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Charter Leapfrogs to 'Net Marketing

Looking to boost the customer base for its high-speed Internet-access service, Charter Communications Inc. has decided to troll the Internet to hook more customers.

The cable operator has teamed with Leapfrog Online to create a so-called "e-tail" program by promoting the service on Web sites and search engines.

Charter has 1.7 million residential high-speed customers, which it has wooed through bill-stuffers, TV ads, and direct mail. Those efforts will continue, with the online pitch "another tool in the toolbox," said Charter's Dave Mack.

Leapfrog already counts Comcast, Adelphia and Time Warner among its e-tail clients.