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Teleriviera Multimedia Announces French Internet Cable


Teleriviera will bring the Internet via cable to 200 homes in Nice, France.The project is designed to gauge market demand for Teleriviera services before the company offers the Internet via cable to other towns in France next year.

The appeal of the Internet by cable is cost and speed, according to the company, a fully owned subsidiary of Compagnie Generale de Videocommunication (CGV). CGV's shareholders include French utility company Compagnie Generale des Eaux, with a 72 percent stake, and French cable television provider Canal Plus, with a 20 percent stake.

Teleriviera Internet customers will pay a 150-franc-per-month subscription fee, regardless of how long they stay online. Customers also will have to buy a cable modem that allows them to plug the cable, normally used for television, into their computers, the company says.

The company guarantees minimum speeds of 128K bits per second, and will use Microsfoft Corp.'s Mediaserver for transmission of sound and images.

Teleriviera Media will also offer, at prices above the basic subscription fee, services such as CD-ROM titles on demand games and films. For example Intuit's home-accounting software Quicken, and real-time stock prices.

Although Teleriviera Multimedia predicts that computer ownership in France will rise to 30 percent of all households over the next five years, the company plans to test the viability of set-top boxes, "as soon as the technology is up to scratch" officials say. With set-box boxes, customers would not need computers to access the Internet, using a TV screen as a monitor and a remote control unit as a mouse.


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