Charter Communications is the latest cable company to take a lukewarm view of the FCC's upcoming 600 MHz spectrum auction, saying it's unlikely to participate. Like some other wireline service providers, Charter had been seen as a potential dark horse to leverage the spectrum sale to elbow its way into the mobile market.
Charter Communications shed light on its plans to roll out its Spectrum Guide cloud-based user interface, not just across its own footprint, but those of soon-to-be acquired cable systems for Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.
Executives for Time Warner Inc. and its HBO programming division met with officials for the FCC's Media and Wireline Competition Bureaus earlier this week, warning them that Charter's purchases of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks could threaten the deployment of over-the-top services.
The FCC's upcoming auction of 600 MHz spectrum may net less money for the government than is expected, according to a report from Bloomberg Business. Pricing wars and slowing growth among wireless carriers "have left some potential bidders cash-constrained," the piece notes, and the auction may generate only $33 billion-- far short of estimates that have ranged from $45 billion to $85 billion.
Charter Communications will introduce a new low-cost broadband service for lower-income families, fulfilling its promise to regulators to get approval of its pending acquisitions of Time Warner Cable.
Charter Communications has launched a new website that will cater to mid-to-large sized businesses looking for information about what business solutions and services the provider can offer, signaling that Charter is serious about going up market.
Cable companies including Comcast and Charter Communications continue to promise that they will eventually enter the mobile industry-- but what exactly they plan to do remains unclear.
Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge said the MSO's Worldbox set-top box "is finished and we're ready to deploy it." However, he hedged when questioned how long the carrier's rollout of Worldbox would take.
Charter Communications continues to work to obtain regulatory approval for its massive purchases of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, arguing that the resulting company-- dubbed New Charter-- would only service roughly 21 percent of all American broadband customers. Charter noted that figure is "less than Comcast and only slightly more than AT&T."
Liberty Media Chairman John Malone said he thinks cable operators, including those in the U.S. market, will inevitably add a cellular wireless component to their bundle of service offerings, calling the addition something of "enormous" importance. He said the easiest way to jump into wireless will be through MVNO deals and cautioned against buying spectrum and building out networks too soon.