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Aspenites should have high-speed Internet by spring

Aspen Times Staff Report

Aspenites who are enduring the ongoing laying of new fiber-optic cable through town will have high-speed Internet access by early next year, according to an AT&T spokesman.Jim Niswender, general manager for AT&T Cable, updated the Aspen City Council on the company’s progress yesterday.The trench digging that has been going on in Aspen’s downtown alleyways this summer is nearly done, Niswender said. Crews will then move to outlying areas.The company has been delayed in installing new cable along Highway 82 by the four-lane construction taking place between the airport and Buttermilk, he said.”The project overall, I think, is going fairly smooth,” Niswender said. “Unfortunately, we did have a couple of mishaps where power lines did get cut.”Cable crews have cut two power lines and a telephone line during the course of their work in Aspen’s core, he said.When the work is done, Aspen, Snowmass Village and other areas of Pitkin County that currently have cable service will have access to upgraded service, according to Niswender.After the new cable is in place, crews will work street by street to install the other electronic equipment necessary for the upgrade. At that time, people will see their cable TV service disrupted, but they will receive a notice beforehand, Niswender said.If things go well, he said, high-speed Internet access that is two to three times faster than what many users now have will be available on Feb. 1, 2001. In addition, the new lines will allow the launching of 4 or 5 new analog channels and about 40 digital channels for cable TV subscribers, he said.The cost of receiving high-speed Internet access for users has not been determined, said Niswender, but it will probably be about $39 per month, he told the council. Typically, when AT&T launches upgraded service in a community, it offers deals like free installation and three months of free service, he said.”We foresee Internet prices to go down as the amount of use goes up,” he added.


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