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Charter Unveils 10-Mpbs Service

Charter Communications became the latest cable operator to hit the broadband accelerator, announcing that it is now offering a 10-megabit-per-second high-speed-data service, along with an upgraded security suite.

The service -- which offers connection speeds as high as 10 mbps downstream and 1 mbps upstream -- is up and running in 15 of Charter’s 20 markets, and plans are to roll it out to the remainder later this fall. It is priced at $69.99 per month when bundled with other Charter services including voice or video, or $79.99 stand-alone. Charter also provides a 5-mbps service and a 3-mbps service in all 20 markets.

Offering a 10-mbps option will support a growing need for speed among consumers, especially given the trend toward home networking and higher-bandwidth services. More than 25% of U.S. households have some form of high-speed home network, while 35% of users play online games and 25% download music, according to Charter.

"To keep pace with their Internet usage, customers want faster and faster download speeds and improved security, and Charter is continuing to meet those demands," said Himesh Bhise, vice president of Charter's High-Speed Internet. "This is a good example of how we're investing in our business to provide the leading-edge products our customers want."

In addition, Charter is partnering with online-security-software provider F-Secure to offer its High-Speed Security Suite version 6.15 to the operator’s high-speed-data customers at no extra charge.

The new security software includes root-kit detection to protect against hackers; anti-virus and spyware protection; parental controls; and a personal firewall.