Charter revs up to ultra-fast, Ultra60 service in major Internet upgrade

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Charter Communications has announced an upgrade to its Internet service in Walla Walla.

The broadband communications company has introduced its Charter Internet Ultra60 service with speeds up to 60 megabits per second for customers in Walla Walla, College Place, Dixie, Waitsburg, Milton-Freewater and Umatilla County.

Touted as an "ultra-fast service level," the investment is a major upgrade from Charter's previous Internet speed of up to 25 megabits per second. The new service is available this month, said Charter officials who hope to sway customers from rival DSL providers.

"Charter is delivering faster speeds in the area today, and the network also has the capacity to support even higher speeds as Internet usage continues to evolve," said Frank Antonovich, Charter's vice president and general manager for its Washington operations, in a news release. "Charter's ability to provide increasingly greater speed and reliability is critical to our customers' use and enjoyment of the Internet and delivers greater value."

The company is using DOCSIS 3.0 technology for the Ultra60 launch. That also serves as the foundation for faster connections in the future, officials said.

Antonovich said high-speed customers will be able to access multiple sources simultaneously to download music, watch a movie trailer, catch up on email or surf the Internet on one screen. The service includes anti-virus, anti-spam, parental controls and more.

In a prepared statement, Sen. Mike Hewitt touted Charter's upgrade. "The Internet makes businesses more efficient, schools more effective and is the great equalizer for attracting new business developments in rural areas," he said in the release.

For more information on the service, contact Charter at 1-888-438-2427 or visit charter.com/ultra .

About 400 firefighters will swarm the city late next month for the annual convention of the Washington State Council of Firefighters.

The Walla Walla Professional Firefighters Local 404 will host the event June 27-30 at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center.

Firefighters from across the state and their families will be in town for the 72nd annual convention. In addition to discussions of issues, the event will also include a golf tournament, motorcycle fundraising ride, barbecue for families, wine tours and a formal awards dinner.

The Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce is helping assemble packets of tourism information to distribute to participants. Businesses that would like to include incentives on goods and services to encourage visitors to drop by their operations can contact the Chamber at info@wwvchamber.com or bring contributions to the office, 29 E. Sumach St.

Walla Walla Clothing Co. is hosting its first-ever Summer Soiree this weekend.

The event at 103 E. Main St. is intended to celebrate the coming of the long-awaited summer months with a sale on clothes for the season.

Co-owner Teresa Morasch said the downtown retailer will feature 15 percent off everything in the store Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Drawings for a free pair of jeans, Donald Pliner shoes and a $100 gift card will also be featured. Beverages and snacks will be served.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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