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Centennial Cable TV To Expand High-Speed Internet Service

Cable modems available in Aguadilla, Mayaguez, Ponce; Cabo Rojo next


February 20, 2003
Copyright © 2003 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Centennial Cable TV expects that a $4 million investment this year will increase to 50% the number of subscribers to its SpeedBox high-speed Internet service in Puerto Rico. The company currently has 1,000 subscribers to its broadband service via cable modem.

Kurt Decker, Centennial Cable TV’s general manager, said the terrific acceptance thus far has encouraged the company to expand. He noted that the cable company adds an average of 250 new subscribers every month.

Executive Vice President Richard Gasink said it takes the company a month to six weeks to upgrade the system so that it can serve a particular town. Centennial Cable TV serves 30 towns in Puerto Rico’s southwest. The SpeedBox cable modem is already available in Aguadilla, Mayaguez, and part of Ponce. Cabo Rojo is scheduled to get the high-speed Internet service next.

Cable modems operate using the same kind of coaxial cables as are used for the cable TV signals. Analysts say coaxial cables have greater bandwidth than telephone lines (through which digital subscriber line, or DSL, service works), which means they provide faster access to the Internet, can carry more data, and are less susceptible to interference. Like DSL, cable modem service doesn’t tie up the phone line, allowing users to surf the Net and talk on the phone at the same time.

Centennial Cable TV offers two service packages: One offers downloads at 128 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 64 Kbps uploads, while the other offers 512 Kbps downloads and 128 Kbps uploads.

Although the Speedbox cable modem Internet service is targeted at residential users, it is also suited to businesses and home offices, Gasnik said. He noted that 15% to 20% of Centennial Cable TV subscribers in the southwest run small business out of their homes.

Centennial’s Caribbean operations serve Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It provides voice, data, and Internet services through wired networks in the region. Centennial’s largest shareholder is Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, which is affiliated to The Blackstone Group. Centennial Cable TV invested $15 million in 2002 to digitalize its system and offer more services and television channels to customers.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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