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@Home Heads for Europe

High-speed cable Internet provider @Home Network today announced an agreement to form @Home Netherlands, a joint venture with Dutch cable operators CasTel and Palet Kabelcom.

The new service will be made available in the Netherlands and in the Flemish-speaking parts of Belgium. The agreement's terms name @Home as the distributor of CasTel and Palet's subscriber service to 1.4 million households or 20% percent of Dutch households.

According to the company, approximately 10% of Dutch households are connected to the Internet, one of the highest rates among countries outside the United States.

@Home said additional unnamed cable operators in the Netherlands may be leveraged as part of the newly-created network, becoming equity shareholders or distributors pending Board approval.

The Netherlands operation will offer broadband content features including CD-quality audio, news, video on demand, high-speed games, and software downloads at faster speeds than normally available in the country, according to @Home.

"With increasing consumer demand, high disposable income and high usage based telephone charges for dial-up access, Europe is a promising market for high-speed cable Internet services," said Tom Jermoluk, chairman and CEO of @Home Network. "Working with @Home Network, Palet and CasTel are transforming the way European customers view and use the Internet."

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