Denver -- Having secured its Minneapolis cable systems by
way of a Federal Communications Commission ruling last month, MediaOne plans to
"aggressively" roll out its MediaOne Express cable-modem service in the Twin
Cities within the next three months, an MSO executive said last week.
MediaOne's parent company, U S West Media Group (UMG),
had planned to sell the lucrative, 300,000-subscriber system to Charter Communications
Inc. because of federal cross-ownership rules that prohibit a regional Bell operating
company -- U S West Inc., parent of UMG -- from owning cable systems inside its service
territory. But MediaOne changed its mind about the sale, and it won a controversial waiver
last month from the FCC's Cable Services Bureau.
Meredith Flynn-Ripley, vice president of product,
programming and development for MediaOne Interactive Services, said MediaOne Express was
gearing up for a targeted marketing campaign in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, offering
the broadband service for $39.95 per month. MediaOne Express recently announced plans to
merge with Road Runner, Time Warner Cable's high-speed Internet service
In addition, Flynn-Ripley said MediaOne Express, which
currently has 23,000 customers, would roll out the service in upgraded areas within the
MSO's six major market clusters in Boston, Atlanta, Florida, Chicago, Michigan and
Los Angeles. The merger talks with Road Runner would not affect the launches, she said.
Ron Cooper, executive vice president of operations at
MediaOne, told reporters in New York last week that the MSO, which currently has over 50
percent of its systems upgraded to 750-megahertz hybrid fiber-coaxial cable
infrastructure, plans to have 72 percent upgraded for broadband capability by the end of