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Modem's Buzz Could Be Replaced By Road Runner's Beep-Beep

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MORRISVILLE — Traffic may be slow in the Triangle, but the information superhighway is about to get a lot faster.

Time Warner Cablehas been upgrading its fiber optic network in the Triangle for three years. The new network allows digital television andRoad Runner, a super fast, digital Internet connection. You cansign up for it onlinenow.

Time Warner is pushing Road Runner as the fastest way for home users to get to the Net. It is more than 50 times faster than a 28.8 modem on a phone line, but there are issues that could slow that speed a bit.

"The type of computer you have; how much RAM you have; what's the video card memory," said Randy Roswell, Road Runner general manager.

Road Runner uses the same Time Warner cable that brings television into your home. That cable is split. One end goes to the television, and the other goes to a special cable modem which feeds your computer.

The company says its fiber network is capable of handling lots of traffic, video and the Internet.

"When we see congestion, we simply install another fiber node, bring in more service and bring the capacity we've promised our consumers," said Trey Smith, Road Runner chief technical officer.

The company's Web site is the only way to sign up now. There's an installation charge which includes software and fitting a network card to your computer.

The monthly charge is $39.95 for people with standard cable service and $59.95 for those with basic or no cable service. Road Runner will be beeping in the Triangle early next year.

"We will start the launch and installing in the first quarter of next year in what you see as thered area. By Easter, Road Runner will be available," said Roswell.

Areas south of the Triangle are scheduled to get Road Runner next fall and winter. People in Wilson, Goldsboro and other areas east of the Triangle will have to wait until sometime in 2001.

If the cost seems high, remember you will not be paying for an additional phone line if you have one now for your computer, and you will not have to pay a service provider unless you want one other than Road Runner.

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Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Joe Frieda, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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