Charter once again slated to become Louisville's cable provider - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Charter once again slated to become Louisville's cable provider

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – About a year ago, Louisville customers learned that Charter Communications – not Comcast – would become the city's new cable provider.

Then it looked like Time Warner Cable was here to stay when its sale to Comcast – and the subsequent sale of the Louisville market to Charter – fell apart about a month ago.

But now Louisville is once again slated to become Charter territory, as Charter announced an agreement on Tuesday to buy Time Warner Cable.

What does it mean for Louisville cable customers? Probably nothing for the rest of the year. The deal is not expected to close until the end of 2015, according to a press release.The release does not mention any planned divestiture of territories (like the provision that would have traded Louisville to Charter so that Comcast would not have controlled quite as many markets). I've reached out to Charter and TWC spokesmen to confirm that, but haven't heard back.

Charter would have a total of nearly 24 million subscribers in 41 states after buying TWC and a smaller cable company, Bright House, according to the release.

Charter promised the Louisville Metro Council last year that it would boost the standard broadband Internet speed in the market, and that it would wire a Louisville subdivision or apartment building to demonstrate “gigabit” connectivity.

Mayor Greg Fischer's office has been seeking gigabit speeds -- on the order of Google Fiber in other cities – but so far no Internet service providers have taken on the expensive work of running fiber to homes and businesses on any wide scale.

Ted Smith, Louisville Metro government's chief of civic innovation, said Charter has a good track record when it comes cable Internet service.

"We were very impressed with what they've done in other markets like in St. Louis where they have raised Internet speeds without raising prices pretty considerably," Smith said in an interview Tuesday.

He said the pending deal is "an opportunity to change the level of investment that's made in Louisville"

While it's no substitute for fiber speeds, Charter has said it will boost the base Internet service tier in Louisville – which costs about $35 to $40 a month – to 60 mbps for downloads, about four times faster than under Time Warner Cable.

Read my December 7, 2014 story on that:

SUNDAY EDITION | Louisville to get Internet boost from Charter, still hoping for fiber

Last fall, Charter also assured city officials that it had no plans to cut about 2,600 jobs in Louisville. The company would have about 1,500 employees between a Time Warner Cable call center and other local TWC jobs; and about 1,100 at Charter's National Call and Network Operations Center in eastern Jefferson County.


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