediate Release
For Immediate ReleaseAugust 3, 1999
Company will offer advanced fiber-optic networkto more than 240,000 Montgomery County households
Washington, D.C., August 3, 1999 - Starpower Communications today won approval from Montgomery County, Md. to offer competitive cable television services to more than 240,000 households. The Montgomery County Council awarded Starpower a 15-year franchise to compete for customers against the county's existing cable provider. The franchise will enable Starpower to serve more than 80 percent of the 308,000 households in the county, the nation`s eighth wealthiest and the largest in Maryland with a population of 850,000.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for the people of Montgomery County who have clearly demonstrated their demand for local cable competition," said John McCallum, Starpower co-chairman and president of Pepco Communications, L.L.C. "The County Executive and the County Council, as well as their staffs, should be commended for their leadership in embracing competition. Starpower`s True Local Network is leading edge and will bring the future to Montgomery County residents now."
With earlier agreements in the District of Columbia and Gaithersburg, Md., Starpower has approval to serve more than 500,000 households in the Washington metropolitan area through its expanding state-of-the-art fiber-optic network. By the end of August, Starpower will have activated the network to offer service to 26,000 households in the District and Gaithersburg. Starpower has achieved an initial consumer penetration rate for cable service of more than 30 percent and a penetration for local phone service in the mid-20 percent range.
Starpower also is negotiating agreements to provide facilities-based telecommunications competition in Prince George's County, Md. and in several Virginia jurisdictions, including Falls Church, Fairfax and Arlington counties.
The Montgomery County franchise calls for completing construction of the initial build-out area in four years. Starpower intends to begin construction immediately and expects to start offering services by early next year. Starpower will bring its advanced fiber network closer to the consumer than any other telecommunications provider, enabling consumers to receive the clearest signal, best service and highest bandwidth available.
Montgomery County subscribers will be able to choose from a bundle of advanced communication services, including cable television, local and long distance telephone service and high-speed Internet service.
"Starpower will offer more channels, superior service and a better value for consumers," said Starpower General Manager Anthony Peduto. "Starpower will offer subscribers a 94-channel basic cable television lineup, which is 50 percent more than the incumbent cable provider at less cost." Optional premium services, including 12 Pay-Per-View channels, bring Starpower`s initial lineup to more than 140 channels. In addition, the company will offer unlimited, two-way, super high-speed Internet services through the use of cable modems.
Starpower is a joint venture of Pepco Communications, LLC, a non-regulated, wholly owned affiliate of Potomac Electric Power Company (NYSE: POM) and RCN Corporation of Princeton, NJ. RCN is the nation`s first and largest facilities-based provider of telecommunications services to the residential market.
About the Network
Starpower`s True Local Network is a unique broadband fiber optic platform capable of offering the full suite of telecommunications services - including fully featured voice, video and high-speed Internet - to customers. The network employs SONET ring backbone architecture and localized nodes built to ensure its state-of-the-art fiber optics travel to within 900 feet of Starpower customers, with fewer electronics and lower maintenance costs than existing local networks.
Additional information about Starpower may be found on the company`s web site at www.Starpower.net or by calling toll-free to 1-877-STARPOWER.
Point of Contact:Robert Dobkin