Cable television company Tevel will start providing fast Internet on a commercial basis at the beginning of August.

The company told participants in its field trial, who had received the service for free, that it will begin collecting payment on August 1.

Tevel is the last of the three cable companies to launch fast Internet service, as Matav Cable Systems Media (Nasdaq: MATV) and Golden Channels have already been in the field for three months.

Tevel's launch was delayed due to the company's financial collapse and the transfer of some of its systems to a receiver appointed by the courts at the request of the systems provider, Netcom.

A compromise with Netcom allowed Tevel to reorganize and provide the service. With the launch of the service, the cable companies plan a joint advertising campaign for their fast Internet services, which currently have 20,000 subscribers.

The Communications Ministry also allowed Matav to provide short message services. Matav purchased a system from Comverse Technology (Nasdaq: CMVT) that will enable cable television subscribers to message other subscribers as well as cellular subscribers and to receive SMS messages from cellular phones to their televisions.

The authorization, signed yesterday by Communications Ministry director-general Uri Olenik, allows Matav to offer the service commercially and collect fees for sending the SMS messages.