In a development that existing users fear will finally bring the network to its knees, Continental Cablevision Inc is to provide a connection to Internet for its cable television subscribers. Initially the data will be accessible only from home computers, but eventually the cable company hopes to put it directly into television sets equipped with enough intelligence to enable subscribers to access it and retrieve information. Continental is the third largest US cable operator with 2.9m customers, and it will begin offering the service early next year, starting in the suburbs of its home town, Boston. Continental is teaming up with an Internet provider Performance Systems International Inc, Herndon, Virginia to offer the new service – Performance is wooing other cable operators. It sounds a significant threat to dedicated services such as the IBM Corp-Sears, Roebuck & Co Prodigy Services Co, although Internet is not easy to use and will cost $70 to $100 a month.
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