High-Speed Provider Gets Green Light

WideOpenWest LLC gained approval
by city councils in St. Peters, Mo., Denver and Boulder, Colo., this week to
begin its fiber optic rollout.

The company is a competitive local exchange carrier providing high-speed
Internet access, voice over Internet protocol telephony, video on-demand
and digital cable services.

WideOpenWest has spent the past nine months since its December, 1999,
inception obtaining franchise access for cable services in several states
in addition to building out its hybrid, 860Mhz capacity, fiber-coaxial data
backbone. It plans on completing its rollout in Dallas, Denver, Houston,
St. Louis, Minneapolis and Portland, Ore., by the end of 2006.

Fiber installation has already begun in Jefferson County, Aurora, Greenwood
Village, Loveland and Commerce City in Colorado.

The company has been aggressively marketing its next-generation network,
which includes cable television and high-speed cable Internet access.

Construction begins in Denver by December and is scheduled to take five to
six years before it is completed. Officials expect the first customers to
take advantage of the network in early 2001.

Tom Brown, St. Peters mayor, said the decision reflects his community’s
desire to take advantage of competitive services.

“This deal shows that St. Peters is a cutting-edge community that gets
things done,” Brown said. “Instead of accepeting a monopolized cable
industry, we sought out competition and found it. WideOpenWest will
provide residents with a great choice for entertainment and communication.”

WideOpenWest has been touting its “open access” cable Internet services to
competing ISPs. It believes cable companies should practice what it
preaches and likewise open its cable network to competitors.

AT&T Corp. was a proponent of open access
until its partnership with [email protected]
, a broadband cable access provider. AT&T’s legal defense was part of the reason for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals ruling in Portland, Ore., June 22, which reversed a lower
court’s finding that local municipalities had the authority to open up
cable access to competition.

News Around the Web