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September 20, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Bell Atlantic Corp said its Dover Township, New Jersey video-on-demand test has been delayed by problems with the administration system, which includes the billing and ordering, and operating support software. The company wouldn’t say if it’s the billing part that’s causing the trouble. The test was to have begun last month, but will now start later in the year. The company said the trial is still on track and will run for six to eight weeks. The aim is to stress the network and put it through its paces, said Bell. The test is a deployment of video dial tone, in which the common carrier, Bell Atlantic, provides the network and makes it available to service providers. The system has a capacity of 384 channels, 304 of which have been reserved by seven service providers, including FutureVision of America Corp, Graff Pay-Per-View Inc and Rainbow Programming Holdings Inc. Broadband Technologies Inc provided the switch technology. Optical cable is being laid throughout Dover Township to Optical Network Units, kerbside boxes from which the video portion of the service is carried across coaxial cable and telephony goes across copper wire. Each unit serves five to eight houses. The service will offer cable television-type services to 200 non-paying customers with some level of interactivity and by 1998 will pass within easy reach of 38,000 homes and 3,700 businesses. The initial run is a test rather than a trial as Bell intends to roll out a commercial service: a commercial test will likely start late this year. The network software used is an upgrade of the version tested in 500 homes in North Virginia in 1991 to 1992: that trial had only 54 channels.

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