March 18, 1997 6:15 PM ET
Time Warner orders quarter-million cable modems from Motorola
By Margaret Kane

  Time Warner Inc. has agreed to purchase 250,000 more cable modems from Motorola Inc. over the next two years, the company announced today.

That's in addition to the order for 50,000 CyberSURFR units the cable company already ordered, Motorola officials said. Because of the volume of the new order, Motorola has dropped the prices of the units below $300.

Time Warner will use the modems in its rollout of Road Runner, its interactive cable service. The service debuted in Akron, Ohio, in September, and the company plans to introduce additional offerings in 10 areas this year.

"I think 1996 was characterized by some market trials and technology trials, and last quarter was launches," said Doug Robertson, a spokesman for Motorola's Multimedia Group, in Arlington Heights, Ill. "This [purchase] will allow Time Warner to expand to new cities."

Time Warner isn't the only cable company strengthening its interactive cable position. Last week, Comcast Cable Communications Inc. ordered 300,000 digital set-top boxes from Scientific-Atlanta Inc.

Comcast officials said they plan to deploy the units and offer interactive cable services by early 1998. The Philadelphia cable company currently offers services to 4.2 million customers in 19 states, with concentrations in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Florida, southern California and Detroit.

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