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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Allen Invests $1.65Bln in Cable Firm




SEATTLE -- Media mogul Paul Allen's $1.65 billion investment in telecommunications company RCN Corp. should allow RCN to link a third of the homes in major U.S. markets by fiber-optic cable by 2003, a key step in Allen's ambitious effort to deliver an array of information services to the home.


RCN said the investment, expected to close in the first quarter of 2000, will give it enough capital to continue building its high-speed fiber-optic network for three years on the east and west coasts of the United States.


By 2003 the network will reach about one-third of the homes in the nation's most densely populated markets - the corridors from San Diego to San Francisco and from Washington to Boston, RCN executives told reporters in a conference call.


In those markets, RCN is offering a bundle of services including Internet access, local and long-distance telephone service and cable television in the nation's most densely populated markets, RCN executives said.


That concept meshes with Allen's vision of a "wired world" that has propelled a massive $20 billion acquisition spree of cable, telecommunications and Internet properties over the past two years.


With a series of announcements, Allen's Vulcan Ventures investment vehicle fleshed out the Microsoft Corp. co-founder's vision.


In another step toward fulfilling his vision, Vulcan will become majority owner in a new joint venture aimed at delivering broadband video and communications services through a television set-top box beginning late next year.


The new venture, Broadband Partners, initially will be a partnership of his Charter Communications cable television group, RCN and two other companies closely affiliated with Allen - High Speed Access Corp. and Go2Net Inc.