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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Ever since it was announced last fall that Allied Telesis would be taking over Yokota’s Internet, phone and cable television services, many base residents have wondered about the quality of the new services.

A select few are now getting a chance to find out before anyone else.

In the past few weeks, Allied has started field testing its Internet and phone systems at Yokota to see what parts of the existing network need to be worked on, explained Cortney Grace, Allied’s general manager.

“We are going to do this transition with quality,” he said. “The emphasis has to be on quality.”

And what are the folks getting a sneak preview learning?

“So far, I think the new service is really good,” said Master Sgt. James R. Martin, one of the testers. “The Internet is noticeably faster, and you don’t have to log in every three days or so as you had to with previous providers.”

Martin has signed up for, and is currently testing Allied’s phone and 10 Mbps Internet service. One of his favorite parts of having the new service is having a stateside area code.

Last year, Martin tried to order a new computer processor, but was unable to because the retailer wouldn’t accept his Japanese phone number.

“Now that I have a U.S. area code, I don’t have to keep putting in my daughter’s phone number when they ask for a phone number,” he said, laughing.

Another tester, Senior Airman David Hernandez, has gone with out Internet since the base’s previous cable provider, Americable, left Yokota last fall.

“I’m very glad to have it back, especially since it works so well,” he said, explaining that he can play online video games with no noticeable lag while his wife talks on the phone with no background static.

However, both testers agree about what the most impressive feature of the new service is: customer service.

Martin explained that he had a problem with his service and after placing a call to get help, Allied sent out a technician within 15 minutes.

“It’s out of this world,” agreed Hernandez. “It really is outstanding.”

After field testing is complete, Allied will start activating the network in a series of phases across the base, starting with the South side towers on March 10. Grace explained that by working in phases, instead of launching every base customer all at once, Allied will be able to focus on making the transition run smoothly for everyone involved.

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