GCI buys Rogers American Cablesystems

Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- General Communication Inc. has signed a $19 million agreement to buy Rogers American Cablesystems Inc., a cable television company with about 7,300 subscribers in the Palmer and Wasilla areas.

The cash deal, signed Friday, will thrust the Anchorage-based telecom company into the fastest growing area in Alaska, where it will try to expand by bundling long-distance phone, Internet and other services with its cable product.

''The Valley is a market with great potential,'' said Riley Snell, general manager of GCI cable and entertainment.

Snell expects state regulators to approve the deal within four months.

No immediate changes are planned for customers, but Snell said rates could increase for some cable services in the future. GCI plans to spend $3 million over the next two years upgrading the system and integrating it into its own cable network.

Rogers American is a subsidiary of Toronto-based Rogers Cable Inc. The company has operated the cable system in Mat-Su since 1990, said Don Smith, general manager of Rogers American.

John Troy, president of Rogers Cable, said in a statement that his company is leaving Alaska to focus on customers in its main markets of Ontario and eastern Canada.

GCI will hire the 15 full-time employes working for Rogers American, the companies said.

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