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February 3, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Having won Cable & Wireless and NTL as customers for its software architecture (CI No 3,414; 3,577), Network Computer Inc (NCI) scored the triple crown Wednesday by securing Telewest Communications, the UK’s largest cable television provider. The three companies claim a combined subscriber base of 11 million homes. In late 1999 Telewest plans to roll out an internet-TV service using NCI’s TV Navigator and Connect Server. It seems that NCI has succeeded in creating a virtuous circle, at least in the UK. Tony Illsley, CEO of Telewest, says it was the cable deals the company had already won that convinced us that its software technology would meet our ambitious goal to rollout interactive services over the next year. Or as NCI’s own CEO Mitch Kertzman puts it: The combination of Telewest and our other UK service provider partners will create a strong technology synergy. The important question is whether NCI’s rapidly increasing experience will work as a lever on the US cable industry, which is lagging behind its British counterpart. NCI spokesperson Randy Brasche believes that in spite of the sluggish market in North America, the company’s winning streak will continue. These are long, long sales cycles, he says, and we’re probably one of the few in the world that can say to the US cable companies, we’ve done it.

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