Charter is continuously investing in our networks to better serve our customers across our 41-state footprint. A key part of these investments is delivering faster broadband and a superior product to more people in more places – whether they live in big cities or rural America.
Since 2014, we have invested more than $27 billion in technology and infrastructure, which has enabled us to extend the reach of our infrastructure and to significantly enhance our broadband service. In 2017, we built-out our network to an additional 860,000 homes and small businesses including those in rural areas like Lakeview, Oregon and Hawthorne, Nevada. We also boosted our starting broadband download speed from 60 Mbps to 100 Mbps (and to 200 Mbps in many markets), at no extra cost to our customers. That means the starting speed is 20 times faster than it was just eight years ago. Additionally, in this “Summer of Gig,” we continue to roll out Spectrum Internet Gig for residential and small and medium-sized business customers in markets around the country. We’re more than halfway toward our goal of making gigabit connections available in virtually every market we serve by the end of the year, believing that all of the communities we serve – urban, suburban and rural – deserve the powerful bandwidth and capacity offered by gigabit connections.
Charter is also looking ahead and making the investments to enable the next generation of connectivity. We are conducting trials of both mobile (small cell) and fixed wireless access technologies using 3.5 GHz spectrum to explore how they can be integrated with our existing network infrastructure to profoundly enhance connectivity for our customers. Charter has conducted extensive mobility trials in Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina, testing multiple vendors using over 400 antennas. Charter will expand this testing to Los Angeles and New York City this year. Some of these trials, like one recently conducted outside Lexington, Kentucky, involve testing fixed wireless access technologies which Charter believes could potentially be used to extend the reach of our existing network to provide cost-effective, wireline-like connectivity to more rural areas. Take a look:
The results of our fixed wireless testing to date are promising. They show download speeds exceeding 25Mbps and upload speeds exceeding 3Mbps (the FCC’s definition of high-speed broadband), which allows for video streaming and the use of multiple apps simultaneously. We’re building on these results with continued tests of this technology.
Whether it is increasing speeds, expanding broadband to more homes and businesses, or testing new technologies, Charter’s investments are making a difference in the communities we serve.