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AT&T & cable co. `internet for the masses' product announcements

Two announcements on products that will bring internet to large
audiences. One by Continental Cablevision Inc. The cable line one
apparently uses special coaxial cable modems, and apparently is
full-duplex (?). On front page of today's Wall St. Journal.

Following that, AT&T announces the Interspan `Frame Relay Services and
Information Access Services' to the internet. In the former, one gets
`cost-effective' internet capabilities, in the later 

``current Interspan customers and all global Internet users will be
able to subscribe to the full range of messaging services from AT&T
EasyLink Services including electronic mail, text-to-fax delivery and
telex, and will be able to communicate with subscribers of non-Internet
commercial network services worldwide.''

Access through current connections with new `virtual circuit' or by
anyone at 300-14.4 bps in nationwide, toll free, seven digit number
950-1ATT, also an 800 number.

Also, customers can register in an AT&T database for the DNS system
with company names. Also, access to InterNic directory (hm, I wonder if
that was built in preparation & anticipation of this).

then stuff on the current EasyLink: 160 countries, electronic messages
with data interchange, gateways from LANs, email, enhanced fax, etc.

The critical question underlying all these services -- when will it be
the case that a completely cyberspatial company is erected, free of
harassment by archaic `internet acceptable use policies'?


From: [email protected] (Gordon Cook)
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1993 17:41:51 GMT

>From today's Wall St. Journal

"Cable Company is Set to Plug into Internet

Cable Television will connect to the Internet, information pathway to millions
of personal computer users world-wide, early next year through direct link up
via Continental Cablevision Inc., one of the nation's largest cable operators.

The service, which could greatly alter delivery of electronic information,
would allow Continental's customers to plug PCs and a special modem directly
into Continental's cable lines, said William Schrader, President of
Performance Systems, a Herndon, VA. network services company that is
Continental's partner in the project.

The cable link would by pass local phone and other special hookups to access
the internet directly.  More significantly it would allow customers . . . to
fetch whole kinds of information. . . at information superhighway speeds - as
fast as 10 million bits per second. . . . Mr Schrader said. . . . . "This
isn't some fluffy pie-in-the-sky vision," said David Fellows, a senior vice
president at Continental.  Added Mr. Schrader:  "Other companies such as Time
Warner inc in Orlando are talking about elaborate multimedia service tests.
But our plan is small simple and easy.  This will work."

But while the new service holds much promise, no one is sure what the customer
demand will be, especially at an estimated cost of $70 to $100 a month. . . .
[Comment by G COOK  Here the Journal gets confused.  It seems to assume that
the audience for this service is the same as for prodigy or for CATV home
entertainment.  NOT TRUE!  The audience will be telecommuters, individual
entrepreneurs, and small businessmen with their own LANs, and K-12 school
districts, and local governments for whom $100 a month would be about 20% of
what they would have to pay for equivalent service over regular internet RBOC
phone access channnels.]

Performance Systems, which provides a means for customers to hook up to the
internet system , plans to install computer routers in the continental
network. . . . The routers will be installed in the main hubs or "head end"
facilities in continental's vast network, allowing easy extension of the new
internet service to homes and businesses tethered to the cable company.  For
the customer's home or business computer Performance Systems will provide a
special computer modem to reach the service.

The two companies plan to announce the service today at an industry trade show
in San Francisco.  The first hookups are scheduled to take place in Cambridge
Mass where Continental has many subscribers connected to Harvard University
and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

The rest of the article is plain vanilla what is the internet all about.  This
seems to me to be an extremely significant announcement that
does not bode well for the RBOCs.  I'd expect to see the rest of IP commercial
service providers running hard to jump on the band wagon.

