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“TV broadcasting offers a more immediate way to bring high-speed Internet access to people who can’t afford more than a dial-up service.”
—Ken Solomon, iBlast President
iBLAST GOES TUBULAR
1,098 Channels And Still Nothin's On
Twelve major broadcast groups—including Tribune Co., Gannett Co., Cox Communications and New York Times Co.— have banded together to create iBlast, a national network that promises to use the airwaves to deliver speedier Web downloads of digital media such as movie trailers, music or video games.

Instead of using fiber optics or cable connections, iBlast will digitally broadcast data directly to users’ PCs. “TV broadcasting offers a more immediate way to bring high-speed Internet access to people who can’t afford more than a dial-up service or to those who live in areas where the cable systems and telephone networks haven’t been upgraded yet for digital communications,” said iBlast President Ken Solomon. "And we're running 24 hours a day of 'Beverly Hillbillies,' too.

“Of course, what we’re offering is a one-way, non-interactive version of the Internet, but it’s a picture of the Internet that arrives 200 times faster than a dial-up modem and five times faster than a cable modem or DSL.”

Media consultant Mark O’Brien called the iBlast concept, “the first step toward conversion of television as we know it, and the television of the future. Of course, I still prefer shadow puppets, but that's just me.”

iBlast expects to begin broadcasting in 102 markets—through 143 local stations affiliated with the network’s backers—by early next year.

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