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CableSoft Signs MediaOne for Interactive TV

CableSoft Inc. nabbed another big taker for its
interactive-TV-service suite last week: MediaOne.

The MSO said it will deploy CableSoft's software
suite, which runs on analog and digital set-tops, in its Jacksonville, Fla., system.

The MediaOne announcement joins another recent win for
CableSoft: Tele-Communications Inc.'s selection of the service for its Hartford,
Conn., and Pittsburgh systems, said Sonia Khademi, president and CEO of CableSoft.

"With MediaOne and TCI, this shows how we truly have a
pattern now -- I feel that the company is on a roll," Khademi said.

When installed later this year, customers in
MediaOne's Jacksonville system will be able to instantly access local weather,
traffic, sports, entertainment and lottery listings, among other things.

The MediaOne customers will do that on advanced-analog
set-tops, unlike TCI's plan to deploy the service as part of its "Digital
Cable" product.

Khademi said MediaOne currently serves about 85,000
customers over advanced-analog set-tops, and she expects that figure to swell to 175,000
by year-end. The CableSoft service, designed to be slim and downloadable, is immediately
available on those set-tops, with no retrofitting required.

"I was the first to nag and say, 'Operators
don't embrace new things,'" Khademi said of the initially slow uptick for
services like CableSoft's. "But it turns out that if the business model makes
sense, operators embrace it."

She was referring to CableSoft's plan to not charge
end-users for interactive services, believing that it's too much to ask of a consumer
who many not understand TV interactivity.

Instead, CableSoft is pursing a revenue-split model,
supplemented by classified- and yellow-page-ad revenues, among other things, Khademi said.

MediaOne's subscribers will be able to access local
weather that's updated every half-hour; local traffic that's refreshed every
three minutes; sports scores from ESPN's "SportsTicket"; a restaurant guide
sorted by location and cuisine type; personal ads; classified ads; a
"FastYellow" community business directory; and local community information,
executives said.