Time Warner Cable gets OK, with online video conditions

George Slover, senior policy counsel for the advocacy group Consumers Union, said that while the conditions seem promising, « history has shown us how powerful companies look for every angle to avoid or weaken the conditions. »

What happens to me as a Time Warner Cable customer?

Charter will continue Time Warner Cable’s efforts to increase Internet speeds. Over the next few years, Charter says it will raise the minimum Internet speeds in acquired markets to a minimum 60 megabits per second, which lets you download a high-definition movie in about 10 minutes. That costs $40 a month, for now.

Charter’s prices are cheaper than Time Warner’s overall, says UBS analyst John Hodulik. But Time Warner has some cheaper deals with slower Internet speeds; Charter will get rid of most of those for new customers.

There could possibly be better customer service. Charter says it will hire 20,000 people in the U.S., replacing Time Warner’s overseas customer service representatives and its use of contractors for technicians, to provide better support. It doesn’t give a timeframe for the hires.

Will my bill still go up?

Probably. Cable companies have been passing on to customers the higher prices they pay for rights to carry channels on cable lineups, and their costs are still rising. Still, Charter will use its bigger size to seek better deals with channel owners like Disney and Fox.

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