Charter getting desperate?

ncted

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Jul 4, 2004
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Durham, NC
Got his in email today

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Tempted to take the deal since it would save me $20 a month for three years vs my 100/100 service on AT&T, plus no data caps.
 
I'm not seeing that as desperate. Seems like a sound business decision to go after a competitor who itself has been having problems.
 
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Competition is EVERYTHING. I'm paying $70/month for 300/20 service as on a 1 year discount. Paying an additional $50 for unlimited.
 
Spectrum was running the same ads in Austin. But Google was also running ads saying they weren't going anywhere.
 
Which bundle do they require to get that price per service?

That is Internet only.

Fine print:

"Offer good through 06/28/19; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and have no outstanding obligation to Charter. *Standard rates on Spectrum Internet apply after yr. 3. Installation, equipment, taxes, fees and surcharges may be extra; additional services are extra. General Terms: INTERNET: Available Internet speeds may vary by address. Spectrum Internet Gig with speeds up to 940 Mbps is in addition to standard monthly Internet price."
 
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I'm not seeing that as desperate. Seems like a sound business decision to go after a competitor who itself has been having problems.

Well, it is probably a sound business decision, given how they are bleeding customers in my area to Google, AT&T, Ting, and Frontier. It feels kind of desperate to me though.
 
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Google is a joke. Along with their history of keeping everything in beta for years, they have a long history of abandoning projects. Google Fiber achieved what they wanted, it created buzz, they had people clamoring for it and after it served that purpose and the shine started to wear off, it got pushed to the back burner. What about Project Loon? Another Google failure designed to give rural areas with no other options high speed internet via balloons. Google Fiber won't be around long term. It's been 7 years and they still only have select areas of KC wired up, the only reason they are in Provo is because they bought the local socialist ISP and they bailed on Louisville.

Alphabet is nothing but an advertising and data analytics company, they are not an ISP. Every acquisition they make, every half-assed project they come up only to abandon is motivated by how much of your data they can sell and how much they can track you. I never thought Google Fiber was going to be this great thing but I'm convinced that the main motivation was with them as an ISP now you don't have to use the Chrome browser and use their search, you are connected directly to them, they have everything on you. The customer service aspect is something I wondered about too. Google has no ties to the communities they serve, you are nothing but a number and statistic to them.

Google Fiber was nothing but a poorly run experiment that was thrown at a wall.
 
Google is a joke. Along with their history of keeping everything in beta for years, they have a long history of abandoning projects. Google Fiber achieved what they wanted, it created buzz, they had people clamoring for it and after it served that purpose and the shine started to wear off, it got pushed to the back burner. What about Project Loon? Another Google failure designed to give rural areas with no other options high speed internet via balloons. Google Fiber won't be around long term. It's been 7 years and they still only have select areas of KC wired up, the only reason they are in Provo is because they bought the local socialist ISP and they bailed on Louisville.

Alphabet is nothing but an advertising and data analytics company, they are not an ISP. Every acquisition they make, every half-assed project they come up only to abandon is motivated by how much of your data they can sell and how much they can track you. I never thought Google Fiber was going to be this great thing but I'm convinced that the main motivation was with them as an ISP now you don't have to use the Chrome browser and use their search, you are connected directly to them, they have everything on you. The customer service aspect is something I wondered about too. Google has no ties to the communities they serve, you are nothing but a number and statistic to them.

Google Fiber was nothing but a poorly run experiment that was thrown at a wall.

Well, I cannot disagree on your assessment of Alphabet as a company. Google Fiber , however, has turned out to be a moderately successful ISP around here if not everywhere. Customer satisfaction is pretty high, but not FIOS levels of high. They are still expanding here, although not as fast as they were, and mostly in dense townhouse neighborhoods and apartment complexes. AT&T and Ting Fiber beat them to a lot of the affluent suburban neighborhoods, and Frontier is selling fiber service to a lot of businesses. I don't see GF overbuilding any of those ISPs' existing footprints.

