Comcast Lines Up New Newsgroup Service

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Comcast Corp. cable-modem customers are getting new news through a deal
struck with newsgroup provider Giganews.com Inc.

Comcast confirmed Friday that it has forged a deal with Giganews.com to offer
cable-modem customers text and binary newsgroup service at no extra monthly
charge.

Customers can now access the service, which replaces the prior newsgroup
under bankrupt Excite@Home Corp. That service ceased when that network shut down
at midnight Thursday night.

'We recognize that for some of our customers, this is a service that they are
interested in, and we are pleased that we are going to be working with Giganews
to continue to offer newsgroups now that the Excite@Home newsgroups have gone
away,' a Comcast spokeswoman said.

Newsgroups allow users to post messages and exchange news on a plethora of
topics ranging from cooking to international politics. Giganews.com claims to
have more than 62,000 such newsgroups.

Although she could not give specific figures, the spokeswoman said a 'very
small percentage' of its cable-modem customers access newsgroups, and an even
smaller number would use more than 1 gigabyte of message storage per month.

Austin, Texas-based Giganews.com focuses on broadband customers.

Giganews.com spokesman Russ Rhea said the newsgroup service will be an
improvement over what Comcast had offered. Article retention will rise from two
days to 14 days and the completion rate -- the percentage of articles the
services captures and presents -- will increase from 80 percent to 99 percent,
he added.

Started in 1998, Giganews.com has customers in more than 170 countries, Rhea
said.

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