Fiber optics, more channels, services coming from AT&T

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Cable customers in Craig will have an upgraded cable system that promises more channels and new services, AT&T Cable Services (AT&T), formerly TCI Cablevision, announced recently.

The system upgrade is part of an AT&T effort to improve service, offer more products and ensure the residents of Craig will have access to the cable-delivered services of the future.

"This is a major business and economic commitment to the Craig community," said Tommy Cotton, AT&T local general manager. "Upgrading our cable network will enable us to add new channels, and ensure that our local customers have the best route to the latest cable-delivered services."

The upgraded network will be built to 550 MHz capacity, utilizing modern hybrid fiber and coaxial cable network architecture. These specifications will enable AT&T to add an estimated 20 analog (traditional cable) channels, as well as up to 60 additional AT&T Digital Cable channels and up to 80 new video channels available to local customers.

"We look forward to announcing our upgraded channel lineup," said Cotton. "As we get closer to activating the upgraded system, we will have many more details about the exciting new channels and services that it will offer."

Because of the extensive end-to-end geography of the AT&T network, the physical construction is a manpower-intensive project requiring substantial resources and time. Construction activity will be confined to typically low cable television viewing hours to minimize upgrade-related service interruptions that can be caused by construction activity involving a "live" cable system.

To enable customers to receive the benefits of new services as quickly as possible, the upgraded channel lineup and additional services will be activated in each area as that local section of the system is upgraded. Customers in each area will receive advance notification of the activation of the upgraded system and their new, improved cable channel lineup. Barring unforeseen complications, AT&T anticipates the project will be completed by early 2000.

AT&T Cable Services serves about 2,700 customers in the Craig community with cable television services. The company employs nine local residents, providing customer service, installation, technical repairs and other services from offices located in Craig.

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