Charter merger with Time Warner approved. Good or bad?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by jbachandouris, May 18, 2016.

  1. jbachandouris macrumors 68040

    jbachandouris

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    Upstate NY
    #1
    Apparently, Charter will be taking over Time Warner and Brighthouse. Changes won't be fully implemented for at least a year (so they say).

    From those who've had both: good news or bad?
     
  2. an-other macrumors regular

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #2
    I'm a bit disappointed by this. Competition is a good thing, and my cable company has a privileged pipeline to my house.

    A reasonable comparison is the SIRIUS/XM merger. My cost immediately when up. Sound quality was lessened regardless of FCC guarantees (online streaming became a pay service), and content eventually plummeted. I'm to the point of potentially dumping something I thought was initially ground breaking.

    For all it's claims about better service, I'm still struggling to get my cable company's ondemand to include a full series. I reported over a month ago to them they were missing two episodes. $10 refund (but my time was worth more to report it.) Nothing has changed. "Back in the day" when my service was from a smaller company, I'd e-mail the CEO. A day later it was fixed.

    New technology will not get distributed faster, either. The subscription services like HBO Go, Sho, and Starz were cable service dependent. Cable Cards for Tivos are another example where new technology wasn't embraced until congressional deadlines. No competition, no need to speed along deployment of new services.

    I also get frustrated with the "negotiate your price" cable companies have become. I believe in paying a fair price for a fair service. I shouldn't be a "sucker", and have to call every 6 months to negotiate a better deal.

    Cable Companies were viewed as mega growth industries in the 80's. It's pretty clear their business cycle is ending. I doubt in 15 years anyone will be getting content this way. similar to how "Blockbuster" ruled all those years ago to see their business disappear. This is why any US consumer has to fight for Net Neutrality. Their business model will become metering and paying for a "super fast tier." Anyone that works out of hotels ever knows what free versus pay means in terms of internet speed. Call me cynical....
     
  3. phrehdd, May 19, 2016
    Last edited: May 22, 2016

    phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #3
    I'll just provide opinion here as opposed to facts - I hate the concept of monopolies as I have never seen where it really was an advantage. Comcast was in the news the other day about acquiring some company for a massive amount of money. I mention this as I wonder why their service in many areas sits at the bottom of the barrel as they reap in mass quantities of monies. Then again, mini-monopolies existed already with cable where only one cable provider could exist in a given slice of geography where the only alternative was another form of communications (phone co, satellite etc.).

    We might as well consider the fact that government intrusion, privacy etc. may be further impacted. Imagine one company with data on millions upon millions of people and their "watching habits" being examined by the gov't as well as ability to sell statistical trends info to media outlets and more. My only hope is that somewhere down the line, the gov't will force a break up of the company.
     
  4. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #4
    I can only speak for Charter as I've been a customer of theirs for over a decade. They're either fantastic or terrible on the west coast. They're great in their home state and surrounding areas according to subscribers on the east coast. There are periods of time that can range in days or even weeks where service is abysmal. Being on their Ultra tier (100 Mbps+), my speeds will often drop to below 10 Mbps. I had Verizon FiOS set up at my firm's two locations over Charter Business. The FiOS at the time was more expensive, but they also had and still do have terrific up time and general service. Have a problem? They'll roll out a truck within a half hour. Our competitors miles down the down are with Charter Business and they're lucky if they can get a truck roll-out on the same day.

    I would get Verizon FiOS Home in a heartbeat if they offered it in my area. Their residential 150 Mbps/150 Mbps plan is phenomenal according to people who I know who have it. It's also much cheaper than my 100+ Mbps/5 Mbps line. I usually get 125-130 Mbps/5 Mbps because Charter over-provisions their network a bit. The big benefit of the deal is the terms the FCC set for the merger, provided congress doesn't gut NN which would ruin the terms set. I've read that Charter plans on going all digital by 2020, and upgrading their network by 2022-2025. The only issue with their provided boxes is that they're slow to update their software.
     
  5. JamesMike macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

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    #5
    Charter has given me very good service, the only thing I would like changed is the upload speed, it is around 5 Mbps.
     
  6. SRLMJ23 macrumors 65816

    SRLMJ23

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    New York
    #6
    I can only speak to the Time Warner side of things, but they have given me great service ever since I have had them. In my area they just finished the transition to an all-digital network. Here is an article from my area newspaper on it, which was written in February, so it did not take them that long once they announced they were going to do it:

    http://www.uticaod.com/news/2016021...tal-promises-faster-internet-better-tv?page=1

    I have always had a digital-DVR box, and then when they released the new "Enhanced DVR," I upgraded to that which is only like $2.50 so its worth it, IMHO.

    Now I see the commercials that say they are going from Time Warner to being called "Spectrum." Overall things were good before the all-digital transition, and now things are great...especially internet speed, even though I am on the highest tier internet (100down/10up) which the upload speed was increased from 5 to 10 when the transition was done, which was nice. So...so far so good.

