Friday, May 21, 1999

Road Runner coming in July




BY MIKE BOYER
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Greater Cincinnati's second cable modem service, Time Warner Cable's Road Runner, is slated to debut in 54 southwestern Ohio communities in late July.

        Jennifer Mooney, Time Warner spokeswoman, said Thursday that Road Runner, the national Internet access service that uses cable rather than telephone lines, will be launched here by July 20.

        Northern Kentucky cable provider Intermedia Partners, which has 71,000 subscribers, is beginning limited introduction of its own online service At Home this spring in Kenton County.

        Both services are designed to compete with Cincinnati Bell's Zoomtown digital subscriber line service, which provides Internet access via a phone line at speeds up to 50 times faster than standard computer modems.

        Cable modems promise access speeds up to 100 times faster than computer modems and don't require an Internet service provider to gain access.

        Mrs. Mooney said Road Runner will be offered at $39.95 a month. Customers must also subscribe to Time Warner's basic service at about $9 a month, depending on where a customer lives.

        Zoomtown's entry-level service is $29.95 a month. At Home will also cost $29.95, Intermedia says.

        Road Runner installation costs $99.95, but Time Warner is offering a $20-off coupon to customers who sign up now for an additional cable outlet to feed Road Runner to their PCs. The cost of that installation is $14.95.

        Time Warner says “hun dreds” of customers have signed up for additional cable outlets for Road Runner, although it declined to provide specific numbers for competitive reasons. Time Warner has about 240,000 cable subscribers in southwest Ohio.

        Road Runner is one of the enhancements provided by Time Warner's $200 million upgrade of its Greater Cincinnati system completed last year.

        Time Warner is in the midst of acquiring 74,000 TCI Cable customers in Butler, Warren and Clinton counties, but system upgrades that will permit Road Runner won't be completed in those areas for a couple of years, Mrs. Mooney said.

       



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