How ISPs “Compete” With Municipal Networks: Lobbying and Campaign Donations That Block Them

How ISPs “Compete” With Municipal Networks: Lobbying and Campaign Donations That Block Them

Say you’re mayor of a small city. Your city is small enough and far enough away from other cities that the big cable companies don’t want to spend what it would cost to run wires through your town, because the amount they will make in return isn’t worth it. That’s reasonable, from a business perspective. So you and the residents of your city get together and come up with a plan to make a public broadband utility instead. Makes sense, right? You’d happily pay someone else to do it for you, but since they don’t want to take your money you’ll do it yourself. Only — surprise! In come those self-same cable companies to block you from doing that, too, and they get your state’s legislature and governor to pass a law against you for good measure, so you can never try again. [More]

Charter Users In St. Louis Get Sudden Speed Boost For Some Reason

Charter Users In St. Louis Get Sudden Speed Boost For Some Reason

A magical and wonderful thing has happened to some customers who have Charter Internet service After restarting their cable modems for some reason or another, they found that their home internet connections had received a speed boost. It was a big one, boosting real-life speeds from about 30 mbps to 100 mbps. [More]

Latest Data Says TWC-Comcast Merger Bringing Broadband Caps To Nearly 80% Of Users

Latest Data Says TWC-Comcast Merger Bringing Broadband Caps To Nearly 80% Of Users

The future just keeps looking brighter for those who make money from data caps, and more limited for everyone else. The latest data out on home broadband caps now shows that if the Comcast and TWC merger goes through, 79% of internet subscribers — four in every five Americans with a broadband connection — will face a monthly data cap on their plans. [More]

Americans Dissatisfied With Their Cable Companies, Especially Comcast And Time Warner

Americans Dissatisfied With Their Cable Companies, Especially Comcast And Time Warner

In news that will not surprise Consumerist readers, a massive annual survey of American consumers shows that we are all generally dissatisfied with our cable and Internet service providers, and that we find Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Charter, and Cox just a little bit less satisfying than average. [More]

Comcast Deal With Charter Isn’t About Improving Competition; It’s About Carving Up Marketplace

Comcast Deal With Charter Isn’t About Improving Competition; It’s About Carving Up Marketplace

Earlier today, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications finally confirmed reports that the three would be playing swap-the-subscribers in an effort to make the unappetizing Comcast/TWC merger slightly less sickening. But while Comcast wants consumers and regulators to believe this sacrificial offering is about keeping the marketplace competitive, it’s really just an easy way for the players to rearrange their customers for better regional monopolies. [More]

Comcast/TWC Reveal Plan To Hand Over 4 Million Customers To Charter

Comcast/TWC Reveal Plan To Hand Over 4 Million Customers To Charter

As expected, Comcast and Time Warner Cable confirmed this morning that, through a combination of customer swaps and spin-off, shed themselves of around 4 million customers who will land, at least in part, in the lap of Charter Communications. [More]

Here’s What Lack Of Broadband Competition Looks Like In Map Form

Here’s What Lack Of Broadband Competition Looks Like In Map Form

When announcing Comcast’s intention to buy Time Warner Cable, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts called cable a “highly competitive and dynamic marketplace.” Dynamic it might be, but competitive it isn’t. Most of us live a local monopoly, cable-wise: it might be a Comcast city or a Time Warner town, but we don’t have that much choice with our providers. And those companies also, hugely, provide our broadband access. So what does 75% reach or a 15% market share really look like, to a city and the people in it? [More]

Time Warner Cable Shareholder Sues To Block Comcast Merger

Time Warner Cable Shareholder Sues To Block Comcast Merger

It’s not just consumers and advocacy groups that are worried about the pending sale of Time Warner Cable to Comcast for $45 billion. On Friday, a TWC shareholder has filed a lawsuit to block the merger, claiming that executives prioritized their own bank accounts over investors’ interests for a deal that will have a difficult time passing regulatory muster. [More]

(Jameson Sempey)

You Might Hate Time Warner Cable, But Would We All Be Worse Off Without It?

