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Broadband expansion in Tri-Cities

Robert Houk • Oct 22, 2018 at 1:08 PM

While Brightridge is launching its new broadband services, Charter Communications Inc. is expanding its broadband access for residential and business customers in the Tri-Cities area.

That includes Spectrum Internet Gig for residential customers and Spectrum Business Internet Gig for small and medium-sized business clients in Carter, Sullivan and Washington counties.

“Spectrum’s state-of-the-art, fiber-rich network allows us to deploy dramatically faster broadband speeds, including gigabit connections, broadly and rapidly,” Tom Rutledge, chairman and CEO of Charter Communications, said recently. “As consumer demands for bandwidth and capacity grow, our world-class network is best-positioned to meet these demands, today and into the future.”

Meanwhile, BrightRidge officials say the area public utility “is on target” for rolling out fiber and high-speed wireless LTE service by the end of 2018 or start of 2019.

“BrightRidge fiber customers will have the option of up to 10 Gbps symmetrical service — both upload and download,” Tim Whaley, BrightRidge’s public and governmental relations director, said last week. “In fact, all BrightRidge residential fiber customers will receive symmetrical service. For these and other reasons, Charter’s deployment does not impact BrightRidge’s service plans.”

Charter released a statement earlier this month promising residential customers will have “access to faster and more powerful internet speeds for streaming video, online gaming, downloading music and more across multiple devices without sacrificing performance.” More information on Spectrum’s selection of advanced broadband services can be found online at spectrum.com.

The expanded services features the deployment of DOCSIS 3.1 internet services that can deliver a 1 Gbps connection to homes or businesses.

Rutledge said Spectrum Business Internet Gig is available to new customers starting at $249.99 per month, which includes a modem and customer WiFi for businesses with public seating or lobby areas. For more information, go to business.spectrum.com or call 1-855-272-8857

Whaley said BrightRidge broadband’s deployment plan for internet, television and phone service is designed around an eight-year rollout plan. This approach allows the new broadband division to generate some of the necessary capital for later phases through business operations as opposed to doing a larger loan package.

He said it also "allows the BrightRidge Broadband board of directors greater flexibility to adapt to marketplace conditions and any technology improvements.”

Customers should visit brightridge.com and click on the broadband link for additional information about planned rollout phases, and an addressing tool is now live that allows customers to input their address to see what rollout phase their address is currently included in.

“BrightRidge is pleased to say at this point, we do expect a significantly larger first phase rollout in terms of total customers with service available.” Whaley said.

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