Blog February 7, 2019

Leave Title II In The 20th Century Where It Belongs

Charter is committed to deploying faster and better broadband across our 41-state footprint which includes preserving an open internet. We don’t slow down, block, or discriminate against lawful content. We also don’t impose data caps or engage in usage-based billing, meaning our customers can engage with the content they want, as much as they want.

In 2018, Charter made significant investments in our network to make it all-digital and to roll out the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology. As a result, today our customers enjoy a flagship broadband speed of 200 Mbps in over 40% of the homes we serve, and 100 Mbps nearly everywhere else, which is 25 times faster than Charter’s flagship speed of 8 Mbps eight years ago. And gigabit connections are available to homes and businesses across virtually our entire footprint.

With these big projects behind us, our capital spending is expected to normalize and go down in 2019. But our investment in the capability of our network is expected to continue to represent a larger portion of our overall spending. There is more work to be done as we strive to realize 10 gigabit speeds in the coming years on the way to a future of ubiquitous ultra-fast, low-latency connectivity for our customers. It is why we oppose saddling the internet with investment and innovation-stifling 1930’s-era utility-style regulations.

Reinstating Title II rules is not necessary to protect and preserve an open internet and would hurt the very consumers they are supposed to protect. Created by the Communications Act of 1934, Title II was the regulatory framework for interstate phone services. It was designed with radio and telephone companies in mind, not the ever-evolving opportunities and capabilities of the internet. Back then, to make a call, one picked up the phone and was connected to an operator who would manually put in the number you were trying to reach. While operators disappeared, the underlying voice service hasn’t changed all that much. This is vastly different than the internet which gave us email, followed by video streaming, and then online shopping, college classes, banking, dating – online EVERYTHING. Soon, broadband networks will enable driverless cars, remote surgeries and Smart Cities. Using regulations designed for technology from the 1930’s simply does not make sense and creates significant regulatory uncertainty that hinders long-term investment and innovation.

Instead, Congress should pass legislation that enshrines an open internet into law without Title II. Without the prospect of rate regulation and other utility style burdens, Charter will be able to do the long-term planning and investing that will help us continue to enhance and deploy broadband in urban, suburban, and rural communities across the country.