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Hardin County cybernauts have a choice of Internet providers

June 30, 1996


The rapid change in the world of online computing is nowhere as evident as in Hardin County.

Boy how things have changed. In less than a year, Hardin County has gone from no local direct Internet access to four providers.

Prices and packages of access have changed a great deal in the last few months. And like the saying goes, you can't tell the players without a program, so below I've compiled information on the local four Internet providers, and what you can expect from them.

Which one is best? Its an individual decision, but reliability and support rate high among Web surfers. Its no fun to have an Internet Service Provider who can't help you get online, or advise you when something looks amiss.


SK Net advertises heavily on local cable TV, offering total Internet access.

But a call this week to their offices reveals that SK Net's Hardin County access is offline for the time being. The company is switching vendors, and hopes to go back online ``in 30 to 60 days,'' a representative said Thursday.

The London, Ky.-based company has been offering Internet access to parts of Eastern Kentucky since last year, including the cities of Barbourville, Berea, Corbin, Manchester, Monticello, Morehead, Mt. Vernon, Somerset and Winchester. It first offered access in Hardin County around the first of the year.

PRICING. Unlimited access is $22.00 per month. The basic access package is $10 for 12 hours, with $1 per hour charge over the first 12.

SOFTWARE. Subscriptions include software, and Quarterdeck Mosaic is the Web browser supplied. SK Net's home page has links to other sources of software as well. Macintosh and Windows platforms supported.

SUPPORT. Some technical support is available, though it's a long-distance call to London. According to press releases at their Web site, SK Net has at least one tech support person available during business hours and in the evenings until 10 p.m.

FOR INFORMATION. Call (502)763-1401 or visit SK Net's Web site at http://www.sknet.net/


InfiNet went online in Hardin county in late September, offering full Internet access.

InfiNet is a partnership between three media companies: Knight-Ridder, Gannett, and Landmark Communications (the parent company of The News-Enterprise). Its forte has been getting newspapers (and other media) on line and offering Internet access in markets served by those media outlets.

The Roanoke, Va.-based company offers Internet access in dozens of cities all over the U.S.

PRICING. Two packages: Unlimited Internet access for $24.95; and a basic package that offers 10 hours for $9.95.

A one-month trial account promotion is currently underway, which gives you unlimited access for $12.

SOFTWARE. Software provided in the InfiNet Surfer Kit includes Netscape 2.0 and dialer software, depending on the computer platform used.

SUPPORT. By phone, e-mail or fax, 24 hours, 7 days a week. InfiNet's technical support department also has its own Web site.

FOR INFORMATION. Call (800)849-7214, or visit InfiNet's Web site at http://www.infi.net


UK Online, through ECC was the first to offer more than simple e-mail access to the Internet in Hardin County.

The University of Kentucky's system of community colleges offers Internet access to communities served by each campus. The service is actually an extension of campusMCI.

PRICING. UK Online at present offers 60 hours of Internet access for $12. A basic plan offers 12 hours for $9.95.

For the summer months, UK Online has offered existing subscribers a promotional deal that offers virtually unlimited access for $12 per month through August 31.

SOFTWARE. UK Online provides a package of software provided that ships directly from Microsoft, which includes their Dialer, Internet Explorer Web browser, and E-mail software.

SUPPORT. Allegedly 24 hour support. I suffered from long waits and several transfers and finally, a request to ``call back tomorrow'' in my attempts to contact their customer service.

College students are the main target of the service, and the low cost may be more important than providing support (computer-knowledgeable folks aren't hard to find on college campuses if you're looking for help).

FOR INFORMATION. Call 1-800-808-8635.


Formerly Kentucky Online, KVN has offered e-mail access to the Internet since its early days in 1994.

KVN's first presence was as a dial-up computer bulletin board that offered Internet e-mail access. Since then, KVN has added full access and adopted WorldGroup client/server software.

KVN recently moved its offices and switched its Internet provider and has experienced some growing pains as a result, with reports of problems receiving e-mail, and the disappearance of KVN's home page. Announcements on KVN's bulletin board system state they are working to correct the problems.

PRICING. Subscriptions come in the form of access to KVN, and/or access to the Internet. Subscriptions are available by the year or by the month. Annual unlimited KVN/Internet access will set you back $275; monthly, you'll pay $25.

Annual access for 60 hours of KVN/Internet runs $165, or $15 a month. Ten hours of KVN/Internet access is available monthly for $6.95. KVN alone is available for $50 a year annually or $5 a month.

Subscriptions to all but the lowest-priced KVN packages are discounted if you use KVN's preferred long-distance carrier, LCI. Payments may be made via KVN's dial-up BBS, which is handy.

SOFTWARE. KVN offers software to its subscribers; phone calls to KVN offices went unanswered, so no details are available.

SUPPORT. KVN's main form of support has been using the BBS system for help from system operators and other KVN subscribers. No free technical support exists per se.

FOR INFORMATION. Call 763-9101 for information on KVN.

OH SAY CAN YOU SURF? Radcliff's Web site has joined in another contest sponsored by the USA CityLink Project, this time celebrating the Fourth of July.

The USA CityLink Web site is hosting the contest, the goal of which is to track down the answers to questions about cities and states that are involved in the project.

Prizes include a weekend in New Orleans, and vacation trips to other destinations.

In addition to the contest, the CityLink site also offers fireworks, the words (and music) to The Star Spangled Banner, and links to historic documents including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Visit the USA CityLink site and try your hand at a little cybersleuthing. It could make Web surfing a profitable pastime!

For more information on Radcliff, take a peek at its updated Web site.

Comments and questions about this column may be sent to jbrooks@myoldkentuckyhome.com, or visit www.myoldkentuckyhome.com on the World Wide Web.

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