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Time Warner Net service hits the road

Road Runner, Time Warner's high-speed Internet access via cable systems, continues its fast-paced rollout, with plans to launch in San Diego, California, and Portland, Maine, during the first quarter of next year.

Road Runner, Time Warner's high-speed Internet access via cable systems, today continued its fast-paced rollout, with plans to launch in San Diego, California, and Portland, Maine, during the first quarter of next year.

In San Diego, Time Warner said that Toshiba will serve as the system integrator and Motorola will provide the modems. In Maine, Toshiba will provide the modems, as well as the system integration, the Japanese company's first market for this end-to-end service.

Today's Time Warner announcement comes less than a month after the company's debuted its service in Akron, Ohio. It also is being rolled out in Elmira and Corning, New York.

All told, these markets serve more than 683,000 homes, making Time Warner's cable modem rollout one of the most aggressive in the industry.

Earlier this year, the cable TV industry's plan to roll out high-speed Net access on their cable systems ran into much criticism. Some fell behind schedule, and doubts were raised about whether cable-modem makers could deliver their products on time.

The aggressive rollouts are now under way. Last week, @Home launched its service in Sunnyvale, California, following a debut in nearby Fremont. Later this month, it plans a rollout in Hartford, Connecticut, followed by Arlington Heights, Illinois.

@Home is jointly owned by Tele-Communications Incorporated, Comcast, and Cox Communications.

Continental Cablevision also is working on an ambitious launch. Its service still faces sizable hurdles, however. The price, typically $40 to $50 per month, is relatively high for Net access. Also, competition from phone companies, which offer Net access via phone lines, is mounting.