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VOIP services

Charter Joins Phone Party

Let's give Charter Communications Inc. a belated hand. Charter, the nation's third largest cable operator, has just joined the select group of MSOs with 500,000 or more phone customers.

In reaching this mark, Charter joins Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Cox Communications Inc. , and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) among the MSO leaders in VOIP deployments. But all four of the other cable giants now have well over 1 million phone subscribers, making the late-arriving Charter a very, very distant fifth.

Nevertheless, the milestone is a fresh sign that Charter is finally signing up new phone customers in spades. The company, which ended last year with nearly 446,000 subscribers, enlisted a record 106,200 customers in the fourth quarter and has already netted at least 54,000 customers in the current quarter.

The MSO's signup pace should continue to pick up throughout the rest of the year. Charter, which now passes 6.8 million homes with its phone service, plans to extend service to most of its remaining 5 million or so homes passed by next January.

— Alan Breznick, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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