“Big Cable Company to Offer A High-Speed Internet Link” (New York Times, March 9, 1994):
Continental Cablevision Inc., the nation’s third-largest cable television company, said yesterday that it had begun offering a high-speed link to the Internet data network over the same coaxial cables that carry television channels into the home.
The Internet connection is initially available only to Continental customers in Cambridge, Mass., but company officials said it would eventually be offered to nearly three million customers nationwide. Continental, based in Boston, provides cable service to Westchester County, N.Y., and in California, Idaho and Michigan.
However, at a rate of $125 a month for residential customers, and higher for business customers, the service is unlikely to displace the MTV’s and the Home Box Offices at the top of a 500-channel hit parade, even in Cambridge, the sort of academic-technical redoubt where enthusiasts consider Internet access more important than the telephone.
At the same time, telephone and data-communications companies are constantly expanding the capacity of twisted-pair phone lines and speeding the installation of fiber optic lines, which also offer data-transfer speeds fast enough to handle video signals.
“Cable is a kludge,” remarked Mr. Harris of Jupiter Communications, using a computer term for an inelegant solution to a technical problem. “The market is aching to have everything in full motion, and cable is sort of a middle-of-the-road solution.”
Here we are, 27 years later, and Cambridge, thanks to the miracle of government regulation, still doesn’t have fiber to the home!