Suddenlink finishes rollout of faster Internet speeds in Arizona

Upgrades part of planned capital investments

KINGMAN - Suddenlink Communications, the cable broadband provider that bought out NPG Cable last year for about $350 million, announced it finished its rollout of four faster Internet service options in the majority of areas it serves in Arizona.

The company now offers four high-speed Internet packages, including one that pushes download speeds of 20 Megabits per second, explained company spokesman Gene Regan. The 20 Mbps package is looked at as the fastest residential Internet service in Suddenlink-served areas of Arizona, which includes Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City.

The upgrades come by way of $10 million worth of capital investments made in 2011 and slated for 2012 in northern Arizona as well as two California communities. The company's three other high-speed Internet packages offer download speeds of 15, 10 and 1.5 Mbps.

Since acquiring NPG Cable last April, the company has expanded its call center facility in Lake Havasu City, adding jobs there and in Flagstaff and Sedona. It also upgraded local networks, added or enhanced Video on Demand services, increased Internet speeds and unveiled a number of new high-definition TV channels across Arizona.

Despite the upgrades, Suddenlink's first year in Mohave County wasn't all roses.

In July, customers experienced Internet and phone outages - lasting in some cases as long as a week - as the company moved off of technological platforms used by NPG and on to the ones it uses. Complaints were widespread, which led to many people receiving bill credits for the inconvenience.

Then, as the community approached 2012 people witnessed a contract battle between the cable company and KPHO CBS 5. The channel's general manager bemoaned that Suddenlink didn't value the station while the cable company argued that the station's demands were exorbitant and unrealistic. Despite all signs pointing to KPHO CBS 5 being pulled from the Suddenlink roster when 2011 turned to 2012, the companies reached a deal - with undisclosed terms - two days before the new year.