featured in Capella Networking news

September/October 1997
a’Capella News

Many ISPs are thinking about getting involved with multimedia presentations on the Net. Some are doing it but Dowco Internet ( operating out of Vancouver, British Columbia, may be the only one actively developing content for programming and distributing it to radio and television stations. “we’re building virtual stations, ” says Hugh Dobbie, President of Dowco Computer Systems Ltd. “it is a revolution in what will ultimately reshape our minds in terms of how we think of conventional radio.”

With the move to 56k modems begun by U.S. Robotics with its x2 technology, there’s enough bandwidth to have good quality audio. There are advantages for everyone in the process over delivering programing over the internet. 

The developers of the programming can ftp their programs or do it live over the phone, or they can send it in a live audio stream – without long distance telephone charges. 

Radio shows do not have to pay the high fees associated with satellite transmission. Users benefit by being able to access a vast archive of programming and replay them at any time of their choosing. In fact, everyone benefits from the global accessibility of what might have otherwise been considered “local” programming. 

According to Dobbie, “What we’re saying to the radio station is, ‘you don’t need this expensive satellite down-link. You can use this personal computer and this encoder and/or decoder to pick up the programming when you want it, stick it into your mixer and put it on the air.”

Programs which have small followings locally, but large followings on the vast internet terrain, might not be “aired under usual radio fee requirements, but certainly could be “piped” with Dowco Internet. 

For instance, once of Dowco’s most popular web-based shows is called “Apple Talk” ( for users of Macintosh computers. “That would never be on mainstream radio”, says Dobbie. “We’re giving a smaller, less successful show the opportunity to reach a much bigger audience potentially. Last week we maxed out on the pipeline and couldn’t accommodate all the listeners, and those people who missed it can just go listen to it on the archive.”

Dobbie can’t say enough good things about Cameron Porter, his Capella rep. “Cameron came up with the solutions, a product we had heard of, and he had the financial aspect of it all organized and basically came in at a much lower price point.” It wasn’t just the bottom line that impressed Dobbie; it was Porter’s approach to his relationship with his customer. 

“Cameron was pro-active in terms of his approach presenting the technology, and other resellers were just reactive waiting for us to ask for pricing on certain products.” Dobbie understands what “value-added” means. “Cameron was one of the first reps who would come in wearing a ‘value-added’ who actually delivered value-added. He was great.”

The solution for Dowco Internet is the U.S. Robotics Total Control chassis and dial-up rack with 96 parts. “Total Control has enhanced our delivery services to homes and businesses,” says Dobbie. “It’s also increased our margins and, at the same time, increased our customer satisfaction.” The customer satisfaction comes from migrating its customers up to the 56k x2 technology. 

In the coming year, Dobbie will continue developing Dowco’s emerging entertainment network, broadcasting on a national, potentially international scale. “What we’ve developed in Vancouver, we want to clone to other larger urban centers and develop a large partially-private Intranet, partially Internet infrastructure for developing video and audio broadcasts live… and supplying content.” For the further adventures of Dowco Internet, tune in next week. 

For more information about Total Control and other U.S. Robotics products, contact your regional Capella representative listed under Satellites.