I am happy with AT&T Fiber, aside from the data cap, small NAT table in the Residential Gateway, and lack of real bridge mode. With Spectrum, I would solve those problems at the expense of upload speeds and some latency. I am probably going to take the deal to try Spectrum and see if it is usable enough for my wife to work from home since there is no contract and the price is definitely right. Even on Fiber, she complains about SMB operations being laggy, so I wouldn't want to make it any worse. If it is usable, it would save us at least $660 over 3 years, assuming this deal doesn't also pay to get out of the last couple months of my AT&T contract. TBH: I am tempted to keep both as $30/month for a backup internet connection isn't a bad deal, but I probably can't justify that as we really only lose Fiber service in the worst ice storms. Spectrum seems to be more reliable in those situations anyway, and we can always use one of our phones as a hotspot if we're really desperate.
 
Loon staggers on. Wiki it.

I doubt that it will succeed, given the current configuration.

And that $29.99/mo price point looks great to me!

Sent from my iPhone using SatelliteGuys
 
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Well, I called the number, and it seems the deal is only good for my old address. The best they will offer me to switch is $45/month for 2 years for the 200Mb service. :(
 
Well, I called the number, and it seems the deal is only good for my old address. The best they will offer me to switch is $45/month for 2 years for the 200Mb service. :(
I'd take a deal like that.
 
I'd take a deal like that.

Well, the 200Mb service only has 10Mb upload speeds, which aren't enough when my wife works from home. I did go to a Spectrum store on my way home. The best they can do is 400/20 for $60/month for three years, which is twice what the email promo was yet not a bad deal overall. I think I am going to stick with the 100/100 service I have from AT&T for now. We aren't close to hitting the data cap, and the other issues are mostly annoyances. I guess Spectrum isn't as desperate as I previously thought after all. They are just trying to get some business back from GF by spreading FUD, which isn't something I am overly inclined to reward with my admittedly modest business.
 
With the current spec, upload on DOCSIS is going to be limited. The fastest upload currently seen on cable internet is around 60 Mbps, and that's from smaller players and over builders like RCN, WOW and Grande. They have their respective gig tiers marketed for 940 x 50, over-provisioned to 60. The big guys are at 940 x 35. Upload speeds aren't particularity important to me, but I know they are to a lot of people and there have been times I wish I had faster upload, but the 40 Mbps I have currently works for me, but faster is better. When I'm on my mobile hotspot and VPN into my home network to download large files or images shot in RAW and I can get 120 Mbps down from a T-Mobile tower, but I download from my NAS at home at 40 Mbps max, it is a little annoying.

What is very important to me though is being able to use my own networking hardware and having everything configured ideally. I would rather have slower upload speeds then essentially being forced into using a providers gateway, I'm surprised AT&T doesn't just provide a dumb modem or have the ability to have it bridged. I'm so happy that Charter went with eMTA only modems for D3.1. I always had my previous all in one cable modems configured for bridge mode, but there were a couple times that firmware updates caused factory resets resulting in it becoming a full fledged router again. It's MY home network, not Charter's or any other ISPs, I will provide my own router with the features I need.

Charter released an internal memo a few weeks ago about being hell bent on doing controlled lab tests of symmetrical 10 Gbps connections over copper using by year end 2019, employee testing by year end 2020 with the goal to start deploying it to customers in 2022.

Charter is not desperate at all. They are one of the very few companies with balls and are not afraid to stand up to customers and tell them to hit the road. If you don't like their prices, then leave, that is their philosophy and I support that 1000%. Besides temporary intro rates, everyone across their whole service footprint pays the same for the same services, just like it should be. Not sure when or how it became acceptable to cry and whine and make false claims to threaten to leave to get better rates, but Charter does not play that game.
 
