A Booster Shot for Cable Broadband

Broadband operator [email protected] and RadioShack Corp.
inked a deal designed to acquire new “do-it-yourself” subscribers who wire
their computers for Internet access via cable TV lines.

Consumers within the [email protected] broadband footprint will be able to visit
participating RadioShack stores and purchase a QuickStart installation kit
that includes software and cable modem for broadband access. Once connected
and activated, consumers will immediately experience high-speed Internet
service, the company said.

Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

The QuickStart kit is described by the companies as a “seamless installation
process easily implemented by even the most inexperienced Internet users.”
The kits feature an
installation “wizard” CD-ROM that is tailored toward novice users. RadioShack
sales associates will first conduct a check to determine that customers
reside in a serviceable @Home area.

Also participating in this agreement are [email protected]’s cable partners,
including Comcast, AT&T Broadband and Cox.

Comcast will be the first cable operator to launch with RadioShack and is
expected to offer the QuickStart installation kit in the fourth quarter of
2000, which will be available in Comcast markets including Philadelphia,
Baltimore, the Washington, DC metro area, and New Jersey.

“Our business strategy is to become America’s ‘Home Connectivity Store,’ and
our agreement with [email protected] will be an integral part of this strategy by
virtue of the company’s expansive broadband footprint,” said Leonard Roberts,
chairman, president and chief executive officer of RadioShack.

The @Home service, offering an always-on high-speed connection, is delivered
over cable lines with no interruption to television viewing during
simultaneous use, the company said.

“Streamlining the installation process is the critical component for driving
cable broadband adoption into more homes,” said George Bell, chairman and CEO
of [email protected]

“The ability for consumers to quickly and easily obtain
broadband Internet service at their own convenience will dramatically
increase the number of consumers who can sign up. RadioShack’s close
proximity to the consumer makes them a significant element in (our) customer
acquisition strategy.”

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