Blog February 2, 2016

Our Commitment to Online Video is Clear—No Buffering Required

Charter has always been a different kind of cable company – committed to offering the most innovative products, faster speeds, an open internet, no modem fees or data caps, and superior customer service to our 5.4 million customers. Our proposed transaction with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks is exciting because it enables us to offer these benefits to even more American consumers.

Lately, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about the merger, and how it’s different from other mergers. Specifically, people want to know what impact it will have on online video.

While some cable providers are focused on protecting traditional programming at the expense of online video and over the top (OTT) content, we don’t have significant programming interests to protect and understand that our customers are consuming video programming differently than they were just five years ago, let alone 10 or 15 years ago.

While certain entities have alleged that Charter doesn’t want programmers to make their content available OTT, the truth is that Charter has believed for several years now that OTT programming is great for our business. Back in 2014, Charter CEO Tom Rutledge said in an interview, “I want over-the-top because it makes my broadband service valuable. I have a really good broadband product, and I can make it better with relatively easy capital investment, so the more people use it, the more value is [earned] by it.” We’re excited about programmers like HBO who are starting to offer ‘over-the-top’ versions of their content through products like HBO NOW, simply because it makes our high-speed broadband products even more valuable for consumers.

Also, unlike Comcast and other competitors, Charter doesn’t have any interests tied up in content and programming, meaning we don’t have anything to fear from services like Hulu that customers can purchase independently of Charter’s bundles.

As we look to the future, we’re interested in continuing to offer our customers the content they want where they want it. We don’t believe in setting a limit or charging more based on how much data our customers use, and we’ve been outspoken in our commitment to a free and open Internet.

That’s why Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said our merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House will be “a tremendous positive,” and that “the key thing about the Charter deal is it’s all Internet companies that benefit — us, Hulu, Amazon, HBO Now — so that we can all compete for consumers’ affection.”

Simply put, we want our customers to use as much broadband as they want. If our customers want to stream their content from online sources beyond the cable box, they can do so. Our competitors don’t always feel this way, which is why some of them are trying to block this merger.  But with Charter, our customers can access our video service using Roku, Android and IOS devices without a set-top box, and they can access over 60 TV everywhere apps on various devices.

Our commitment to online video isn’t just a matter of policy–we’ve also committed to ensuring we have the infrastructure to support America’s most video-friendly broadband service. Among other efforts to keep your video crystal clear, we are continually investing in interconnection capacity in order to avoid network congestion.

Just like existing Charter customers today, New Charter customers won’t be billed based on usage or have to worry about data caps. The lowest speed we offer across our entire network is 60 Mbps. Compare that to other companies who not only charge multiple fees, but do it while offering speeds at a fraction of ours.

By forming New Charter, we’ll set a new standard that demands other industry giants put their customers first, or risk losing them.

Welcome to the future.