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@Home stakes a claim on foreign land

The cable modem service forges ahead with its global plans by reaching out to foreign content developers and continuing talks in Japan and the United Kingdom.

@Home Network is forging ahead with its international plans by reaching out to foreign content developers and continuing talks in Japan and the United Kingdom.

@Home, the leading U.S. cable modem service, today expanded its Media Development Program to encourage overseas multimedia and application developers to create content for the company's broadband network.

@Home hopes to tap into a larger pool of talent to create interesting multimedia content that shows off the capabilities of its high-speed cable-based Internet service. The company is already pushing for so-called rich media online advertisements that are more advanced than today's standard banner ads.

@Home also confirmed that it continues to negotiate with foreign cable television operators in Britain, Japan, and other European and Asian nations.

"We're looking to have opportunities in Europe and Asia. Those are the first markets we're looking at," said @Home spokesman Matt Wolfrom. "That's always been a plan of ours. But, certainly Asia's going to be big for us."

However, Wolfrom declined to comment on specific overseas plans or on the progress of discussions with individual cable companies abroad.

@Home's international group is led by John O'Farrell, a former US West executive.

Meanwhile, the company's Dutch offering, @Home Nederland, is getter closer to launching. The service, a joint venture between @Home, Intel, Dutch cable operator Castel, and Edon, a holding company that owns cable TV company Pallete Kabelcom, could launch as early as the second quarter, but will probably not roll out before the fall, Wolfrom said.

Intel invested $20 million in the Dutch service, which when launched will be available to as many as 1.4 million homes.

Canadian cable companies Shaw Communications and Rogers Cablesystems, two of @Home's 18 domestic partners, are among its most successful at rolling out the @Home data-over-cable service in North America.