Print Page  Close Window

SEC Filings

10-K405
RENAISSANCE MEDIA GROUP LLC filed this Form 10-K405 on 03/31/1999
Entire Document
 
<PAGE>
 
authorized two-way transmissions is likely to increase significantly the
channel capacity and services of such wireless systems. Because MMDS and LMDS
service requires unobstructed "line of sight" transmission paths, the ability
of MMDS systems to compete may be hampered in some areas by physical terrain
and large buildings. The Company is not aware of any significant MMDS
operation currently within its cable franchise service areas.
 
   The 1996 Telecom Act makes it easier for local exchange carriers ("LECs")
and others to provide a wide variety of video services competitive with
services provided by cable systems and to provide cable services directly to
subscribers. Other new technologies, including Internet-based services, may
become competitive with services that the Company may offer. See "Legislation
and Regulation." Various LECs currently are providing video programming
services within and outside their telephone service areas through a variety of
distribution methods, including both the deployment of broadband wire
facilities and the use of wireless transmission facilities. LECs also provide
access to interactive online computer services using conventional or
integrated service digital network ("ISDN") modems. Cable television systems
could be placed at a competitive disadvantage if the delivery of video
programming and interactive online computer services by LECs becomes
widespread, since LECs are not required to comply with the variety of
obligations imposed upon cable television systems under such franchises.
Issues of cross-subsidization by LECs of video and telephony services also
pose strategic disadvantages for cable operators seeking to compete with LECs
that provide video services. The Company cannot predict the likelihood of
success of video service ventures by LECs or the impact on the Company of such
competitive ventures.
 
   The Company is planning to market high-speed Internet access and data
transmission in certain areas served by its cable systems and expects that the
competition in the interactive online services area will be significant. The
high-speed cable modems that will be used by the Company are capable of
providing access to interactive online information services, including the
Internet, at faster speeds than that of conventional or ISDN modems used by
other service providers. LECs and other companies provide facilities for the
transmission and distribution to homes and businesses of interactive computer-
based services, including Internet access, as well as data and other non-video
services. Competitors in this area may include LECs, Internet service
providers, commonly called ISPs, long distance carriers, satellite companies,
public utilities and others, many of whom have more substantial financial
resources than the Company. Telephone companies are accelerating the
deployment of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line Technology commonly known as
ADSL. These companies report that ADSL technology will allow Internet access
to subscribers at peak data transmission speeds equal or greater than that of
modems over conventional telephone lines. Several of the Regional Bell
Operating Companies have requested the FCC to fully deregulate packet-switched
networks (a type of data communications in which small blocks of data are
independently transmitted and reassembled) to allow them to provide high-speed
broadband services, including interactive online services, without regard to
present service boundaries and other regulatory restrictions. Regardless of
whether this request is granted, the Company expects that competition in the
interactive online services area will be significant. Recently, a number of
ISPs have requested local authorities and the FCC to provide access rights to
cable television systems' broadband infrastructure so that they may be able to
deliver their services directly to cable television subscribers. In a recent
report, the FCC declined to institute a proceeding to examine this issue, and
concluded that alternative means of access are or soon will be made available
to a broad range ISPs. Because the FCC believes the marketplace is working and
expanding consumer choice for broadband services, it declined to take action
on ISP access to broadband cable facilities, and the FCC indicated that it
would continue to monitor this issue. Several local jurisdictions also are
reviewing this issue. The Company cannot predict the likelihood of success of
the broadband services offered by the Company's competitors or the impact on
the Company of such competitive ventures.
 
   The Company cannot predict the likelihood of success of the online services
offered by these competitors, ISP attempts to gain access to the cable
industry's broadband facilities, or the impact of those developments on the
Company's business.
 
   The 1996 Telecom Act directed the FCC to establish, and the FCC has
adopted, regulations and policies and has issued licenses for digital
television ("DTV") to incumbent television broadcast licensees. DTV is
expected to deliver high definition television pictures, multiple digital-
quality program streams, as well as
 
                                      11