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Time Warner Goes Wireless for Better Cable Service

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RALEIGH — The "cable guy" is on his way faster than ever in the Triangle. And he's getting help from new technology by IBM in Research Triangle Park. As WRAL OnLine reporter Tom Lawrence explains, going wireless should be a big improvement.

ATime Warner Cablerepairman on his way to fix a problem uses new technology, ideal for field service and public safety workers. The antenna atop Rennie Goodwin's truck, and a computer inside, gives him instant access to all the information he needs for the job.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile."It's right there and you can look at it right there. When it's not there you miss it. Yeah, I don't think I would give it up."Seventeen repair trucks are equipped with IBM's eNetwork Wireless software loaded on laptop computers.

IBM Product Developer Julie Roberson says the computer is replacing the traditional radio dispatch, where you have to call in to get the information you need. Now it's at workers fingertips.

The software program helps the company make good on its promised "ontime guarantee". Time Warner Cable's Ryan Hussey says more service calls are made quicker.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile."Help the customer through issues that they may want to resolve at home instead of having to even call in to the office."Workers have their whole day laid out for them on the computer and they can get instant information from the main computers in central office.

Time Warner says its technicians using the system have increased the number of daily calls by 32%. IBM's Roberson says that's the point of the program.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile."These are the kinds of applications that are really on the leading edge for wireless data where you have the kinds of productivity and improvement that Time Warner has experienced."

Time Warner Cable is the first company to use IBM's Network Wireless software. Public safety organizations are testing the system in other parts of the country.

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Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Mark Copeland, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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