The Prince George's County Council yesterday approved an agreement granting Storer Cable Communications, Inc. the right to build the county's $30 million northern area cable television system. Company officials said that several thousand households will be able to receive cable by the end of the year.
The council awarded the Florida-based Storer company a franchise last fall, along with an award to MetroVision, Inc. for the southern county, after a bitter controversy involving charges of political favoritism. Storer was represented in its efforts to win the franchise by former county executive Winfield M. Kelly and its investors included a host of politically and socially prominent individuals.
Members of a citizens' group attempted to overturn the award, but their referendum effort failed for lack of signatures.
The southern area franchise agreement was signed a week ago, with the Storer agreement delayed slightly by the referendum drive. As a result of negotiations, Storer has agreed to upgrade its system from 82 channels to 108, and from 330 to 400 megahertz, allowing for more channels in the future, company officials said. About 70 channels will be available to those who receive cable in the immediate future, Storer officials said. The county will receive 5 percent of the company's gross revenues each year, which should amount to a payment of $50,000 in the first year.
About 7,500 households within certain north county municipalities already have cable. Residents of New Carrollton, Greenbelt, Cheverly, Colmar Manor and Brentwood should receive service by the end of the year, officials said. The entire system is scheduled for completion within 30 months.