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News tagged: Charter


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by Karl Bode 09:15AM Friday Oct 10 2014
A new group named "Onward Internet" popped up a few weeks ago, offering a sassy, sexy website that rather ambiguously discusses how the Internet is a "wild, free thing" that is "unbounded by limits" and "unfettered by rules." The website and accompanying video discuss how it's "everyone's responsibility" to protect the Internet. The group doesn't really explain what its purpose is, though after a few weeks ProPublica discovered that it's a new effort by the cable industry's biggest lobbying group, the NCTA.

Click for full size
The website asks visitors for their input on how to best protect the Internet. Employees of the group are also canvasing some city streets collecting user input. A chirpy Twitter account similarly asks for user input.

What is a cable-industry group targeting Millennials funded by the cable industry doing with this information? Likely collecting fodder in the campaign against Title II and/or net neutrality, if the industry's rich astroturfing history is any guide. Calling the organization's phone number suggests you get to find out next month:
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"Sorry we can't come to the phone right now," the call-in greeting says. "We just got wind of the juiciest celebrity rumor and we're working to confirm it.
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13 comments


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by Karl Bode 10:43AM Monday Sep 29 2014
The cable companies that pioneered cable television continue to flounder in JD Power and Associates' latest TV customer satisfaction survey. According to the latest results from the firm, DIRECTV and Verizon FiOS (738) tied for top honors in TV customer satisfaction in the East region; AT&T U-verse (750) ranks highest in the North Central region; Verizon FiOS (751) ranks highest in the South region; and DISH Network (739) ranks highest in the West region.
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by Karl Bode 11:34AM Wednesday Sep 03 2014
Updated with confirmation from Comcast & Charter. To help get their acquisition of Time Warner Cable approved, Comcast earlier this year proposed spinning off around 2.5 million customers into an entirely new company.
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by Karl Bode 08:59AM Friday Aug 29 2014
An analysis of monthly cable bills by SNL Kagan found that while all cable TV bills are high (and increasing, sometimes twice a year) Cablevision customers have it the worst in terms of high rates. Cablevision customers on average now pay the company $152.72 a month, significantly higher than the next most expensive cable operators -- Comcast ($137.24 per month on average) and Verizon FiOS ($122.57 per month on average).
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by Karl Bode 02:56PM Wednesday Jul 23 2014
While Verizon's legal victory over the FCC did gut the agency's net neutrality rules, it kept some of the FCC's authority over ISPs intact -- specifically the agency's transparency rules -- which require that ISPs be straightforward about the "network management practices, performance, and commercial terms" of their broadband services.

In a statement issued today, the FCC "reminded" wireline and wireless ISPs alike that those rules are still intact and need to be adhered to, lest the agency lightly slap a wrist or two -- maybe.
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by Karl Bode 05:27PM Friday Jun 13 2014
A few years ago Charter simplified their speed tiers, offering just 30 Mbps down, 4 Mbps up and 100 Mbps down, 5 Mbps up tiers. Now according to user comments in our forums, Charter is bumping 30 Mbps customers to 100 Mbps and 100 Mbps to 120 Mbps at no additional charge.
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by Karl Bode 02:28PM Friday May 16 2014
To help get their acquisition of Time Warner Cable approved, Comcast last month proposed spinning off around 2.5 million customers into an entirely new company, currently only temporarily named "SpinCo." Today Comcast announced that they've tagged former Insight Communications CEO Michael Willner to be the President and Chief Executive Officer of Spinco.

Broadband Reports regulars may remember Willner, who had a strong presence in our forums and ran his own blog before and during the company's slow dissection and acquisition by Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
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by Karl Bode 09:02AM Monday Apr 28 2014
As rumors have suggested for month, Comcast and Charter have struck a deal that would offload a significant number of freshly-acquired customers to Charter in an attempt to sell regulators on Comcast's $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. According to an announcement, once (if) the deal goes through, Charter will acquire around 1.4 million customers, and Comcast and Charter will swap around 1.6 million users based on geographic area.
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by Karl Bode 02:31PM Tuesday Apr 22 2014
While Charter has left their options open to acquire Time Warner Cable in case Comcast's attempt to acquire the company falls through, the company's consolation prize continues to be the 3 million or so customers Comcast is willing to divest to try and make regulators approve the deal. Insiders say talks are ongoing between Comcast, Charter and Time Warner Cable to offload around 3 to 5 million of the impacted customers to Charter. Those sources claim (though the valuation seems absurdly high) the total assets being talked about are in the range of $20 billion or so. Another option still under discussion is Comcast and Time Warner Cable spinning off those users into a new company, with Charter taking a minority ownership stake.

