Charter to test local cable modem

Friday, March 15, 2002

New Internet service starts soon

Business Today

SIKESTON -- For those who have been anxiously waiting for cable modem Internet access in the area, Charter Communications will begin testing Charter Pipeline, its high-speed cable modem Internet service, at the end of March or early April. The service should be available to the general public by May.

"A lot of people are going to eligible for this who can't get DSL because of the distance factor," said Diane Hull, public relations representative for Charter in Sikeston. DSL is a high-speed Internet connection option available in some areas using telephone lines.

Communities to be included in the test in addition to Sikeston are Miner, Scott City, Oran, Chaffee, Kelso and Cape Girardeau.

Hull said cable modem Internet access has several advantages over dial-up connections in addition to being up to 50 times faster.

"It's always on. You're always connected. That's the part I really like," said Hull. "No phone line needed. No extra cost." Charter Pipeline customers can choose to keep AOL or any other ISP they currently use, Hull said. "A lot of people question that," said Hull, adding she expects packages to start at $29.95, with several packages to choose from.

Charter Pipeline customers will not have to be Charter Communication cable users.

"If they have satellite dish or something else they can keep that," said Hull. "We'd love to have them as cable customers, but if they're not a cable customer we would like to have them as a pipeline customer."

If a customer does subscribe to both, however, they can use the Internet and watch cable television at the same time. You're not taking away from one to do the other, according to Hull.

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