10.23.1995Corporate

UK's three largest cable operators launch first phase of multimedia trial

LONDON, UKĀ -- Today at ECC '95, the UK's three largest cable communications companies, Bell Cablemedia plc, NYNEX CableComms and TeleWest plc, have announced the establishment of a media laboratory, launching the first phase of the multimedia services trial agreed to in a Memorandum of Understanding signed in May this year.

The multimedia services trial is intended to lead to the development of commercial applications as well as established standards to assist the achievement of the equivalent of a single national network for multimedia broadband services for both customers and content providers. The participants in the trials are committed to working towards inter- operability and inter-connectability across all UK cable systems.

Mr. Ian Leslie, who recently joined TeleWest from a leading UK software house, has been selected to serve as Project Director of the venture.

After a process of evaluation, the current intention is to select the following key suppliers to work on the trial:

-- Hewlett Packard Company for HP MediaStream Server video servers

-- Nortel for network navigation software

-- Sybase and Macromedia Director for authoring and management software

-- Lockheed Media Systems Integration for systems integration

-- Andersen Consulting for content integration

The first phase of the multimedia trial is planned to commence in January 1996. The media laboratory will be based in NYNEX CableComms' corporate headquarters in Surbiton, Surrey. The three companies anticipate that the trial will require a multi million pound joint investment over the course of 1996 and 1997 and intend to augment the existing technical and management staff resources to approximately forty during 1998.

In a joint statement, the companies commented: "This venture will unify the development of on-demand services by UK cable operators ensuring inter-operable standards between companies and the provision of a seamless nationwide service to customers. It will also demonstrate the cable industry's ability to provide the multimedia services that only our superhighway infrastructure can deliver."

Bell Cablemedia plc, NYNEX CableComms and TeleWest plc announced on May 31, 1995 that they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to lead the coordinated development of on-demand multi-media broadband services.

Bell Cablemedia plc, NYNEX CableComms and TeleWest plc are the three largest multiple systems operators in the UK cable industry, together holding franchises encompassing some 8.4 million homes.

NYNEX is a global communications and media company that provides a full range of services in the northeastern United States and high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The Corporation is a leader in the telecommunications, wireless communications, cable television, directory publishing and entertainment and information services.

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