Charter Communications on December 17, announced it will launch a new fast-broadband service for low-income Americans within six months of concluding its pending merger with Time Warner Cable and acquisition of Bright House Networks. Charter expects the service will be available throughout its service territories within three years of close.
The low-income broadband service will offer the highest speeds of any comparable offering, delivering speeds of 30/4 Mbps for $14.99 per month, Charter claims in a press release.
The fastest broadband connectivity offered by similar programs is 10 Mbps, according to Charter. “Recognizing the central role broadband plays in our daily lives and the economic challenges faced by many Americans today, we look forward to launching this offering that will provide more consumers a superior broadband service,” Charter president and CEO Tom Rutledge was quoted as saying.
“Our industry-leading low-cost broadband service is just one of the many benefits these transactions will bring to our customers. We look forward to providing this superior broadband service to under-served families and seniors throughout Charter’s footprint.”
Charter’s Low-Income Broadband Offering
Charter provided further details of the new low-income broadband offering as follows:
- Eligible customers will also be able to receive promotional video service and phone bundle offerings
- The service comes with a modem at no extra cost and free self-install
- Eligible subscribers include families with students who participate in the National School Lunch Program and seniors 65 and older who receive Supplemental Security Income program benefits
- Also eligible are current Charter service subscribers who meet either of the above two criteria
- Ineligible are those with Charter/TWC/BHN broadband subscriptions within 60 days of sign-up
- Those eligible do not need to undergo a credit check, but they must clear any bad debts with Charter, TWC and BHN.
CEO of the National Urban League highlighted the potential of broadband access to lift American families out of poverty. “Charter’s plan makes available to low-income consumers – at a low price point – broadband at speeds comparable to those enjoyed by middle and upper income consumers,¨ he stated.
¨Low-income families deserve state-of-the-art fast broadband as much as other families – indeed, they need fast broadband to climb out of poverty. This program seems to be a step in the right direction for improved economic conditions for minority and low-income communities.”