Charter wants everyone in Louisville to know that if you are a Time Warner Cable customer in that area, you could see your speeds quadrupled for free! Heck, Charter will even quadruple Cincinnati customers speeds. Just one condition: The Charter and Time Warner Cable merger must be approved.
In order to convince federal regulators, Charter is even promising to adhere to actual net neutrality rules and will even guarantee no data usage caps. Sounds great, right? Well, no. The net neutrality promises only last for three years. Then, we are right back in the current situation, just without any leverage against Charter.
Let’s not forget some of the past actions by Charter management.
- They were one of the first companies to start charging consumers a “Broadcast TV Surcharge” so that they could raise rates without changing the advertised price.
- It hasn’t even been two years since Charter’s own CEO described his companies TV services as “inferior.”
- Charter is at the bottom or near the bottom of every customer satisfaction survey that I could find.
- In 2009, Charter began implementing data caps on consumers that were rarely enforced. To this day, Charter has never explained why those data caps were necessary other than to make additional money.
Setting that aside, why would anyone believe Charter’s speed promises around the country? Have you seen what this country has gotten from two decades of cable mergers?
I have lost count of the amount of times that AT&T has promised broadband glory for all customers around the country if a merger would only be approved by the Department of Justice.
- In 2004, AT&T promised to have broadband in every home in their 22-state footprint in exchange for regulators locking the FiOS and U-Verse networks off from open access policies and competition.
- In 2007, AT&T promised to offer broadband to 100% of homes in their 22-state footprint if they were allowed to buy BellSouth.
- In 2015, AT&T is promising that if they’re allowed to buy DirecTV, they will have broadband in every home in their 22-state footprint.
If Charter wants to convince regulators about this deal, why not make the net neutrality and data cap conditions permanent?