Time Warner Cable's Time Warner Communications of
Houston announced plans last week to deliver two new digital services, starting with the
Road Runner high-speed cable-modem service in late May or early June, followed by digital
cable later this summer.
Mike Luftman, vice president of corporate communications at
Time Warner Cable, said that while the MSO plans to launch digital cable using its
"AthenaTV" feed in more than 20 markets by the end of this year, Houston is one
of only three markets that have been named. More announcements should follow soon, he
In Austin, Texas, the MSO already has close to 2,000
digital customers, most of whom signed on as beta-test subscribers. Time Warner recently
started accepting customer requests for the service in limited areas in Austin, but it has
not yet begun to market it.
Time Warner's Columbus, Ohio, system is also expected
to launch digital-video service this summer.
Time Warner plans to use digital set-top boxes supplied by
Scientific-Atlanta Inc. and Pioneer Digital Technologies, but the company did not identify
which boxes would be used in given markets.
Along with Houston, Road Runner will be offered in San
Antonio starting this summer through Time Warner-owned Paragon Cable. Time Warner systems
in Austin and El Paso, Texas, already offer the high-speed-data service.
Time Warner passes 1.3 million homes in Houston, and it
serves 650,000 customers. Paragon passes 544,000 homes and serves 305,000 cable
subscribers in El Paso.