Charter Communications introduced high-speed broadband service for customers this week, offering an upgraded security suite and some of the fastest down-stream rates in the country.

The high speed service will also make for quicker downloads of music and large movie files as well as improving game play for hosting multi-player video games.

Our new 10 mbps service is among the fastest Internet speeds available in our markets today, said Himesh Bhise, vice president of Charter's High-Speed Internet.

In addition to faster download speeds, Internet security plays a crucial role in improving the online experience, Mr. Bhise said. To stay ahead of an ever-changing industry and to protect our customers against a host of new Internet threats, Charter has partnered with F-

Secure, an award-winning Internet security provider, to offer our upgraded High-Speed Security Suite version 6.15.

Competing broadband providers should already have some level of Internet security for no additional cost to meet customers’ expectations that their broadband connections are safe from spyware and viruses and their personal information is protected from hackers, according to market research firm, Current Analysis.

Charter’s 10 Mbps High-Speed Internet service comes with a steep monthly cost, however - up to $79.99 month as a standalone service with an additional $3 a month required for the lease of the cable modem. To receive a $10 discount on the service, subscribers must also sign-up for basic cable service.

Initially, Charter’s new 10 Mbps broadband service is only available to a portion of customers, with the new service available in 15 of its 20 key markets. The main reason Charter trails its peers and competitors in acquiring broadband subscribers is the slow pace at which the company upgraded its network to support cable modem access, according to market research firm, Current Analysis.

Charter will complete the rollout of 10 mbps in all markets in the fall.