Championing choice and access, the Internet-over-cable service Excite@Home positions itself as a competitive threat to phone companies that will spur everyone to upgrade the country's communications systems. Indeed, a lot of the phone company press releases about DSL are attempts to stay ahead of the cable operators -- in certain parts of the country this has already led to dramatic price reductions for high-speed access over phone lines. Even America Online's push to get into satellite access follows Wall Street concerns that AOL be left behind when customers upgrade from their 56K dial-up modems. MORE >>
Three years ago Congress deregulated the country's local phone systems, cracking open the Baby Bells to competitors that are just now getting up to speed with fast Internet services like DSL. Should cable be next?