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Charter to Merge with Brighthouse and TWC

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/25/us-twc-m-a-charter-communi-idUSKBN0OA15L20150525

Looks like Charter will merge with TWC and acquire Brighthouse as well. It is kind of funny that they are acquiring Brighthouse as Brighthouse has a complicated relationship with TWC. Charter is reported to offer TWC $195/share for a $55 billion offer. Brighthouse relies on Time Warner for their programming contracts, and they use the same cable boxes and infrastructure as Time warner. Even use the same program guide and tablet/smartphone app as well as their live TV VOD website for PC and Macs. I think Altice would be an interesting operator, but they are open to others, and Charter really wants to go in for the kill (TWC and Brighthouse), so that is probably why. I think TWC is not really interested in running a cable company.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/26/us-twc-m-a-charter-communi-idUSKBN0OA15L20150526

Edit: Deal is official, signed at $55-56 billion at $195.71/share. Charter will buy brighthouse alongside merging with TWC, and Malone will buy $5 billion in New Charter stock to help finance along with other forms of financing to get this deal done. However, some people still say that the $55 billion deal is the correct one. Also, the Newhouse family which owns Brighthouse would also get a stake in the company.
 
sdhdtv
That was interesting reading. While they propose to offer a standard of 60 Mbps, (where TW was going to offer 50) I am concerned about their pricing. My neighbor has standard of 15 Mbps and pays about $34 a month. I now pay $10 extra for 30Mbps. I just think the prices for a new standard of 60Mbps will end up exceeding what I pay now for 30Mbps. I was hoping to just get the new standard 50Mbps from TW and save the $10 a month extra I pay.
 
Charter charges 39.99 for 60 mbps, but I think that is for the first year, then it is 59.99 after that.

http://stopthecap.com/2015/06/25/bright-houses-mysterious-internet-discount-program-charter-wants-to-adopt-nationwide/

Charter wants to expand a program that is being used by brighthouse to offer 2 mbps/512 kbps connection for people with low incomes and those who have children that apply for the School Lunch program. Such programs are being offered by Comcast (as a condition of the NBC deal), and even Cox offers such a program. This program is hard to get into and only offered during the start of school season. It also can only be ordered over the phone. Some programs like this even offer a cheap laptop with Office or a Tablet. Looks like the future of the Everyday Low Price internet which for Time warner 2/1 mbps for only 14.99 is likely in jeopardy.
 
Charter charges 39.99 for 60 mbps, but I think that is for the first year, then it is 59.99 after that.

http://stopthecap.com/2015/06/25/bright-houses-mysterious-internet-discount-program-charter-wants-to-adopt-nationwide/

Charter wants to expand a program that is being used by brighthouse to offer 2 mbps/512 kbps connection for people with low incomes and those who have children that apply for the School Lunch program. Such programs are being offered by Comcast (as a condition of the NBC deal), and even Cox offers such a program. This program is hard to get into and only offered during the start of school season. It also can only be ordered over the phone. Some programs like this even offer a cheap laptop with Office or a Tablet. Looks like the future of the Everyday Low Price internet which for Time warner 2/1 mbps for only 14.99 is likely in jeopardy.
The program is called "Connect2Compete", and Cox offers it at $9.95/month.

http://connect2compete.org/cox/

It is part of the http://everyoneon.org/ program.
 
Charter charges 39.99 for 60 mbps, but I think that is for the first year, then it is 59.99 after that.

http://stopthecap.com/2015/06/25/bright-houses-mysterious-internet-discount-program-charter-wants-to-adopt-nationwide/

Charter wants to expand a program that is being used by brighthouse to offer 2 mbps/512 kbps connection for people with low incomes and those who have children that apply for the School Lunch program. Such programs are being offered by Comcast (as a condition of the NBC deal), and even Cox offers such a program. This program is hard to get into and only offered during the start of school season. It also can only be ordered over the phone. Some programs like this even offer a cheap laptop with Office or a Tablet. Looks like the future of the Everyday Low Price internet which for Time warner 2/1 mbps for only 14.99 is likely in jeopardy.
 
I checked on Maxx prices in L.A. with some friends. He said TW charges under $60 a month for 100 Mbps. And he said some customers were able to negotiate deals at under $50. Now Charter will probably start charging $60 for 60Mbps. I think that includes modem rentals. I suspect all of us who bought better modems in anticipation of TW's upgrades, will have paid for modems for nothing.
 
MAXX is still a work in progress, and Charter did promise that in their filing, that they will continue to do so. Charter already supports some of the models used for MAXX. Yes, the charter price includes one of their modems.
 
While Carter has committed to no caps... at least for a while. They never really committed to holding prices on their services. Say what you want about TW and their issues ; they were always open to providing special deals, free services, and fairly affordable Internet speeds. From what I read about Charter, they may be tougher to deal with and less likely to offer deals. And they have to recover some of their actuation costs somewhere. And not just by economy of scale and cutting out waste.
 
Heard from a guy in his division who used to work at TWC,
TWC may consider suspending box updates after September because they need to inquire what Middlewere Charter plans to use on the boxes and proceed based on that decision. It sounds like Charter would like to prep the boxes for Spectrum guides. This is in North Carolina, which used to be a big test market for TWC.

Satch
 
Interesting as charter promised how flexible their new cloud based hi can scale from the oldest boxes via a qam carrier to the latest and greatest using the cloud directly.
 
Today's paper and several on line news sources are reporting that Google has named San Diego as another city to be under consideration to get Google's Ultra fast fiber Internet. They are supposedly starting talks with the city. Problem as I see it, Google, if they elect to go forward, will concentrate on high density areas. Like UTC or Downtown. They will probably never bring service to outlying bedroom communities like Carmel Valley, PQ, or RB.
 
I agree with you on that, I believe Google will target UTC and Downtown, but Mira Mesa would not be too far of a stretch, and maybe perhaps Mission Valley and RB is a possibility IMO.
 

While not related to TWC/Charter/Brighthouse merger, it appears that Altice's purchase of Cablevision could allow for a Quadruple play; however, they will need to acquire some sort of cell phone company.
 
A couple of things bother me about the Bloomberg story and the Merger.

First Charter is quoted as saying " Charter also said that for three years it won’t block or degrade Web traffic,...". Well I can tell you three years goes by very fast. And while Charter has said they won't impose "caps", what's to stop them from say slowing down your connection to 1 MB/s if you exceed some set amount of data. Sort of like what some Cell Phone carriers did. It's really almost the same as adding a cap. Try streaming Netflix at 1 MB/s.

And they also say "Charter had said in June it would offer fast Internet that’s cheaper than comparable offerings from its merger partners..". So if Time Warner's new standard is 50 MB/s, Charter just has to offer say 55 MB/s at a few dollars less than TW's plan. But I really have not seen Charter commit to those Maxx speeds TW is rolling out, or so called "Giga" speeds that Cox and Google are working with. And anyone seen Charter commit to those higher speeds?

I just hope the FCC watches over this stuff.
 
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