At the launch of its CyberTV service in September, the Belgian telecommunications carrier Belgacom announced that the service will include the world's first home banking system from a set-top box.

The underlying technology is the TV Navigator and Custom Connect Server software from Network Computer Inc., a joint venture of Oracle Corp. and Netscape Communications Corp.

CyberTV is currently in a 300-customer trial and is expected to be available to 4.8 million subscribers in January.

KBC Bank & Insurance will be the financial services provider through a telephone-television connection.

Secure customer access to home banking and digital commerce will be assured with smart cards inserted into the set-top boxes.

The announcement "solidifies Network Computers Inc.'s leadership in the European Internet-television market," said David Roux, chief executive officer of the California-based company.

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