Dedicated Net Machines and CompuServe have teamed up to provide Net access via terminals at hotels, restaurants, bars, or an airports. Running over ISDN connections the terminals will allow users read email, browse the Web, chat, and shop. "There's a large segment of the population that, for whatever reason, hasn't decided to embrace the online culture yet, and this becomes a great way for them to test drive and see what is this all about," said Steve Flannery, DediNet executive vice president.
DediNet will begin to install 1,000 terminals on July 15 in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas. A terminal is being beta-tested at Planet Hollywood in Washington. The company then plans to install 10,000 terminals in ten major U.S. cities by the end of 1997.
DediNet chose CompuServe's Internet division,Sprynet, over America Online's, and Global Network Navigator as its exclusive Internet service provider. "America Online wasn't the ideal candidate because we didn't feel that they were multifaceted enough to help us grow," Flannery said.
The terminal will accept cash and credit cards to pay for access time, but fees have yet to be determined. Advertising will also help pay for the each terminal, which costs about $4,000.
So far, Yahoo, Dell, and Sun Microsystems have all reserved their ad spots. The ads will eventually include AVIs, animated graphics, full video sound, and 30-second commercials.
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