InvestorsMarch 21, 2000
Charter Communications Opens a Window to the Wired World Through Unique Partnership With LaGrange, Ga.
ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 22, 2000--Charter Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:CHTR) today became part of an unprecedented initiative by a community and a cable television operator to offer Internet access over cable television to all of its customers at no charge. In an announcement made today at West Georgia Tech, the City of LaGrange and Charter became partners in providing free Internet access to all cable households in LaGrange, a community of 27,000 located 60 miles south of Atlanta. The service will be provided over Charter's network facility in conjunction with WorldGate's (Nasdaq:WGAT) Internet on EVERY TV(SM) service utilizing systems and advanced set-top boxes manufactured by Motorola (NYSE:MOT). The launch is scheduled for this spring. The effort will be financed by the City of LaGrange without state or federal support.
The LaGrange initiative offers residents Internet access, e-mail and locally available information through their television sets and the cable network rather than a personal computer and telephone. Charter is the industry leader in the number of Internet customers over cable TV. "This initiative will open a window to the Wired World(TM) for those who can't afford a computer or Internet access or are unfamiliar with a computer," said Jerald L. Kent, Charter's President and CEO. "Cost and technological intimidation barriers are removed."
Kent continued, "LaGrange cable customers will benefit from having early access to advanced services and Charter confirms and builds on what we have known since we began offering access to the Internet over television in 1998 - this technology positively impacts our customers' lives. Charter and LaGrange will demonstrate to schools and teachers how access to the Internet at home can close the digital divide. Our collaborative effort will also demonstrate that e-commerce can do good things for local businesses and that people can become more productive."
Two years ago, Charter and LaGrange did something no other city or cable company had ever done. "We went into business together, combining our strengths and expertise of public and private enterprise to build a state-of-the-art broadband network for the community," Kent said. Charter brought the communications networking expertise and the City of LaGrange financed the construction of the network through a long-term sale and leaseback arrangement with Charter. "It was a forward-looking business decision that has allowed customers in LaGrange to enjoy broadband's enhanced communications opportunities sooner than many other communities in the country," according to Kent. "Working together satisfied our mutual mission to provide our customers with outstanding services and advanced technology and a glimpse at what the future holds."
Charter Communications, a Wired World(TM) company, is among the country's leading broadband communications companies. Charter serves approximately 6.2 million customers. Charter offers an array of services including cable television under the Charter brand; high-speed Internet access via Charter Pipeline(TM); advanced digital video programming services under the Charter Digital Cable(TM) brand. Charter is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the ticker symbol "CHTR." More information about Charter can be accessed on the Internet at www.chartercom.com.
"Safe Harbor" Statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Charter Communications' business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Prospectus.
CONTACT: Charter Communications, St. Louis Anita Lamont, 314/543-2215 or Andy Morgan, 314/543-2217