Gordon Cook, Editor Publisher:  COOK Report on Internet -> NREN
431 Greenway Ave, Ewing, NJ 08618
[email protected]                                   (609) 882-2572
Ask about my 15,000 word, $250, CATV vs. Telco's Internet & NII Study


Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1993 18:04:27 -0500
From: [email protected] (David Farber)
Subject: rather PRey but still -- AT&T Announces New Internet Connectivity Options 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, August 24, 1993 

            AT&T Announces New Internet Connectivity Options 

        BASKING RIDGE, N.J -- AT&T today announced new options that will
provide a single-vendor solution for accessing both the global Internet
and enhanced messaging services.  These new options will be available in
the first quarter of 1994 to customers of AT&T InterSpan (R) Services,
AT&T EasyLink Services and the millions of people worldwide who use the
        There will be new connections to the Internet from AT&T InterSpan
Frame Relay Services and Information Access Services.  There also will
be new connections from AT&T EasyLink Services to the Internet through
AT&T InterSpan Services.
        Customers of InterSpan Services will gain a variety of convenient,
cost-effective options to access the global Internet.  At the same time,
InterSpan customers and all global Internet users will be able to
subscribe to the full range of messaging services from AT&T EasyLink
Services including electronic mail, text-to-fax delivery and telex, and
will be able to communicate with subscribers of non-Internet commercial
network services worldwide.
          AT&T InterSpan Frame Relay Service customers will have access
to the Internet by simply adding a single permanent virtual circuit to
their existing connections.
        Similarly, InterSpan Information Access Service customers will
be able to access the Internet at speeds ranging from 300 - 14400 bps
with a nationwide toll-free, seven-digit number (950-1ATT).
        "Increasingly, organizations need to reach beyond their own
boundaries to access the information and computing resources they need,"
said Jayne Fitzgerald, product line director, InterSpan Data
Communications Services.  "With these new options, our customers will
have the opportunity to simplify their premises equipment needs and
vendor interface requirements, as well as streamline their network
management issues."
        For customers of AT&T EasyLink Services, who already have
access to the global Internet, the new connections will mean improved
reliability and performance for their Internet communications.
        "More and more people, including AT&T customers, want to have
the option to communicate on the global Internet," said Sal Noto,
product management vice president, AT&T EasyLink Services.  "In
providing that option, we're increasing the ease with which millions
of people can access each other as well as the information they want
and need."
         The new AT&T options will include a naming service based
on the Domain Name System (DNS), a widely used method for naming and
translating addresses on the Internet.  With this service, AT&T customers
will be able to register an Internet name of their choice--one that
reflects their corporate identity, for example--and use that name for
their communication on the Internet.  AT&T also will offer to assist
customers with selection, registration and maintenance of their names
on the Internet.
        All of the new AT&T Internet connectivity options will support
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol), the primary
method for transferring information across various networks on the
        Customers of the new Internet connectivity options will be able
to tap into the InterNic directory and database services.  Provided by
AT&T since April under a cooperative agreement with the National Science
Foundation, these services make it easier for all Internet users to find
available Internet resources. 
       AT&T InterSpan Frame Relay Service and InterSpan Information
Access Service are members of a comprehensive new family of high-quality,
innovative data connectivity solutions designed to make it easier
to link people, locations and information.  The InterSpan Services
facilitate faster, more efficient distributed computing for business
through customized data services flexible enough to change and grow
as a company evolves.
        AT&T EasyLink Services serves more than 160 countries and has
sales and support offices in three dozen countries.  AT&T EasyLink
Services offers one of the broadest arrays of electronic messaging
services in the market, including electronic data interchange, gateways
from LAN-based e-mail systems and telex, in addition to electronic mail,
enhanced fax and information services. 

                            # # # 

Editors' notes: 

The global Internet is a system of approximately 14,000 interconnected
data networks, reaching more than 100 countries and serving commercial 
organizations, research organizations, governments and universities.
By the end of 1993, more than 2 million computers, terminals and other
devices will be accessible on the Internet. 

950 access is currently available in 90% of the U.S. market.  Where 950
access is not available and as back-up, an 800 number is provided. 

                            # # #