FROM EARLY 1998, customers of General Cable will be able to access the Internet courtesy of a special set-top box and remote control. Access will be as lightning fast - just three seconds, it is claimed - as it will be inexpensive. No PC or modem is required and there are no additional telephone charges. The trials will take place in four test cities including Bradford and, if successful, extend to the entire GC network in Yorkshire, West London and Birmingham. However, Cable & Wireless, the UK’s largest cable operator, poured cold water on the scheme, doubting GC could live up to its promises. ‘They will need to redevelop their entire network’, it sneered. [If you can’t beat ’em, knock ’em!]