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The Big Wire

If you think the battle for your long distance phone service, between AT&T, Sprint and MCI has been aggressive, wait until you see what's coming. The companies are poised to battle for the big wire. In the very near future, that big wire will be bringing you video, telephone and high speed Internet services. Sprint calls it the Integrated Online Network, or ION. Sprint VP Terri Morrow...

"You have one line coming in and the smart box partitions it off so that you have one call, two call, up to four calls at a time. Plus you can have an Internet or two Internet sessions. You can have gaming, interactive gaming. You can do videoconferencing."

The service will be able to use your existing phone line, in some instances cable, or it could even be wireless. Morrow says it will be available soon...

"We're in trial today. We've had trials going on for over a year."

AT&T wants that big wire too. That's the motive behind it's bid for cable giant TCI. TCI is the biggest partner in the @Home Internet cable service, where general manager Dean Gilbert says...

"The reality is that the broadband nature of coaxial cable is ideally suited for a cost effective, high performance way to get to consumers high speed data services."

The battle is just beginning.

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