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Telewest rolls out cable modem Net access

High-speed, always-on Internet access is offered by Telewest

Cable company Telewest is to roll out cable modem broadband Internet access in 10 days' time, it inadvertently revealed on Wednesday.

Details of the launch were not due to be unveiled until next week, but a slightly bemused spokesman admits the information is currently available on its Web site.

The high-speed Internet connection -- download speeds of up to 512kB/s make it up to 15 times faster than narrowband -- will cost users £50 a month, plus a one-off £50 installation fee, offering Telewest customers always-on access via a cable modem.

Telewest (quote: TWT) has already upstaged BT (quote: BT) in its rollout of unmetered narrowband in the form of SurfUnlimited, which was delivered last month. A Telewest spokesman described its cable modem broadband service as "what ADSL would like to be when it grows up".

The spokesman admits a £50 price tag is high for mass market adoption. "Initially it will attract people who live and breathe the Internet who find dial-up Internet frustratingly slow," he said. He admitted that prices will fall as the number of users increases, but would not put a timescale or price tag on this.

The service -- dubbed Hi-speed Internet -- will only be available to Telewest customers. Telewest cable passes around four and a half million homes in the South East, Bristol and the Midlands, and the company currently has 1.6 million users.

Find out more about free Internet access in our Unmetered Access Guide.

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