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Charter picks Contec for STB testing, repair

Thu, 11/15/2012 - 2:37pm
Mike Robuck

Contec, which recently emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, was selected by Charter Communications as the cable operator’s preferred provider of set-top box testing and repair across its footprint.

The agreement, which is an expansion on an existing relationship between the two companies, calls for Charter to optimize the management of its set-top box fleet using Contec's QuickTest automated testing stations and Web-based data and support resources.

To ensure each customer has high-performance equipment, Charter will be able to identify and proactively address performance trends and can rapidly service and re-deploy units requiring repair within Contec's facility. Contec was picked following a comprehensive request for proposal (RFP) process.

"Rapid, accurate testing, returning quality inventory to the field as quickly as possible and ensuring the optimal condition of our set-top box inventory, are important to ensuring our customers have the best service experience," said Kathy Carrington, vice president of corporate services for Charter Communications. "Our selection of QuickTest is designed to reduce testing and service time and to provide all of our customers with the assurance that the STBs they receive meet our high service standards."

Contec said a single QuickTest station could process more than 100 devices per hour with high degrees of flexibility and accuracy. The integrated QuickTest system includes 24-slot test stations that can simultaneously test any mix of set-top boxes – regardless of manufacturer or model – as well as real-time access to full, historic test data across operator and STB footprints, live and automated support and preventive maintenance resources, and billing system updates.

Contec, founded in 1978, refurbishes millions of digital cable set-top units, modems and satellite receivers each year. It has repair plants in Schenectady, Seattle and Mexico City. The company attributed its bankruptcy "to fast-paced and drastic technological and economic changes" that resulted in a decline in demand for cable services. Leading in to the Chapter 11 filing, the company had been experiencing steadily declining revenue.

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