When Comcast’s merger with Time Warner failed to pass regulatory muster, Charter Communications, another emerging Internet services giant, entered the fray. With their attempted acquisition more likely to garner FCC approval, interested customers of both companies are probably wondering how the combined Charter Time Warner will affect their Internet service and monthly bill. Are improved bandwidth and lower prices expected by the end of the year?
Let’s analyze the latest Charter Time Warner merger news to see when changes are coming to your home Internet service.
AT&T/DirecTV Merger Approval Bodes Well for Charter and Time Warner
With the recent merger between AT&T and DirecTV earning FCC approval, executives at Charter Communications and Time Warner feel this provides a good harbinger for their own merger’s regulatory approval. One stock analyst feels Charter’s focus on providing new services to their customers in addition to a 60 Mbps “entry ramp” for their basic service plan also helps the cause. The $55 billion merger, once approved, is slated to close sometime in early 2016.
Netflix, arguably the biggest consumer of bandwidth on the Internet, has already blessed the union between Charter and Time Warner. This is significant since the movie streaming and rental service famously opposed Comcast’s attempt to buy Time Warner. Reportedly, Charter agreed to offer free interconnection agreements with Netflix and other streaming companies. Comcast on the other hand had tried to charge a fee violating the principles of Net Neutrality, according to Netflix.
Once a decision on this merger gets made, expect to read about its effects on your Internet usage here at Bandwidth Place.
Does a Charter Time Warner Merger Mean More Internet Bandwidth?
If you are a current Internet customer of either company, Charter’s promise for 60 Mbps as their basic service level offers hope for faster bandwidth at the same monthly price. Still, pre-approval promises are just that — promises, so if and when this merger is approved, customers should be proactive with their service provider. Regularly check your Internet speed, and don’t be shy about calling in to request faster service.
If there is competition between ISPs in your location — maybe AT&T is an option — mention that you are looking at other providers to see if you are able to earn a discount. Remember that bundling Internet service with digital TV and phone gives you the best possible savings.
There is little doubt that this merger frenzy in the Internet service space brings the potential for lower prices for all customers. Now, if only Google could speed up their rollout of Google Fiber!