Cable MSO Charter will increase its broadband speeds at no additional charge to its customers. Beginning today, Charter Internet Express will offer 12 Mb/s, up from 8 Mb/s and Charter Internet Plus will offer 18 Mb/s, up from 16 Mb/s. Upload speeds will remain at 1 Mb/s and 2 Mb/s, respectively.
Charter Express is offered for $29.99/month on a 12 month contract when bundled with TV and phone and Charter Internet Plus is offered at $39.99/month with the same conditions. Multichannel News reports that 73% of Charter’s residential subscribers select the Express tier.
Charter cited the growing number of networked devices in the home and distancing their broadband offers from DSL competitors as motivation for their speed upgrades.
“The era of the single PC household is history,” said Carl Leuschner, Vice President, Internet and Phone Product Management for Charter. “Every member of the household has multiple devices and each wants to experience the full wealth of Internet applications available. By increasing Internet speeds, Charter Internet provides each member of the family with the ability to work and play simultaneously at the speed they need.”
Charter also believes the upgrades help distance themselves from DSL competitors. “We looked at it this year and decided that this was now a good time to really separate from DSL,” Leuschner told Multichannel News. “We think in the future DSL will have a harder time delivering this experience,” he said.
Telco competitors aren’t exactly raising the white flag. Charter still has customer service challenges and caps their 3.2 million Internet customers at 100 GB/month for the Express tier and 250 GB/month for the Plus tier.
Charter does offer additional broadband tiers, including an Ultra60 60 Mb/s offer. They are currently upgrading their network to DOCSIS 3.0, which now covers about 55% of their footprint. They expect to get close to 100% coverage by the end of the year.