A construction crew began laying cable west of Sterling Park Monday morning, sinking the first three-tenths of a mile of wire that eventually will provide cable television to all the communities of eastern Loudoun County.
Cable Communications Corp. general manager Kenneth Chamberlain said the first households could be hooked up by November and service will be available to all homes in Sterling Park and Sugarland Run, as well as to those in Countryside, Broad Run Farms and Potomac Farms, by October 1984.
CCC officials abandoned plans last month to locate their satellite site in the Ashburn area. Chamberlain said the Ashburn site was too far from the eastern Loudoun communities CCC has contracted to service, even though Ashburn was closer to other sites it could possibly service in the future.
The Ashburn site would require too much amplifying of the signal for eastern Loudoun, and CCC engineers said over-amplification would make the television signal blurry.
CCC won the cable franchise from the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors this spring, but its franchise extends only to the densely settled communities of eastern Loudoun.
In considering the Ashburn area for a satellite site, CCC officials said they hoped to be able to extend cable service to an even larger part of the county. But some supervisors from eastern Loudoun said in July they were concerned about CCC's attempt to expand before completing the system the company originally proposed.
CCC won the eastern Loudoun franchise after months of heated debate among county board members, beating out Storer Cable Communications, the company that owns and operates the cable franchise in Leesburg.
One issue that surfaced during the debate was whether Storer's proposal to use its facilities in Leesburg as a satellite site for servicing eastern Loudoun--a system that would have needed many amplifiers to send the signal to areas such as Sterling Park--would provide quality service.
The three supervisors from eastern Loudoun said at the time they preferred CCC's proposal to locate a site in Sterling, and they eventually persuaded enough other board members to carry the vote awarding the franchise to CCC.
The satellite site chosen by CCC is just off Sterling Road, and the first homes that will be connected will be those in Sterling Park south of Church Road and north of Holly Avenue, Chamberlain said.
The first 46 miles of cable, which will service other areas of Sterling Park and the southern part of Sugarland Run, will be in the ground by next February.
The second phase of construction will extend cable into the southern part of Sterling Park and the eastern part of Sugarland Run, and will be completed by July 1984.
The third phase, which will be finished by October 1984, will complete service to all of Sugarland Run and Sterling Park and extend service to Countryside, Broad Run Farms and Potomac Farms.
The last phase of construction will run cable to Broad Run High School and to homes just outside the eastern edge of Leesburg and is scheduled to be finished by May 1985.
Chamberlain said CCC officials are considering buying the Leesburg franchise, which Storer is offering for $2.4 million.
Chamberlain said his firm expected to make an offer for the 2-year-old system in the next few weeks.