Charter Networks With Affinegy

Charter Communications Inc. is expected to announce a deal today (Jan. 16) with an Austin, Texas, software company to help customers turn their cable-modem service into a network of home computers.

Charter will be the latest MSO to use software made by Affinegy to help customers expand the use of their modem connections, according to chief technical officer Art Lancaster. Cox Communications Inc. has rolled out Affinegy’s InstaLAN software in six markets and will deploy it in more systems this year, he said. Time Warner Cable also has rolled out the product in several systems.

Cable customers install the software on a personal computer in their home, using a compact disc provided them. The Affinegy code then detects any wireless adapters plugged into computers anywhere in the household.

The software then manages the authorization process with the local cable headend that will allow the over-the-air connections to wireless routers in the home.

“It’s a truly simple self-install,” Lancaster said, “and it eliminates truck rolls and reduces support calls.”

The software works on computers running Microsoft operating systems such as Windows 98, Windows MT, Windows 200 and Windows XP.

Cable systems pay Affinegy a license fee based on the number of homes the software is deployed in, Lancaster said.