One of the nation's first cable television systems was established in 1952 in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, by John Rigas and his brother, Gus. They called their company "Adelphia," the Greek word for brother, symbolizing their commitment to family and customer service. Today, more than four decades of rapid growth have not changed the Rigas family commitment to customer service. In fact, it is this commitment which has helped Adelphia grow into one of the largest cable television companies in America. The Adelphia mission today remains what it was in the beginning, to fully meet our customer's television and communications needs and to provide even better customer service each passing year.
1995 Annual Report
Adelphia, through its direct ownership and management of cable systems, is the seventh largest cable television operator in the United States. The leadership of Adelphia recognized several years ago that in order to sustain our growth and to maximize shareholder value, we needed to add incrementally to our existing broadband distribution cable network and explore related business investment opportunities. While never losing sight of our core strengths, we are constantly reevaluating our business and seeking new opportunities. Over the past three years, our portfolio of assets has grown to include businesses involved in many facets of telecommunications. Our investments in our cable platform, programming, alternate access, wireless personal communications services, and security monitoring illustrate that Adelphia has become much more than a traditional cable television company. These investments support our goal of sensible expansion in response to the changing field of telecommunications and offer the potential to contribute significantly to shareholder value in the future.
Technological Leadership & Innovation
Adelphia considers technological innovation to be an important component of cost-effective improvement of its product and customer satisfaction. Our commitment to technology is evidenced by our capital spending program. Over the course of the year, we continued to install our "fiber-to feeder" network design. This design combines fiber optic trunk with coaxial plant and has proven to be economical in rebuilding, extending , and upgrading our systems. Our design deploys fiber from headends to nodes which serve approximately 100 to 200 homes in a market. This fiber rich architecture allows us to meet the programming needs of different market segments today and in the future.
Through the use of fiber optic cable and other technological improvements, Adelphia has increased system reliability and channel capacity. Over 75% of Adelphia's owned and managed systems have channel capacity in excess of 54 channels. Further, these improvements have allowed us to enhance customer service, reduce operating expenses, and introduce additional services, such as ADELPHIAnet and impulse pay-per-view programming. We believe our investments in our cable platform position us well to meet our customer's current and future communication needs.
With incremental investments to our existing cable platform, Adelphia is poised to enter the world of telephony and full interactivity. The $85 billion local telephone market is attractive to Adelphia given its size and operating margins - even a small piece of the local telephone market represents a significant opportunity for Adelphia. On the interactive front, Adelphia has launched the Sega Channel in certain markets. Although the current service is not interactive in the truest sense of the word, gaming systems in the future will allow cable customers to compete against one another.
In addition to the activities described above, Adelphia has made a substantial commitment to technological development as a member of the Cable Television Laboratories, Inc., a not-for-profit research and development company serving the cable industry. Through joint funding of research and development activities, CableLabs is maximizing technological advancement for all industry members.