When can I get cable television?

About 30,000 Fairfax residents will be offered the service next fall. The remaining 570,000 county residents will be offered the service over the next four years. Fairfax City, Falls Church, Clifton, Vienna, Herndon and Reston are not included in the service area, but are now conducting independent cable negotiations. A separate service, Warner Cable, has been available in Reston for the past seven years. Other areas that aren't scheduled for service are the government-owned CIA, Lorton Reformatory, Fort Belvoir and Dulles Airport, as well as the Huntley Meadows and Occoquan park areas. The accompanying map shows the franchised areas and the dates of expected service. How much will it cost?

There are two types of service charges: a monthly service fee and a one-time hookup charge. Subscribers who join the cable service within 30 days after it is offered in their neighborhood will not be charged for the hookup. After that, the charge varies depending on the services you want.

* Tier I. 63 channels at a monthly rate of $2.95, with a $9.95 hookup fee after the 30-day free period. Tier I includes all the major networks, local programing, some educational and public access channels and a network for the hearing impaired. Access to two family movie channels is also available; the cost of each is $7.95 a month and you can subscribe to one or both.

* Tier II. 93 channels at $8.95 a month; $19.95 hookup fee after 30-day free period. The channels in Tier II include all Tier I programs plus Dow Jones, Newscable, foreign broadcast signals and a satellite news channel. There are nine optional services including HBO, each costing $7.95 a month. You also can tie into a home security system for another $9.95 a month.

* Tier III. 126 channels at a monthly rate of $10.95; with a $29.95 hookup fee after the 30-day free period. Tier III includes all Tier II programs as well as other cable-magazine services and two satellite services. Options will include a computer-access channel for an additional $10.95 a month that will allow subscribers to transmit material through home computers. Subscribers will be charged for computer time used in the actual transmissions. Four pay-per-view services will be offered, with charges based on individual programs. How is the cable service installed?

Cable lines will be brought to individual homes via cable lines to be installed along utility line rights-of-way. A small, rectangular converter box will be hooked to the television set inside the house. Can I cancel the service?

You can cancel at any time by contacting the cable company. Company technicians then will remove the converter box from the home television set. Cable lines will remain tied into the residence unless subscribers specifically request that they be removed. How can I find out program schedules?

The cable franchise will send subscribers at no additional cost a monthly listing of programs and special services. Where do I get more information about cable service?

Call Media General Cable of Fairfax at 385-5813 between 9 a.m and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office is at 3887 Plaza Dr.