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    Home : About the KnowledgeWay : Press Releases : 11/13/96 
Potomac KnowledgeWay, Virginia's CIT and Media General Cable Join for Small Office/Home Office Pilot Program
 
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November 13, 1996

The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and Media General Cable have announced the creation of a pilot program to test the impact of high-speed Internet access via cable modem technology on the growing Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) sector of the Northern Virginia business community. The program will connect approximately 25 to 50 SOHO businesses in Fairfax City to the Internet with high-bandwidth connections and study the impact of the connections on their business processes, customer service and revenues. The program will also include a projection of the potential impact of high-bandwidth access on this sector of the community. The study is scheduled to be launched in January 1997. Initial support for this pilot program was provided by CIT through a challenge award to the KnowledgeWay. Media General Cable, with support from BTG, Inc., will provide the resources and expertise necessary to implement high-bandwidth access. The George Mason University's International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology has been selected by the KnowledgeWay to plan, implement, measure and report results in conjunction with Media General Cable during the life of the pilot project. "This pilot program aims to facilitate the growth and start-up of new SOHO businesses by providing access to enhanced technology services that can make a home office succeed," said April Young, executive director of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project. "The partnering of industry, education and government is another illustration of our collaborative effort to position the region as the global center of the knowledge industry."

"From the young entrepreneur to the entrepreneur with a smaller home office, our customers need this type of access in order to survive in the information age," said Dr. Robert G. Templin, Jr., president of CIT. "This pilot program has the potential to be implemented throughout all of Virginia and dramatically change the way Virginia does business."

"We are very enthusiastic about this pilot test," said Thomas E. Waldrop, Media General Cable's chairman and chief executive officer." This trial will help us gauge the true value of high speed data services for both small business and residential use.

"The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project is a nonprofit organization created to help the greater Washington region seize the economic, educational and social opportunities of the communications revolution and become the global center of the knowledge industry. The organization is focused on three primary initiatives: helping netpreneurs bring net-centric products and services to market faster; promoting a world-class work force; and advancing connectivity and connectedness throughout the greater Washington region.

CIT is a nonprofit organization created by the Virginia General Assembly. Building upon its strength in fostering partnerships between Virginia businesses and higher education, CIT strives to enhance the Commonwealth's competitiveness by providing businesses with access to the state's technology resources and assist in the creation and retention of technology-based jobs and businesses.

Media General launched cable television services in Fairfax County in August 1983, and now serves over 225,000 households. Media General Cable is a wholly owned subsidiary of Media General, Inc., a diversified communications company based in Richmond, Virginia. The company's major interests include newspapers, broadcast and cable television, financial information services, newsprint production, commercial printing and publications.

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