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Internet

Cable access to reach six figures

More than 110,000 customers in North America will get high-speed cable Net access by year's end, a new study says.

More than 110,000 customers in North America will get high-speed Net access via cable systems by year's end, a tenfold increase for the year, according to a study to be released tomorrow.

The report by Kinetic Strategies is consistent with its initial market forecast issued in April. "Although cable modem customers in North America now account for a minuscule portion of the overall residential Internet access market, broadband cable Internet services are beginning to have a significant impact in specific communities where they are offered," the study says.

Two-way cable modem customers projected by year's end
Company Subscribers
Time Warner Cable 29,000
MediaOne 17,000
Cox (@Home affiliate) 15,000
Rogers Cablesystems (@) 11,000
Comcast (@) 10,000
Videotron 5,800
Shaw (@) 5,000
COGECO 4,500
TCI (@) 4,000
Adelphia 2,400
Cablevision Systems (@) 2,000
Jones Intercable 1,400
Other 4,000
Source: Kinetic Strategies Inc.

Analysts have been paying close attention to these figures, not only to gauge the success of newly public companies such as @Home but also to measure the growth of cable modem access vs. DSL (digital subscriber line). As previously reported, Baby Bells such as US West and SBC Communications as well as start-ups such as Covad Communications are gearing up to or are already rolling out DSL. (See related story)

The number now stands at about 90,000 subscribers, Michael Harris, president of Kinetic Strategies, said today. That is more optimistic than the 70,000 figure reported by Yankee Group today. (See related story)

By year's end, two-way cable modem service will be commercially available to 9 million homes, or nearly 9 percent of all homes with cable available to them passed in North America.

Time Warner's Road Runner will log 29,000 subscribers by year's end, compared to 48,000 for the @Home affiliates Cox, Rogers, Comcast, Tele-Communications Inc., and Shaw Communications. US West's MediaOne will get an estimated 17,000 subscribers by year's end.

Kinetic reiterated its prediction that the number of two-way cable modem subscribers in North America will reach 200,000 in the second quarter of next year and beyond 1 million by mid 1999.