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Introducing Altrio

Thu, 10/26/2000 - 8:00pm
Karen Kessler-Tanaka

A new company is emerging from the L.A. basin. Offering voice, video and data to the city of angels, Altrio, a broadband service provider, hopes to do one thing and do it well for its future subscribers. Dave Large, CTO, told CEDaily Direct about the company's vision and goals.

"Why L.A.? It's a very big place, and I don't mean that flippantly," Dave Large, CTO of Altrio, told CED. "In a market this size, you can afford to build the kind of head-end to really do it right. There are more customers and homes to spread that cost across. We're well aware that we're competing with other broadband service providers, and if you're the new guy, you have to do it better or offer more or different product or both. Clearly we hope to do both. Regardless, it's easier to do if you have more homes to spread the cost across.

"We ran a case study for six years, over the period of time that Media Connections Group (Large's former company) was consulting for cities, vendors and cable companies, about the possibility of creating another network. It was only two years ago we found that it might not be viable for a city, but it would be possible for an alternate service provider. Having looked at that, we decided it was time for us to get back into the network business, so here we are."

Construction on Altrio's network is slated to begin in the next several months.

"From our standpoint, we think there is less risk in what we are doing than there is with [the plans] of other broadband service providers in other cities," said Large. "They are trying to launch in 10 or 12 cities at once, including building a management team for each of those markets. We are bringing in an MSO team to manage just this market well."

"The three founding members of Altrio were the operating team of Media Connections and the senior team we have brought in are all very experienced. We have worked with almost all of them previously and all of them are cable people," said Large.

"We hope to be a business that sells lots of things to lots of people," Large said. "We have some visions of where we think the service evolution is going. We think streaming video should be embraced and not feared as a programming source for cable, and we want to deliver not only movies, but also other types of content on a VOD basis. We want to be responsible members of the broadband community."

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