With the current spec, upload on DOCSIS is going to be limited. The fastest upload currently seen on cable internet is around 60 Mbps, and that's from smaller players and over builders like RCN, WOW and Grande. They have their respective gig tiers marketed for 940 x 50, over-provisioned to 60. The big guys are at 940 x 35. Upload speeds aren't particularity important to me, but I know they are to a lot of people and there have been times I wish I had faster upload, but the 40 Mbps I have currently works for me, but faster is better. When I'm on my mobile hotspot and VPN into my home network to download large files or images shot in RAW and I can get 120 Mbps down from a T-Mobile tower, but I download from my NAS at home at 40 Mbps max, it is a little annoying.

What is very important to me though is being able to use my own networking hardware and having everything configured ideally. I would rather have slower upload speeds then essentially being forced into using a providers gateway, I'm surprised AT&T doesn't just provide a dumb modem or have the ability to have it bridged. I'm so happy that Charter went with eMTA only modems for D3.1. I always had my previous all in one cable modems configured for bridge mode, but there were a couple times that firmware updates caused factory resets resulting in it becoming a full fledged router again. It's MY home network, not Charter's or any other ISPs, I will provide my own router with the features I need.

Charter released an internal memo a few weeks ago about being hell bent on doing controlled lab tests of symmetrical 10 Gbps connections over copper using by year end 2019, employee testing by year end 2020 with the goal to start deploying it to customers in 2022.

Charter is not desperate at all. They are one of the very few companies with balls and are not afraid to stand up to customers and tell them to hit the road. If you don't like their prices, then leave, that is their philosophy and I support that 1000%. Besides temporary intro rates, everyone across their whole service footprint pays the same for the same services, just like it should be. Not sure when or how it became acceptable to cry and whine and make false claims to threaten to leave to get better rates, but Charter does not play that game.

While I can respect Charter taking a firm line on pricing, negotiating has been a common practice since the beginning of commerce, and the fact is they actually have to compete in my market if they want to stem the tide of customers departing to the various Fiber services. They are clearly doing that for GF customers, so why not AT&T Fiber customers? If I am going to give up something, such as upload speeds which are important to us, I expect them to discount the price to win my business. Paying $10 more a month to only get 1/5 the upload speed doesn't really compute. I'd expect them to at least match my current price. I do like that Charter has no caps, but I don't know if/when that will be an issue for us. I can always get cap-free AT&T Fiber from Toast.net if it does become an issue.

I can do something called DMZ+ with AT&T that mimics bridge mode, but there is a firmware bug that cuts download speeds to 50Mbps if you do that. I can downgrade the firmware, but it really slows down the UI on the RG I have, and some people have bricked RGs doing that. Hopefully they will have a fix soon for that. You can get a different model RG that doesn't have the bug, but it has a smallish NAT table which causes other problems, and yes, the RG NAT table still matters in DMZ+ mode. There is also a "true bypass mode" which requires some enterprise grade switching gear and a lot of constant fiddling which holds no appeal to me. I work with technology all day; I don't want to spend all my free time doing it as well.

Given my parents are paying $70+/month for 30/5 from Charter in Central NY which is their only option, the whole "everyone pays the same for the same service" doesn't really hold water with me. They are as good/bad as all the other telcos IMHO. If they are the best choice where you live, then that is what you choose. Since I have competition in my market, my choices can be based on more nuanced criteria.
 
Negotiating rates on cable/satellite/internet, has only been common for the past 10 – 12 years or so. The providers kind of did it to themselves, but also I fail to understand why people in general l don’t understand that an introductory offer is just that. After the time period expires you are expected to pay MSRP. And then people starting bouncing between various providers to take advantage of intro rates, and then move on to someone else if they couldn’t get them extended. When I got my first Dish Network system in 1998, AT40 was $19.99, AT100CD was $28.99. Those were the rates everyone paid, period. New customers, old customers, blue customers, happy customers, sad customers, mad customers, they all paid the same amount.

