From the August 15, 1997 ComputorEdge (Issue 1533)
By Jim Trageser
Cable Internet access is here; most of San Diego County is already in an Internet service area of either Cox or Southwestern, and the rest of Cox's areas should be hooked up to the 'Net by the end of the year.
While Escondido, where I live, is not yet hooked up, I've seen Cox's @Home service at a friend's and it screams. Southwestern's Road Runner is similarly fast. In fact, both are faster at downloading than a thousand-dollar-a-month T-1 line from PacBell, and significantly faster than a 56k modem at uploading. Both services cost more than a typical PPP account, but if you use the Internet a lot then cable access is worth a look. (And remember that if you presently use a second phone line for your modem, you can drop that if you use cable and save some money right there.)
Anyway, this isn't a review of cable Web providers but of their Web sites, where you can get more info on their service plans:
Southwestern Cable's Road Runner site is more than just an advertisement for their online service they provide a solid community resource. On the main page, there is a link to ongoing coverage of the Del Mar race season including live cybercast of the racing (assuming, of course, you have a fast enough connection ... ah, the old hidden sales pitch) -- and a "What's Hot" section (that listed links to the San Diego Humane Society and the new main library site the day I visited). The news menu lists links to most of the San Diego online news sources (Union-Tribune, Daily Transcript, San Diego Magazine, KFMB-TV, as well as sub-menus like business, lifestyles and entertainment, all with their own multiple-link menus. For Road Runner subscribers there are conversation groups (blocked to the rest of us, alas). Finally, there are links on the main page to get info on Road Runner service features, pricing, etc. This is a solid site with tons of links it could easily be set up as your default home page whether you have service with Road Runner or not.
Cox's Web site is more of an inhouse advertising vehicle than a source for info on San Diego. The media link on the main menu does provide links to a lot of very cool (but bandwidth-intense) multimedia sites. Other than that, most of the site is dedicated to providing info about Cox@Home, with pricing, geographic availibility and speed comparisons. Oh, and you can buy @Home t-shirts, ball caps and mugs (shouldn't they be paying us to wear their advertising? Just a thought ...). It's a good site to learn about the Cox product, but that's about it.
© Copyright Jim Trageser
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