In less than a month, John Rigas and brood will shuffle into a NYC courtroom to answer charges of conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud. Some 1,600 miles away, the new regime at Adelphia will keep an eye on the trial, but will focus on the here and now. "We’re going to try and concentrate as much as we can on our new management, on the new Adelphia," an official says. Some subs are seeing the new Adelphia, with improvements in service and Adelphia feature sets, as the MSO’s nationwide upgrade kicks back into high gear. About 87% of the network has been brought up to speed, Adelphia says, and it expects to reach 95% by mid-year. Subs in Buffalo, NY, have begun to reap the rewards; in little more than a month, viewers could opt for VOD, HD and DVR. The company also has made some big tech deployments, which prompted one vendor to tell us "it’s a great time to work with Adelphia. They’re digging in, spending money … it’s good news all the way around." Yet Adelphia admits subs aren’t likely to ignore the court proceedings. "Customer awareness [of the trial] radiates out in concentric circles from ground zero, Coudersport," an official says. (The Pearl St courtroom will be getting a lot of attention: it’s also hosting the Martha Stewart and Tyco trials.) Improvements notwithstanding, Adelphia has considerable work ahead. Tues, it posted an operating loss of $49.3mln for Dec ’03 vs a loss of $26.3mln in Nov. UBS noted a continued loss of basic and digital subs, which offset the robustness of HSD.

The Daily


Section 706: ISPs Once Again Battle Over Benchmarks

The FCC is once again looking to fulfill its Section 706 obligation through its annual Notice of Inquiry into the state of broadband deployment.

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