Charter won't have to compete with other cable companies now

Friday, March 31, 2017, Vol. 41, No. 13

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal regulators are relaxing one of the conditions imposed on Charter when it absorbed Time Warner Cable after smaller cable companies complained about greater competition in their territories.

Charter had agreed to extend its network to 1 million potential customers where there is already a broadband provider. This requirement was enacted because most U.S. households don't have a choice for high-speed home internet. Greater competition could lower prices.

But smaller cable companies worry about that competition. Under a new regime, the Federal Communications Commission now says Charter can build in areas where there isn't high-speed internet already.

The agency's new chairman, Ajit Pai, has said he wants to encourage broadband companies to expand their networks, rather than build where there is already service.