Charter Communications launches internet, phone and enhanced video services in Farmersville, Exeter and Lindsay

@TheSunGazette

LINDSAY – The biggest, broadest and most consistent gripe around town is the lack of sufficient internet. Speeds are too slow for the amount people pay and up until recently there was no end in sight. But as of last week Charter Communications announced the launch of new Spectrum Internet, Spectrum TV and Spectrum Voice.

For residential and business customers living in the Farmersville, Exeter and Lindsay areas, the launch brings new internet and phone products as well as significant enhancements to the existing video product.

According to a Chart Communications press release issued last week Spectrum Internet is featuring the fastest internet starting speeds of 100 Mbps, with no modem fees, data caps or contracts; and Spectrum Voice, with unlimited local and long-distance calling and the most popular calling features. Additionally, a new, more robust TV offering is now available with more than 200 HD channels and 18,000 On Demand titles.

“We are working hard to bring the best TV, internet and voice services possible to consumers,” said Area Vice President Chris Hinzmann. “We’re proud of the great value these new Spectrum services provide and to be bringing them to residents and businesses in the Farmersville, Exeter and Lindsay areas.”

Residents and business owners in the area are finally relieved to have a decent alternative to Frontier. Tricia Kirksey, owner of Kirksey Real Estate said that the lack of adequate internet access has affected the town’s real estate market. In fact internet access is one of the very first question she gets from prospective buyers.

“Wonderful news for our city…I’m so glad for my buyers and sellers who are having a terrible time with Frontier and not getting service.  The internet issues have kept people from buying in Exeter as well as had some great people leave because of no descent internet,” Kirksey said.

Later on she noted that the lack of internet access have perticularly driven away stifled students who are taking online courses or business owners who do a lot of work from home.

Councilman Greg Gomez in Farmersville has made his feeling known before about the digital divide that keeps Tulare County cities from reaching out to the rest of the world, particularly when it comes to education.

“Charter’s expansion into Farmersville means many of our kids no longer have to do their homework on a cell phone and it would allow for expansion of computer services at our library,” Gomez said.

Exeter city councilwoman Mary Waterman said that she will personally see a cost savings of $100 per month by switching to Spectrum.

Charter’s initial dive into the area actually came earlier this year. Director of northwest regional communications for Charter Bret Picciolo confirmed in July that Charter was working on upgrading its network in the area and that rollout was likely to happen before the end of 2017.

Charter coming to town could spell trouble for a fledgling Frontier that held promise for faster speeds and affordable prices, but never came to fruition. However, as the Sun-Gazette reported last September, Frontier inherited a faulty system from Verizon that was already outdated, under served and unable to expand. Oppositely Charter is already rolling out assistance programs for qualifying homes through Spectrum Internet Assist. In order to qualify a member of the household must be a recipient of either the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the Community Eligibility Provision of the NSLP or receive Supplemental Security Income under the age of 65.

Through the Assist program customers can receive 30 Megabyte per second (Mbps) speeds with the internet modem included and add in-home Wi-Fi for $5 more per month.

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