Continental divide: MediaOne launches

Vowing to commit $5 billion to system upgrades and enhancements by the end of the decade, Continental Cablevision officially relaunched itself under the new name MediaOne as part of a campaign to forge a new corporate identity and strategic positioning into the 21st century.

The launch accompanies an aggressive effort by the US West Media Group-owned company to get its systems ready for a broadband future of interactivity — including Internet access, enhanced pay-per-view and video conferencing services, voice telephone service and increasing digital technology.

“MediaOne’s Broadband service will deliver to customers’ homes services that haven’t even been imagined,” MediaOne CEO Amos B. Hostetter Jr. said during a press briefing Tuesday from Boston.

Those services won’t come without a steep pricetag, however.

In 1997 and ’98 alone, MediaOne plans to spend at least $2 billion on network upgrades. Just in California, it expects to commit nearly $250 million in infrastructure development and system improvements in 1997. The company has better than 900,000 cable customers in the state.

MediaOne has 4.8 million cable subscribers in 19 states, making it the third-ranked MSO behind TCI and Time Warner.

“What we’re doing is leading the revolution into broadband services and giving consumers more value for their dollar,” said Jeremy Stern, VP of corporate and legal affairs for MediaOne.

“We’re going to provide for consumers one wire into their homes and one package of services. They won’t need to go to a variety of telecommunications players to get all of the services we’ll be providing.

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