March 12, 1997 11:00 AM ET

PointCast to announce Internet version of local-access channel
By Renee Deger

  LOS ANGELES -- PointCast Inc., the Internet news network, is planning to announce today at Internet World here that it will offer the Net's version of a local-access cable channel.

The next version of PointCast's software will enable any would-be Web publisher with a server to broadcast content over one of PointCast's "channels," according to sources close to the Cupertino, Calif., company.

The news carrier, which supplies free client software, contracts with content providers and broadcasts news stories over channels that are then delivered automatically (or "pushed") to users' desktops.

The move to open the system to anyone capable of generating content will likely renew questions over the validity of push technology and whether it promotes information overload. Many companies already discourage the use of PointCast because its operation clogs servers.

PointCast officials declined to discuss details of the announcement, planned for this morning, deferring all queries until the formal announcement is made.

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