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HP, Worldgate to offer cable

Hewlett-Packard and WorldGate Communications will provide a system that will offer Net access through TV set-top boxes and PCs with cable modems.

Hewlett-Packard (HWP) and WorldGate Communications will provide an end-to-end system for cable providers that will give consumers Internet access through TV set-top converters and PCs with cable modems.

The two companies, which made the announcement at the Western Cable TV show in Anaheim, California, said they will integrate HP's Broadband Internet Delivery System with WorldGate's TV On-Line service. The BIDS servers are coupled with TVOL's Client and Converter Communications Manager at the cable company "head-end" for centralized management.

The TVOL service allows cable operators to offer subscribers low-cost access to the Internet without need for a PC or other computer equipment. Only an analog or digital set-top box is required. Additional services that the package will provide include email, chat, newsgroups, and other information services through WorldGate's browser interface. No pricing or availability was announced.

In related news, HP announced that Cox Communications, a nationwide cable television company, will begin testing HP's QuickBurst Link cable modem and router in early 1997. Cox is looking to roll out high-speed Internet access in its largest markets in 1997 and 1998 and is currently testing several cable modems.