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Charter ups top Web speed locally

By: Jeff Richgels, The Capital Times

As it promised earlier this year, Charter Communications announced that it increased the speed of its "Max" Internet service to 20 Mbps from 16 Mbps in the Madison area on Monday.

The change was automatic and came at no additional charge to Max subscribers, Charter said in a news release.

The 20 Mbps speed is downstream, meaning from the Internet to a user. Charter's Max service offers speeds of up to 2 Mbps upstream - from a user to the Internet.

The move gives Charter back bragging rights to the fastest widely available local residential Internet service. AT&T's U-verse High Speed Internet Max 18 offers speeds up to 18 Mbps downstream and 1.5 Mbps upstream.

"We've just made a great Internet service even better," Lisa Washa, vice president and general manager of Charter's operations in Wisconsin, said in a statement. "Not only are we delivering a very fast speed today, but our network has the capacity to support even higher speeds as demand and usage grow."

There was no word on when Charter might offer its 60 Mbps downstream Internet service - the fastest residential service available from any telecom company in the U.S. - here. The company began offering that service in its home market of St. Louis earlier this year.

Charter said in January that it expected to enter other markets with the service, which will provide upstream speeds of up to 5 Mbps, later this year.

The "Ultra60" service costs $129.99 per month bundled with TV or phone and $139.99 per month as a standalone service.

The Madison market is one of Charter's main markets.


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