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High-speed cable modems take hold

A new study suggests that use of high-speed cable modems is beginning to take hold in North America.

A new study suggests that, though far from a mainstream means to connect homes to the Net, use of high-speed cable modems is beginning to take hold in North America.

More than half a million homes will use a cable modem to connect to the Internet by the end of the year--a jump of more than 350 percent from the end of 1997--according to a study by cable modem research firm Kinetic Strategies.

The study found that cable Net access providers @Home Network and Road Runner dominate the nascent market, together serving about 90 percent of the cable modem subscriber market in the United States and Canada.

The @Home cable Net access service garnered 305,000 subscribers through its partners, while Road Runner snagged 160,000 subscribers through its affiliates, dominated by Time Warner and MediaOne--two companies with stakes in the Road Runner venture.

Shaw leads the list of @Home's partners, with the duo signing up 69,000. Other partners include Cox Communications and Comcast, among others.

Kinetic pegged 111,000 cable Net subscribers by the end of 1997.

The research firm also found that by the end of this year, cable Net access service will be available to 20 percent of all cable-capable homes in North America, or 21 million potential customers, underscoring the potential market for the technology.