The Phone Industry's Video Schemes
THE PHONE INDUSTRY'S VIDEO SCHEMES Phone companies want to build information highways that will send interactive video and other digitized data to your living room as readily as phone calls. AMERITECH Building fiber-optic lines close to major customers. Testing several interactive video services. Part owner of a New Zealand cable system. AT&T Wants to build a national network of computers to store and forward movies and other "content" to local distributors, such as cable companies and Baby Bells. BELL ATLANTIC Testing new video-delivery technology and plans to rebuild much of its system for interactive services. Also entering the video-programming business. BELL SOUTH Has rebuilt much of its network with fiber lines, though not to homes. Installing advanced ATM switching technology that could send video to homes. GTE Few concrete plans, but has named a vice-president of video services. Testing an interactive network in Cerritos, Calif. MCI Hasn't talked much about interactive services. But has $4.3 billion in cash from sale of 20% to British Telecommunications. NYNEX Major player in the British market for cable-phone systems, but says little about U.S. plans. Will test interactive video services in New York City. PACIFIC TELESIS Held inconclusive talks with cable companies to cooperate. Plans to rewire California for information highway by 2015. Plans to test video on demand. SOUTHWESTERN BELL Buying two Washington (D.C.)-area cable TV systems for $650 million. Says little about its video plans in home region. Also in British market. SPRINT Claims it's first phone company to offer a national network of advanced ATM switches for video traffic to big customers. Few disclosed video plans. U S WEST Its $2.5 billion investment in cable giant Time Warner Inc. transformed phone-cable competition. Plans to rewire its phone territory for two-way video services. Owns half of a British cable-phone system.
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