Charter Eliminates Entry-Level Broadband Tiers

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

"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," spokeswoman Anita Lamont said. "It's also a means to introduce fast broadband to those who haven't had the pleasure."

The new broadband strategy 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. Louis-based 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, according to Lamont.

For new subscribers, the two tiers available are: Charter Internet Plus with 30 Mbps down and 4 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 up ($89.99 per month promotional and $109 per month standard pricing).

Both Internet Plus and Internet Ultra packages include a free cable modem; free Charter Cloud Drive online storage with qualifying bundle; and access to 1,500-plus Epix online movies at no additional cost.

Charter's shift on broadband was first reported by DSLReports.com.

The operator sets monthly data-usage limits for all subscribers. Customers on the 30-Mbps tier are capped at 250 Gigabytes per month, while those on Internet Ultra are allotted 500 GB. Charter introduced the caps in early 2009.

Charter in December 2011 increased advertised speeds across the board, kicking up Internet Plus from 18 to 30 Mbps down and Ultra from 60 to 100 Mbps down.

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