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@Home partners with Canadian cable firm

In another move north of the border, the Net-over-cable service signs a deal for high-speed Internet access with Canadian cable operator Videon CableSystems.

    In another strategic move north of the border, @Home Network today signed a deal for high-speed Internet access with Canadian cable operator Videon CableSystems.

    The agreement continues @Home's international expansion efforts, following deals with four Canadian cable partners and a Dutch affiliate. The Net-over-cable company also plans to expand into Europe and Asia.

    The deal with Videon, a subsidiary of Moffat Communications, gives @Home access to more than 500,000 homes and a strong presence in Edmonton and Winnipeg. The service will be called Videon@Home, and will be available later this year.

    Previously, Videon had offered cable modem-based Internet access through its Wave service in Manitoba and its Power Surfer service in Alberta. All users, however, will be converted to @Home by the end of the third quarter.

    @Home also has deals with fellow Canadian cable television companies Rogers Cablesystems, Shaw Communications, and Cogeco Cable. Rogers and Shaw have been among @Home's most aggressive partners in rolling out @Home's cable modem service.

    The Canadian cable operators are partners in a joint venture called @Home Canada, which was formed in 1997. With the addition of Videon, @Home Canada will customize and develop new content for the service. @Home Canada has signed on several multimedia developers to provide content and @Home recently expanded its multimedia developer program internationally.

    In addition to being the leading cable modem service in the nation with 331,000 subscribers, @Home continues to explore opportunities abroad.

    The company's Dutch subsidiary @Home Nederland is expected to launch later this year and the company is in talks with potential partners in Britain and Japan.

    Many Internet companies are looking to expand into Europe where the online population is expected to boom.

    @Home now has 19 cable partners that together reach more than 60 million homes worldwide.