News June 25, 2015

Charter Will ‘Go Further’ Than FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules in Merger With Time Warner Cable

Originally appeared in Variety
June 25, 2015
By Ted Johnson

Charter Communications said that it will commit to principles of net neutrality, like no blocking or throttling of traffic, as part of its planned merger with Time Warner Cable and acquisition of Bright House Networks.

The cable company also promised not to engage in paid prioritization, in one of several commitments it made in a public interest statement for its proposed transaction filed with the FCC on Thursday.

Charter announced its planned merger with TW Cable last month, just weeks after Comcast abandoned its proposed transaction.

In a listing of the benefits of the transaction, Charter said that it will “go further” than the FCC’s recent net neutrality order by agreeing not to impose data caps or usage-based pricing.

The company also said that it will make “comprehensive and significant investments” in its broadband network, with TW Cable and Bright House customers getting at least 60 Mbps download speeds, as well as all-digital cable networks. The broadband service will be priced on its current model, which is less expensive than comparable offerings from TW Cable and Bright House.

Charter will “create thousands of U.S.-based jobs” by hiring customer service call center and field technician operators, and returning TW Cable’s call centers to the United States.

Charter plans engage in “reasonable and non-discriminatory” interconnection practices, and submit any disputes to the FCC on a case-by-case basis. In its net neutrality rules, the FCC included oversight over interconnection practices.

Internet providers have filed court challenges to the FCC’s move to reclassify the Internet as a Title II telecommunications service, a regulatory maneuver to impose robust net neutrality rules.

Charter also said that it will invest “significantly” in WiFi, with more than 300,000 out-of-home access points.

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