Newsbits


Bell testing Internet kiosks
(Cincinnati Enquirer; 08/05/98)

Cincinnati Bell Telephone on Tuesday unveiled its version of pay phones for 
 the information superhighway for a trial run in the Tristate.

    The company has installed the first of four interactive kiosks that provide 
 customers remote access to the Internet, electronic mail and online services 
 such as America Online with the swipe of a credit card or insertion of U.S. 
 currency.

    The first four are at the University of Cincinnati's Tangeman Center, the 
 Drawbridge Inn coffee shop in Northern Kentucky, the Greyhound Bus Terminal in 
 downtown Cincinnati and at the Trucks of America Truck Stop in Cambridge, Ind.

    The company is also negotiating to install terminals at the Cincinnati - 
 Northern Kentucky International Airport, area hotels and the convention center.

    Bell said it thinks that it is the second local phone company in the country 
 to deploy the Windows NT-based computer terminals produced by Texas-based 
 Paynet Communications. Bell is conducting a three-month trial of the terminals, 
 which, if successful, could someday make them as prevalent as pay phones.

    "Over the next couple years, we could deploy 500 of the units over a five-
 state region," said Deborah Freese, Cincinnati Bell Telephone product manager.

    Bell has about 700 pay phones in a five-state region outside its Tristate 
 local telephone service area.

    The computer terminals allow customers to send and receive e-mail by 
 entering their e-mail address and log-in ID. Users can save work by inserting a 
 floppy disk or printing it on a thermal printer attached to the kiosk.

    The cost is 25 cents a minute, with a minimum of four minutes. The charge 
 starts from the time the connection is made to the computer server.

    The touch-sensitive computer terminals, slightly larger than a typical pay 
 phone, accept all major credit cards and U.S. currency in $1, $5, $10 and $20 
 denominations.

    Ms. Freese said the company hopes to soon offer a debit card that customers 
 could use to access the terminals as well as purchase other Cincinnati Bell 
 services, such as long-distance access.





Newsbit furnished by:


A: NetShift Software Ltd.
A: Hughenden Yard, Marlborough, Wilts,SN8 1LT, UK
T: +44 (0)1672 511 094
F: +44 (0)1672 511 078
E: Tim@netshift.com
W: www.netshift.com

Thanks Tim!


Thanks Kinetic!

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