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by Karl Bode 04:51PM Friday Apr 11 2014
Less than a week after Charter CEO Tom Rutledge publicly admitted that their current TV service offerings simply weren't very good, Charter last November announced plans for a brand refresh for the company's broadband and TV services. Like AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, Comcast Xfinity, and Cablevision Optimum, Charter has announced they'll be re-branding the company's broadband and digital video services under the name "Spectrum" in the hopes of changing public perceptions.
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by Karl Bode 08:30AM Thursday Apr 10 2014
Charter's hopes to acquire Time Warner Cable were squashed when Comcast made a higher offer for the company, but falling Time Warner Cable stock price since the merger announcement has left the door open for a Charter counterbid. Executives are still considering such a play, anonymous sources tell Bloomberg, though the company is way of a bidding war that would result with them getting nothing at all. The company is apparently worried that they could annoy Comcast executives too much with an ongoing fight, resulting in them failing to even get the 3 million Time Warner Cable customers Comcast plans to divest as part of a merger condition.

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by Karl Bode 09:26AM Wednesday Mar 26 2014
Less than a week after Charter CEO Tom Rutledge publicly admitted that their current TV service offerings simply weren't very good, Charter last November announced plans for a brand refresh for the company's broadband and TV services. Like AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, Comcast Xfinity, and Cablevision Optimum, Charter has announced they'll be re-branding the company's broadband and digital video services under the name "Spectrum" in the hopes of changing public perceptions.
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by Karl Bode 08:51AM Friday Feb 14 2014
"People familiar with the company's thinking" (aka pretty much anybody) tell the Wall Street Journal that Charter is unlikely to make a counter offer to acquire Time Warner Cable. The company is unlikely to go above their existing $132 per share offer to match or exceed Comcast's $159 per share offer, a price point Charter had hoped to drive down by apparently insulting Time Warner Cable services. Instead, notes the Journal, Charter and John Malone will focus their efforts on other possible acquisition targets like Cox Communications, as well as take a chunk of the subscribers and networks Comcast will attempt to divest to make the deal more palatable to regulators.

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by Karl Bode 08:51AM Friday Feb 14 2014
A number of companies including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Google, and Microsoft are expected to announce a new coalition named WiFiForward that will push for expansion of access to unlicensed spectrum for wireless networks. The new coalition was supposed to be announced yesterday, though the announcement appears to have been delayed out of fears it wouldn't have been noticed under the din of the Comcast Time Warner Cable announcement.

Notably absent from the coalition is AT&T and Verizon, who use Wi-Fi for offloading, but would obviously prefer you pay them for accessing cellular networks:
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...after spending billions of dollars to upgrade to faster, so-called LTE technology, AT&T and its peers are now looking to bring that traffic back. "We are now at a place where the pricing is right, LTE is performing very, very well, and you want to drive utilization of these networks," AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said at an analysts conference in December.
The cable industry originally had cellular ambitions but after acquiring spectrum (now owned by Verizon) realized that competing with AT&T and Verizon on their turf would be very cash intensive. They've instead worked together to offer a broader array of publicly available hotspots in higher traffic areas, which are free if you subscribe to traditional cable services.

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by Karl Bode 02:25PM Tuesday Feb 11 2014
Charter shows no sign in backing off their desired acquisition of Time Warner Cable, this week making more aggressive moves as part of a hostile takeover bid. Charter originally made an offer of $37.3 billion, or around $132.50 per share.
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by Karl Bode 06:19PM Monday Feb 10 2014
Netflix today released their latest ISP streaming rankings, which, as the name suggests, track the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISPs network. The latest report shows that Verizon (both FiOS and DSL), AT&T U-Verse and Mediacom all slipped in the rankings, while Time Warner Cable, Bright House, Windstream, Centurylink and Clearwire all saw performance improvements.
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by Karl Bode 08:28AM Monday Feb 03 2014
Anonymous sources tell Reuters that Charter will likely present a new, higher bid to acquire Time Warner Cable sometime within the next two weeks. Charter originally made an offer of $37.3 billion, or around $132.50 per share.
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by Karl Bode 03:03PM Thursday Jan 30 2014
Last November we noted that Time Warner Cable, historically a bit sluggish when it comes to next-gen broadband upgrades, was considering a brand refresh named "Maxx" that would include significant speed and TV improvements. A blog post and press release by the company today shed a little more details on these improvements, which the company say will first be coming to the New York City and Los Angeles markets -- "transforming their service as they know it."

According to Time Warner Cable's Andrew Russell, the brand refresh may not actually be called "Maxx" when it launches; this appears to just be their current tag for the initiative.
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by Karl Bode 04:30PM Monday Jan 27 2014
Bloomberg is reporting that Charter and Comcast are very close to a preliminary deal wherein Charter would buy Time Warner Cable, then Comcast would buy strategically and geographically sensible markets in New York City, North Carolina and New England. The report notes that this would not be a joint bid, and Comcast wouldn't be involved until after Charter's offer is accepted.
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by Karl Bode 08:31AM Thursday Jan 16 2014
With Time Warner Cable rebuffing Charter's acquisition advances and insulting the company apparently not working, reports suggest that Charter has again turned to Comcast in the hopes of a joint acquisition bid. Reuters notes that Charter approached Comcast this week about acquiring then dividing up Time Warner Cable's networks and subscribers, with Comcast providing additional financial backing to help meet Time Warner Cable's preferred price point (above $160 per share).

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