While Comcast might have more customers who hate it, we’d be willing to bet that Time Warner Cable is loathed by a higher percentage of its customers. Ask just about any cable-subscribing customer in NYC about the company and prepare to listen to numerous tales of screw-ups, outages, and bad billing. So some are greeting with open arms the news of TWC’s possible sale to one of its competitors. But would the disappearance of TWC just end up costing all of us in the long run? [More]

Time Warner Cable Rejects $37.3 Billion Offer From Charter, But Takeover Attempt Is Just Beginning

Time Warner Cable Rejects $37.3 Billion Offer From Charter, But Takeover Attempt Is Just Beginning

Yesterday, the backers of Charter Communications made a $37.3 billion offer to purchase Time Warner Cable. It was Charter’s third cash offer to TWC and it was quickly rejected by the larger cable company’s board as “grossly inadequate.” But that doesn’t mean this is the end of the road for Charter’s bid to merge with TWC. [More]

(kenfagerdotcom)

Comcast And Charter Consider Buying Time Warner Cable. No, Really

There are many changes that could improve cable television and broadband internet service in the United States, but “more mergers” certainly isn’t one of them. That’s why we started screaming hysterically in the Consumerist offices today when we learned that Charter and Comcast are both weighing their options and thinking about acquiring Time Warner Cable. [More]

DirecTV, TWC, Charter Mulling Over Aereo-Like Services

DirecTV, TWC, Charter Mulling Over Aereo-Like Services

While Aereo — the online service that transmits over-the-air network feeds to subscribers’ computers and mobile devices — is slugging it out with broadcasters in court, the operators of several cable and satellite services are reportedly looking to launch similar products of their own, setting the stage for an all-new TV war. [More]

Charter Customer Pleads Guilty To Making Bomb Threat On Customer Service Office

Charter Customer Pleads Guilty To Making Bomb Threat On Customer Service Office

As people who not only spend all day looking at readers’ complaints about the companies they deal with but who also have cable subscriptions of our very own, we get being frustrated with your cable company. Calling in a bomb threat, however, is a terrible idea. A Minnesota man accused of doing just that pleaded guilty to a lesser charge this week. [More]

Charter Owners Looking To Snatch Up Time Warner Cable And Possibly Cablevision, Claims Report

Charter Owners Looking To Snatch Up Time Warner Cable And Possibly Cablevision, Claims Report

Relatively small cable and Internet company Charter Communications has earned a number of Worst Company In America brackets but often fails to progress beyond the first round because it’s just not big enough to be hated by a nationwide audience. That could change, as the company’s owner reportedly seeks to acquire Time Warner Cable and possibly Cablevision. [More]

(honeylamb)

Comcast, Time Warner Cable Bring Up Rear In Cable Customer Satisfaction

Comcast and Time Warner Cable may be two of the largest cable and Internet providers in the country, but they’re also the two worst, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index. [More]

(Netflix)

Netflix Now Posting Monthly Rankings Of ISP Speeds

If, during the course of watching a 50-hour marathon of Burn Notice on Netflix, you find yourself occasionally annoyed by drops in resolution or — heaven forefend — buffering, it might be your Internet service provider. Well, now you can get a better idea as Netflix intends to post monthly rankings of speed on 21 major ISPs. [More]

Charter Ends Twitter And Facebook Customer Support

Charter Ends Twitter And Facebook Customer Support

People who are unable to get help from Charter’s regular customer service have always had another, social media-riffic option: contacting the dedicated Facebook and Twitter representatives. We’ve heard pretty good things about Team Twitter over at Charter, which is why we’re very sad to hear that they’re killing off the helpful accounts and re-assigning all of the team members. [More]

(Tony Crescibene)

Charter Admits It Shouldn’t Charge Customer Modem Fee, Keeps Charging Her Anyway

When your cable company owns up to its own billing error, it should be a good thing. But there’s no point in admitting to the error if the company isn’t going to stop making that same error every month until you finally file a lawsuit. [More]