Representatives of three competing cable television companies attacked yesterday critical portions of consultant's reports that recommend how Alexandria should become the second major Washington jurisdiction with a cable television system.
The firms laid their complaints before the Alexandria City Council which is schedule to select a firm to operate the system Tuesday night. The cable firms have lined up various community leaders behind their proposals and their supporters' influence is expected to be a factor in the council's decision.
"how would you like to choose between three sets of friends?" Mayor Frank E. Mann asked aloud yesterday during the public hearing on the issue.
Bernard Corbett, president of Alexcom, claimed that portions of his company's financial prospectus had been misunderstood by the city's television consultants, who had questioned the firm's ability to install the $5.7 million system.
"we have the financial capability" needed to operate the franchise, Corbett said, as his supporters applauded. He said the group would raise the $5.7 million from small local investors whose prime concerns would be life in Alexandria.
Charles Henry Smith, a key backer of another bidder, the Alexandria Cablevision Company (ACC), told the council that "Alexandria is not for sale," attacking the favorable response city concultants had given to sponse city consultants had given to Schenectady, N.Y. based General Electric Company.
The group Smith attacked, the Alexandria Telecommunications Company (altec), receives 80 percent of its $6.9 million from the Business Development Services Inc., a G.E subsidiary. Altec spokesmen noted praise for their firm in the city reports and responded to criticisms of their firm as well.
Those reports had on the whole favored Altec, although fared the worst of the three competing groups.
Altec is affiliated with another cable television firm, Artec, which has the franchise to wire Arlington, the only major community in the area that has a cable franchise.