News tagged: Time Warner Cable
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.
When it comes to cable operators and TV satisfaction, Charter, Comcast and Time Warner Cable continue to fight for last place in most regions. The two companies have seen increased scrutiny of their support issues as they try to convince regulators of the merit of their proposed $45 billion merger.
When it comes to broadband connection satisfaction, JD Power notes that Verizon ranks highest in ISP customer satisfaction in the East (712) and South (725) regions; WOW! (Wide Open West) with a score of 728 ranking highest in the North Central region; and AT&T (704) ranks highest in the West region.
For phone services, AT&T (740) ranks highest in telephone customer satisfaction in the East region; WOW! (Wide Open West) scores 767 ranking highest in the North Central region; Bright House Networks (751) ranks highest in the South region; and Cox Communications (739) ranks highest in the West region.
In addition to Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Charter, Mediacom, Frontier, CenturyLink and Windstream see some of the lowest satisfaction rankings in the industry.
Comcast last night filed their reply comments to the FCC as the agency considers approving the company's $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The filing is filled with the sort of arguments we've seen countless times already
over the past few months, including Comcast's repeated claim that they face so much competition on every front
there's simply no way they'd ever engage in anti-competitive behavior.
In a recent blog post
, Comcast top lobbyist David Cohen applauded the "wide variety of support" for their merger the company is getting from people, organizations and politicians the company quite coincidentally throws money at. Cohen, who now calls himself the company's "Chief Diversity Officer" to skirt federal lobbying reporting laws
, happily points out that some 70 mayors and over 60 other state and local officials now support Comcast's $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable.
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).
On the heels of a nationwide Charter DNS outage over the weekend, Time Warner Cable is the latest ISP to suffer a nationwide outage. According to user comments in our forums
, the ISP early this morning suffered a routing problem, knocking all of the company's customers offline. "At 430am ET this morning during our routine network maintenance, an issue with our Internet backbone created disruption with our Internet and On Demand services," Time Warner Cable said in a statement. "As of 6am ET services were largely restored as updates continue to bring all customers back online."
The Wall Street Journal
notes that Time Warner Cable's existing relationship with Bright House Communications complicates Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Bright House is currently its own company, but Time Warner Cable has an ownership interest and historically handles programming, some engineering and technology acquisitions for the company (they even historically shared the "Road Runner" branding).
Earlier this week Comcast stated they were "insulted
" by concerns that the company (alongside Time Warner Cable) was helping to fund a dinner to honor an FCC Commissioner currently deciding on the fate of their planned merger. Comcast was contributing $110,000 and Time Warner Cable was contributing $22,000 to sponsor the Walter Kaitz Foundation’s annual dinner, which promotes diversity in the cable industry.
Syracuse, New York is the perfect example of a broken American broadband industry. On the one hand, Verizon has refused to install FiOS in the city itself -- leaving the majority of the city's customers on outdated and very expensive DSL lines. story continues..
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.
Back in 2011 the FCC began collecting real-world user broadband data from customized routers, then issuing reports on which ISPs were failing to deliver advertised speeds. It's one of the few FCC policies in recent years that has truly paid dividends for consumers. story continues..
New Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, who stands to make upwards of $80 million for a few months of work
should the Comcast merger be approved, is looking for regulators to approve the deal before the end of the year. Calling the Comcast deal a "a dream combination" and a "very special value creation opportunity," Marcus stated he's "still hopeful hat we can attain those approvals by year-end." Most analysts believe regulators will approve the deal, largely because Comcast and Time Warner Cable don't directly compete. Consumer advocates warn that the threat of 80% of the country being usage capped
and Comcast's use of scale as an anti-competitive weapon are the bigger threats.
Time Warner Cable this week announced that the company has launched a new portal for its broadband customers that lets them register their Wi-Fi devices, allowing them to auto-connect when a Time Warner Cable hotspot is in range. According to a blog post
and press release
, the company's new www.twcwifi.com
portal will also show users how much money they're saving by using Wi-Fi instead of connecting to their company's cellular network.
As we've recently noted
, Austin is starting to resemble the kind of competitive market most of us only dream about. Thanks to Google Fiber, AT&T is now planning to offer $70, 1 Gbps connections in the city -- recently joined by Grande Communications, who says they too will offer 1 Gbps lines for $65 a month
The latest American Consumer Satisfaction Index once again confirms that Time Warner Cable and Comcast are among the least liked companies not only in the pay TV sector -- but across all industries
. The full report
(pdf) notes that overall consumer satisfaction with the pay TV sector continues to fall, beaten out in annoyance and dissatisfaction only by the broadband sector.
The writing has pretty clearly been on the wall as Comcast slowly but surely has expanded their usage-cap trials throughout less competitive Southern markets
. Speaking at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit today in New York City (see transcript
via Fierce Cable
), top Comcast lobbyist David Cohen was asked whether or not he sees a future where users only have a choice of capped plans.
Comcast is promising regulators and the public that acquired Time Warner Cable customers in Los Angeles and New York will get the company's new X1 set top box within a year of being acquired. "We'll be within the first markets in a year," Neil Smit, president and chief executive of Comcast's cable unit, tells Reuters
. In addition to the set tops, Comcast is promising to deliver "considerably higher Internet speeds to Time Warner Cable customers" in those cities. That shouldn't be that
hard; Time Warner Cable is already targeting NYC and LA as locations for the company's new "Maxx" upgrades, which aimed to provide faster broadband speeds and improved TV services
. The timing for other markets has long been less certain.
Cable executives gathered this week at The Cable Show in Los Angeles, and a big topic of conversation was of course Google Fiber, and whether cable operators plan to start offering speeds up to 1 Gbps anytime soon. Some cable operators like Cox ambiguously claimed they had 1 Gbps offerings in the works
, though others, like Time Warner Cable, tried to downplay the $70, symmetrical 1 Gbps service Google Fiber is offering.
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.
Time Warner Cable's earnings
indicate that the company continues to bleed basic cable subscribers, though the company is quick to point out that the 34,000 accounts lost on the quarter was the lowest quarterly loss they've seen in five years. Still, they've lost 748,000 video subscribers year over year as users move to satellite, telcoTV or cut the cord entirely.
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 last January 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."
This week the company announced that those upgrades are now underway for LA and NYC customers. According to a press release
, the company is now offering 300 Mbps in "several" communities in both cities, including Costa Mesa and West Hollywood in California and portions of Woodside, Queens and Staten Island in New York City.
Users in those communities will see the company's Standard Internet plan bumped from 15 Mbps to 50 Mbps, and the company's Ultimate plan bumped from 100 Mbps to 300 Mbps -- for the same current pricing.
According to Time Warner Cable, the speed bumps arrive "on the heels of a top-to-bottom network evaluation and upgrade in these areas to ensure optimum performance and rock-solid network reliability." They also arrive as Comcast attempts to get regulatory approval for acquiring Time Warner Cable, meaning it's unclear just how many users will see these upgrades before an ownership switch.
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