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An unidentified airman points to a SoftBank Telecom sign indicating free registration for new Internet customers who signed up by the close of business Wednesday. The company has announced it will continue waiving the $50 connection fee through Tuesday in an effort to alleviate massive lines of former Americable customers at Yokota Air Base.
An unidentified airman points to a SoftBank Telecom sign indicating free registration for new Internet customers who signed up by the close of business Wednesday. The company has announced it will continue waiving the $50 connection fee through Tuesday in an effort to alleviate massive lines of former Americable customers at Yokota Air Base. (Brett McCormick / Courtesy of AAFES)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — To alleviate massive lines outside its store in the Yokota Community Center, SoftBank Telecom announced it would continue waiving the $50 connection fee for new Internet service through Tuesday.

This week, hundreds of former Americable customers flocked to SoftBank Telecom, the base’s only remaining option for staying online. Some said they waited in line up to three hours to sign up.

Americable terminated all paid cable television and broadband Internet services on Yokota at midnight Wednesday. SoftBank Telecom initially planned to reinstate its $50 connection fee Thursday.

“We decided to extend the waiver until the end of the month because we’re concerned some people have seen the lines and said, ‘Oh no, that’s too long,’” Gary Garner, marketing manager for SoftBank Telecom’s military department, said Wednesday. “We want to take care of those people who have to come back tomorrow, or the next day, but still want the free registration.”

SoftBank Telecom’s hours of operation in the YCC are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, but the provider has been staying open a little later each night to accommodate the influx of new customers.

Allied Telesis Capital Corp., the installation’s new provider of integrated voice, video and data services, plans to have Internet and telephones running in early January and begin offering a cable television package by May, company representatives announced two weeks ago.

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