Opt Online Adds An Ad Blocker

Cablevision Systems Corp.'s Optimum Online cable-modem service is giving customers a free tool to block annoying pop-up ads, and they are taking up the offer at a fast clip.

The service is offering Panicware Inc.'s "Pop-Up Stopper Basic," which normally retails for $19.95, as a free download to its customers.

The software not only blocks interstitial ads, but it also displays the number of ads blocked and their site origins. It also lets users choose from a bank of sounds signaling that an ad has been blocked, and they have the option to allow pop-ads on certain sites.

It appears to be a hit among Optimum Online customers. So far, Pop-Up Stopper has averaged 1,800 downloads daily since it was added to the www.optonline.net portal.

Optimum Online also debuted Connections, a monthly electronic-mail newsletter that provides information on product updates, interesting high-speed content sites and new service announcements.