Cox Starts Multi-ISP Trial


As it gets ready to shift to a nonexclusive service contract with bankrupt
Excite@Home Corp., Cox Communications Inc. has begun its first
multiple-Internet-service-provider technical trial with EarthLink Network Inc.
and America Online Inc.

The six-month multiple-access trial in El Dorado, Ark., started in September
with 50 Internet users.

A part of the former TCA Cable TV Inc.'s territory, El Dorado is not part of
the Excite@Home network. Cox offers its own Cox Express high-speed Internet
service there.

'By offering the services of companies like EarthLink and AOL to our
customers, we can continue to add value to our high-speed product and expose
more consumers to the benefits of broadband,' Cox senior vice president of
strategy and development Dallas Clement said in a prepared statement.

EarthLink also has testing agreements with AT&T Broadband and Comcast
Corp., and it has offered co-branded service with Charter Communications Inc.
since 1997.

Time Warner Cable, meanwhile, has full multiple-ISP service rollouts with AOL
and EarthLink in 15 markets so far.