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RealTime IT News

Clear Channel to Offer Net Access Via TV

Clear Channel Wireless has launched a new high-speed service (downstream only) called Delta V that uses a latent portion of digital television signals to speed delivery of Internet data.

Calling it the "first step of a national rollout," Clear Channel Wireless said that the Delta V service will let home and small business Internet users who cannot get high-speed access to download files from the Internet at 256 Kbs, up to six times the speed of a normal dial-up connection.

The company, a division of San Antonio, Texas-based Clear Channel Worldwide , said it expects the service to be particularly useful for those living and working in remote locations who can't get standard broadband connections.

"As entrepreneurs, we saw the holes in the high-speed Internet service coverage map," said Leon Brown, chief operating officer of Clear Channel Wireless. "As broadcasters, we saw the opportunity to provide a service to the unserved users in those areas while delivering free, high definition television to the viewing public."

Is there a catch? Well, at launch the service is available only in the Cincinnati, Ohio area (where the Clear Channel Wireless unit is based) via WKRC-TV. And, the service is essentially downstream only.

Clear Channel said that Delta V allows the user to keep their current e-mail address and ISP, while adding high-speed download capability to their account.

The service is provided through digital television signals and translated in the computer through a special PCI card, antenna and proprietary software.

Named for the scientific symbols Delta -- meaning "change" - and V -- meaning "velocity," it is the first such service of its kind, Clear Channel claims.

Clear Channel said it plans to offer Delta V in television markets throughout the United States over the coming year. At least for now, Clear Channel is offering free hardware, software and installation. The service itself is being offered at $39.95 a month, and the installation package eventually will be about $250, the company said.