RealTime IT News

@Home Signs UK Distribution Deal

Cable Internet service provider @Home Network Corp. entered into a distribution partnership today with British telco-cable operator ComTel Ltd.

Terms of the agreement call for @Home Network to launch its high-speed Internet service in the UK to about 1 million residences that are outfitted with two-way hybrid fiber coaxial cable.

ComTel will be responsible for marketing the cable service to its franchise locations, including the high-tech Thames Valley hub, described as the UK's version of Silicon Valley.

Redwood, CA-based @Home said it will incorporate proprietary technology and operating systems to offer ComTel customers "always-on" Internet connectivity, in addition to specialized British and European broadband content. Other featured applications will include video on demand, CD-quality audio, games, and software downloads.

According to @Home, 1.2 million British homes are currently connected to the Internet and a 40% yearly growth rate is expected.

"With increasing consumer demand, advanced cable infrastructure and usage based telephone charges for dial-up access, the UK is a tremendous market for high-speed cable Internet services," said Tom Jermoluk, chairman and CEO of @Home Network, in a statement. "As a pioneering provider of high-speed consumer cable Internet services in the UK, ComTel is leading what will become a revolution in the way British customers view and use the Internet."

Today's deal follows a joint venture formed by @Home in April with Dutch cable operators CasTel and Palet Kabelcom to launch @Home Netherlands.