Cable Operators

Charter Phases Out Low-Cost Broadband

7/16/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

Charter Communications is no longer
offering its two cheapest high-speed
Internet packages, with new
subscribers given a choice of taking
tiers of either 30 or 100 Megabits per
second.

The new broadband strategy —
clearly aimed at boosting broadband
revenue — comes at the hands
of CEO Tom Rutledge and chief
marketing officer Jon Hargis, both
of whom resigned from Cablevision
Systems last
year and subsequently joined
the St. Louisbased
MSO.

Customers with
Lite (up to 3 Mbps)
and Express (up to 15 Mbps) can choose to stay with
their existing service levels or upgrade to one of the
new packages, spokeswoman Anita Lamont said.

“The changes to Charter’s Internet service are part
of an overall evolution of our services that simplifies and enables a better experience for customers,”
Lamont said. “It’s also a means to introduce fast
broadband to those who haven’t had the pleasure.”

For new subscribers, the two tiers available are:
“Charter Internet Plus,” with 30 Mbps down and
4 Mbps upstream (for a promotional price of $29.99
per month for 12 months and standard price of $49.99
per month); and “Charter Internet Ultra,” with 100
Mbps down and 5 Mbps up ($89.99 per month promotional
and $109 per month standard pricing).

The operator sets monthly data-usage limits for
all broadband subscribers, which totaled 3.8 million
as of the end of March. Customers on the 30-Mbps
tier are capped at 250 Gigabytes per month, while
those on Internet Ultra are allotted 500 GB.

Among major MSOs, Charter appears to offer the
fastest basic tier at 30 Mbps; Cablevision, by comparison,
offers three tiers, of 15, 50 and 101 Mbps. Meanwhile,
Charter doesn’t have much overlap with Verizon
Communications’ FiOS Internet, which recently raised
speeds while hiking pricing $5 to $10 per month.

TAKEAWAY

Charter wants to increase
revenue per subscriber on the
broadband side.

September
October