Charter turning to digital

Published 11:11 pm Saturday, January 4, 2014

Charter Communications says customers will have access to more channels with better picture quality, and experience significantly faster Internet speeds, when it cuts over from analog to digital in Suffolk during the week of Feb. 25.

The company is moving to an all-digital network through the first half of 2014, it says, requiring all customers to obtain new set-top boxes.

Charter says it already has “a significant fiber optic network in place in Suffolk” to support the digital changeover.

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“By removing outdated analog signals, we regain bandwidth in our network enabling us to provide more HD (high-definition) channels and open the door to faster Internet speeds and future innovations,” the company’s president and CEO, Tom Rutledge, said in a news release.

It’s been made possible with a $2-billion investment, he added.

Charter spokeswoman Patti Michel says Internet speeds up to 30 MB (megabytes per second) will be available – “10 times faster than DSL.”

“Charter plans on expanding those speeds in the future,” she added.

New boxes will be required, as analog signals are being eliminated as part of the changeover. Free equipment is available for existing customers during the changeover, according to Michel.

“Offers are generally for one year, but there are other offers available based on eligibility,” she wrote in an email.

“Individual customers will be receiving a specific offer in the mail or they can talk to a Charter store representative.”

Direct home shipment will be available, and customers can learn more at

“More than 90 percent of Charter customers in North Carolina and Virginia have adopted digital devices for at least one television in their home,” said Jon Hargis, the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing executive.

“We’re making it convenient for customers to obtain additional equipment through direct shipment and expanded store locations and hours.”

With the changeover, Charter says its customers will also gain on-demand video, with more than 12,000 titles available, including more than 3,000 in high-definition.