Charter Bumps Entry-Level Speed To 100-Meg In St. Louis

Speed Boost Is Part Of All-Digital ‘Spectrum’ Upgrade
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Charter Communications confirmed Monday that it has raised its entry-level broadband tier from 30 Mbps (downstream) to 100 Mbps as part of its all-digital “Charter Spectrum” upgrade in St. Louis.

“Charter is raising our entry-level Internet speeds at no additional cost – to the benefit of the vast majority of customers,” Tom Rutledge, Charter’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “That strategy differs from other providers who boast top tier Internet speeds that are either priced at a premium or have limited availability, and provides our customers with tremendous value in a simple set of products.”

DSL Reports noted last week that Charter is also bumping its existing 100 Mbps customers in St. Louis to 120 Mbps at no additional charge.

In addition to the speed increase, the all-digital upgrade in St. Louis, which includes the introduction of the Charter Spectrum brand, also includes an expanded HD lineup of more than 200 channels, and an advanced voice service that features unlimited nationwide calling.

Charter is also touting its new TV Everywhere app for smartphones and tablets and Web browsers that currently provides access to 130 live TV channels, including several with out-of-home viewing rights. Charter is in the process of more than doubling the number of live TV channels offered on the app, Bob Blackburn, Charter’s senior director of engineering, advanced digital video, said last week at an SCTE Rocky Mountain Chapter event, according to CED.

Charter has already introduced the new Spectrum brand in at least two other markets – Fort Worth, Texas, and Greenville, S.C., where Charter has doubled Internet download speeds – from 30 Mbps to 60 Mbps – at no additional cost.

It was not immediately known if Charter intends to use 100 Mbps as its entry-level speed in areas other than St. Louis, which Charter has billed as a “flagship” market. “Other markets across Charter’s 29-state footprint will realize speed lifts from 30 Mbps to 60 Mbps as the company moves to an all-digital network followed by the launch of Charter Spectrum,” the MSO said in Monday’s announcement.

Charter expects to complete its all-digital upgrades in all markets by the end of 2014. Upgrade activities are already underway in several Charter territories, including southern California, and parts of Michigan, Illinois, Missouri and Massachusetts.