    Welcome to Spectrum everyone (that had Time Warner/Charter) haha.

    :apple:
     
  7. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #7
    Charter Cable TV sucks. The equipment is rarely updated which makes for lackluster features. some areas do have newer equipment. It seems the Northeast gets refurbs.

    Their internet service is ok. Phone service is actually very good and their cable TV package configurations are horrible.
     
  8. SRLMJ23 macrumors 65816

    SRLMJ23

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    #8

    Well, as I said...Time Warner is actually very good and at least in my area we get the latest equipment available. In fact, I just got a new Samsung box they just released, and it has good software on it because it flies in speed compared to a lot of the other boxes. I was told by a Time Warner technician that everything in your area is basically going to be the same except the name is going to change to Spectrum, and he said we should see some good improvements which like I said in my other posts, my area has already gotten some upgrades!

    :apple:
     
  9. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    Kilrath
    #9
    I'm amazed I haven't seen much in the way of concern regarding data caps. AT&T @250gb and Comcast previously 300GB now upgraded to 1TB caused a ton of problems for people who moved exclusively to Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon.

    The Charter deal with the FCC prevents them from adding data caps for 10 years after the completion of the deal which is good since my current provider has no limits.
     
  10. SRLMJ23 macrumors 65816

    SRLMJ23

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    #10
    Time Warner does not have any data caps, so I hope it stays that way!

    :apple:
     
  11. an-other macrumors regular

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #11
    Received a "personalised" letter from the new Spectrum CEO yesterday. Wording was weird. I recall a line like "they named me CEO." I'm not sure what the objective was there. Is there an implication a bunch of worthy candidates were in the room, and the decision was made after excruciating analysis? It kind of makes me think I'm being played as a mug. Stupid subscriber must not have any conception of how corporations and mergers work.

    My OnDemand issue detailed on my 5/22 post - Still not fixed. It's ridiculous: I've receive e-mails and letters talking about how great their OnDemand service is. Key marketing terms seem to be "binge" and "catch-up" these days. Kind of hard to binge on a series when Episode 03, 10, and 13 (Finale) are not available. I don't see Honda pushing people to buy cars with wheels missing.

    I know I coming across a bit whingy about this. Please trust this is a regular issue. No management or responsibility of the service offering. It's almost as if they're trying to push me away as a consumer. I pretty much have a Hobson's choice where I live.
     
  12. riviera74 macrumors member

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    Fort Myers FL
    #12
    The merger itself in unsurprising, especially given the behemoth that is Comcast (my local cable company). Unfortunately, that merger will change nothing here because there is no real competition for cable or internet service other than DirecTV and CenturyLink DSL here. When we get local loop unbundling enacted and enforced in the USA, then we will all see prices drop and service improved across the board.
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    St. Louis, MO
    #13
    I've had Charter since January, coming from U-verse. I've had more service outages with Charter than I had in 5 years of U-verse. One was weather related so I'll give them a pass, a couple others weren't, but were short lived. But, I consistently get 120+ Mbps down on a speed test (I pay for 100) whereas U-verse never got close to triple digits, I was paying for 75 which was their max speed available. I would like faster upload speeds on Charter though. Also, the UI on their cable boxes and DVRs look like something out of the 90s. A TiVo was the best purchase I ever made, works great with the cable card and tuning adapter, I get all my channels and can watch recordings and TV on the TiVo Minis I have elsewhere in the house.

    Charter is also a lot cheaper than U-verse too, so there's that.

    As part of a deal with the FCC, Charter/TW can't implement data caps for 7 years. Who knows what will happen after 7 years, maybe by then the FCC will have banned them.
     
  14. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #14
    Well here is the commercial I have been seeing.

     
  15. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #15
    I like the bringing 10K jobs back to the US. No contracts and no fees sounds good too. We'll see if this makes a difference in the marketplace.
     
  16. riviera74 macrumors member

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    Fort Myers FL
    #16
    Call me when Charter will compete throughout the state of Florida, not just central Florida.
     
  17. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    #17
    Interesting... I wasn't aware Brighthouse was only central Florida.
     
  18. riviera74 macrumors member

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    Fort Myers FL
    #18
    You are correct. Brighthouse is also part of this merger though.
     
  19. JoeMacDe macrumors newbie

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    Oct 8, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #19
    Trust me, it is from the nineties! I had Charter from their beginnings in St. Louis until recently (moved from area). They had very good internet; high speeds for reasonable pricing. But their cable TV sucked, as mentioned.
     
  20. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #20
    That's my biggest complaint with Charter as well. I don't need a lot of upload bandwidth but, 4Mbps in 2016 is silly. Uploading short HD videos to YouTube or syncing a bunch of photos and files to OneDrive or Dropbox takes far longer than it needs to.
     

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