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InvestorsJanuary 9, 2003

Charter Communications & Sony Electronics Sign Licensing Agreement for Passage Technology; Technology Could Loosen Hold on Traditional Cable Equipment Market

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2003 International CES

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 9, 2003--Charter Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:CHTR) and Sony Electronics Inc. have signed a licensing agreement for Sony's Passage(TM) technology that could eventually bring more competition to the set-top receiver market and provide more choices and features for Charter customers.

Charter hopes to use the Passage technology to allow set-top receiver, network and headend equipment from different companies to work together on existing digital cable television networks. The technology could result in increased competition among set-top manufacturers, resulting in lower prices, more features and the ability for consumers to use the same set-top in different cities.

"With Sony's Passage technology, cable operators will have the freedom to cost effectively introduce alternative conditional access systems into their networks, which should encourage new manufacturers to develop new products and accelerate innovation in the industry," said Stephen Silva, executive vice president and chief technology officer for Charter. "Opening up the cable industry infrastructure will most certainly foster competition and result in more choices and better services for consumers."

"Taking consumers smoothly into the broadband network world takes three things: compelling content and services; a wide selection of familiar, user-friendly devices from which to access that content; and a business model that makes sense for all parties, including consumers," said Michael Fidler, senior vice president of Sony's Digital Platform Division of America. "Because of Charter Communications' role as an innovator and visionary for the cable industry, today's agreement is one step -- but a significant and strategic step -- toward achieving this goal."

About Charter Communications

Charter Communications Inc., A Wired World Company(TM), is the nation's third-largest broadband communications company, currently serving approximately 6.7 million customers in 40 states. Charter provides a full range of advanced broadband services to the home, including cable television on an advanced digital video programming platform marketed under Charter Digital Cable(R) and high-speed Internet access marketed under the Charter Pipeline(R) brand. Commercial high-speed data, video and Internet solutions are provided under the Charter Business Networks(TM) brand. Advertising sales and production services are sold under the Charter Media(TM) brand. More information about Charter can be found at

More information about Sony Passage technology can be found at


CONTACT: Charter Communications Inc., St. Louis
Andy Morgan, 314/543-2217
Mary Jo Moehle, 314/543-2397