Firm Offers High-Speed Access to Internet

By Abrahms, Doug | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 20, 1997 | Go to article overview

Firm Offers High-Speed Access to Internet


Abrahms, Doug, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Cablevision of Loudoun is light years ahead of the competition - well, maybe only about 50 times faster.

The cable company yesterday inaugurated an Internet access service it claims will take customers to cyberspace in a fraction of the time it takes to get there via telephone lines. Cablevision is charging $39.95 a month for the service and becomes the region's first cable operator to make Internet access available to all its customers.

"We say that even the best phone line is like a garden hose, where the cable connection is more like a fire hose," said Max Kipfer, general manager of Cablevision.

The company, which has 31,000 subscribers, added Internet service capability because of the county's high-tech demographics, he said. More than 35 percent of households subscribe to an on-line service and more than 70 percent own a personal computer.

Taking advantage of high-capacity cable lines, Cablevision's Internet service can reach speeds of 1,500 kilobits per second compared with the standard telephone modem that runs at 28.8 kilobits, Mr. Kipfer said. The company already has signed up about 250 customers for its high-speed data service.

The company charges $100 to install the hardware and software to get a consumer's Internet access up and running, Mr. Kipfer said.

So far, only about 25,000 cable modems have been sold compared with tens of millions of telephone modems, said Peter Krasilovsky, vice president of Arlen Communications Inc., a Bethesda research firm. But this could be a big revenue producer for cable companies and also add a service that direct-to-home satellites can't provide, he said. …

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