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SoftNet Taps Inktomi for Cable, Satellite Alliance

Internet cable access provider SoftNet Systems Inc. Wednesday signed an agreement with Inktomi Corp. to use Inktomi's Traffic Server caching solution throughout SoftNet's cable and satellite networks.

Terms of the alliance call for Inktomi to incorporate its technology with SoftNet's network products and receive cash and SoftNet stock.

The companies also agreed to extend the alliance to include distribution and technology integration across SoftNet's network products including SkyPOP. SkyPOP will be marketed to cable operators, ISP's, Multiple Dwelling Units (MDU's), office buildings and schools.

SoftNet's subsidiaries, the ISP Channel and Intellicom will deploy advanced caching technology by integrating Traffic Server into their products.

The company said by incorporating the caching technology into its turnkey solution, ISP Channel will become more cost efficient and effective for delivering broadband data, such as video and audio streams. The partnership will also enable the ISP Channel to offer greater filtering and personalization features, which the company said will provide new revenue streams for ISP Channel cable partners.

"ISP Channel is committed to delivering a complete broadband experience to our Internet customers, and Inktomi's Traffic Server represents a key piece of the network infrastructure to help us fulfill that promise," said Ian Aaron, president of ISP Channel.

"This technology relationship addresses how ISP Channel services can also provide means for generating advertising and additional subscription revenue. The filtering and personalization functions allow us to extract data and provide pinpoint ad targeting, for example. We also plan to leverage this data into other e-commerce and content delivery services," Aaron said.

The ISP Channel provides an end-to-end Internet-over-cable access system, including a complete turnkey service for cable operators who want to enter the high-speed Internet access market. The network depends on a distributed caching system to deploy high-speed Internet access.

The caching architecture stores temporary copies of content near users on the network and supports thousands of users simultaneously requesting broadband Internet content. By using Inktomi's Traffic Server, SoftNet said it will be able to meet the scalability and carrier-class performance requirements of ISP Channel's broadband network.

"This relationship with ISP Channel is key for Inktomi because it represents an entry for us into an important segment of the Internet market," said Paul Gauthier, Inktomi's chief technology officer.

"ISP Channel's cable and satellite networks, running on Traffic Server's flexible software infrastructure, will offer one of the most cost effective means of delivering flexible broadband content and services to ISPs and cable operators," Gauthier said.