I can’t negotiate my electricity rates, I cannot negotiate my natural gas rates, I can’t negotiate my water rates, I can’t negotiate how much my Symantec Endpoint subscription costs, I can’t negotiate how much I pay for Adobe CC, I can’t negotiate my Amazon Prime costs, my Audible subscription or any other service. So Why should I be able to negotiate with cable/satellite/internet providers? Or how about this, call up the golden boy of the entertainment industry that can do no wrong, Netflix, and tell them you don’t want to pay the price increase from six months ago and to give you your old rates back at the same level of service. How far will that get you?

Time Warner Cable had a bunch of never-ending promos and various campaigns that changed every quarter, but their MSRP for standalone 50 x 5 was $100 when it debuted in 2010, and then increased to $105 or $110 over time. Under SPP, Charter is charging about half that for at least twice the speed. Brighthouse Networks charged $300 MSRP for Road Runner Lightning at 300 Mbps. If people didn’t game the system, and more importantly if providers wouldn’t let people game the system, rates would be lower for everyone and I think that is obvious by my examples.

As I told you many times, your patents situation is not correct and should be addressed.

With very few exceptions it’s:
Standard: 100 x 10 or 200 x 10 for $66
Ultra: 400 x 20 for $91
Gig: 940 x 35 for $126

Add $5 for a Spectrum provided router with Standard, subtract $6 if you bundle with TV service with any internet plan. I cannot make this any more clearer, this is standard nationwide pricing. Promo rates may be determined by local competition but normal everyday rates are not. Anything other than the above is either a rare exception or a mistake. I live in the middle of nowhere and pay $120 for Gig, same price I’d pay if I lived in one of the few highly populated suburbs where Verizon deployed Fios.
 
Negotiating rates on cable/satellite/internet, has only been common for the past 10 – 12 years or so. The providers kind of did it to themselves, but also I fail to understand why people in general l don’t understand that an introductory offer is just that. After the time period expires you are expected to pay MSRP. And then people starting bouncing between various providers to take advantage of intro rates, and then move on to someone else if they couldn’t get them extended. When I got my first Dish Network system in 1998, AT40 was $19.99, AT100CD was $28.99. Those were the rates everyone paid, period. New customers, old customers, blue customers, happy customers, sad customers, mad customers, they all paid the same amount.

I can’t negotiate my electricity rates, I cannot negotiate my natural gas rates, I can’t negotiate my water rates, I can’t negotiate how much my Symantec Endpoint subscription costs, I can’t negotiate how much I pay for Adobe CC, I can’t negotiate my Amazon Prime costs, my Audible subscription or any other service. So Why should I be able to negotiate with cable/satellite/internet providers? Or how about this, call up the golden boy of the entertainment industry that can do no wrong, Netflix, and tell them you don’t want to pay the price increase from six months ago and to give you your old rates back at the same level of service. How far will that get you?

Time Warner Cable had a bunch of never-ending promos and various campaigns that changed every quarter, but their MSRP for standalone 50 x 5 was $100 when it debuted in 2010, and then increased to $105 or $110 over time. Under SPP, Charter is charging about half that for at least twice the speed. Brighthouse Networks charged $300 MSRP for Road Runner Lightning at 300 Mbps. If people didn’t game the system, and more importantly if providers wouldn’t let people game the system, rates would be lower for everyone and I think that is obvious by my examples.

As I told you many times, your patents situation is not correct and should be addressed.

With very few exceptions it’s:
Standard: 100 x 10 or 200 x 10 for $66
Ultra: 400 x 20 for $91
Gig: 940 x 35 for $126

Add $5 for a Spectrum provided router with Standard, subtract $6 if you bundle with TV service with any internet plan. I cannot make this any more clearer, this is standard nationwide pricing. Promo rates may be determined by local competition but normal everyday rates are not. Anything other than the above is either a rare exception or a mistake. I live in the middle of nowhere and pay $120 for Gig, same price I’d pay if I lived in one of the few highly populated suburbs where Verizon deployed Fios.

Ironically, my parents have multiple electricity providers they can choose from, all with different rate plans due to deregulation of the industry in NY.

As for the why of negotiation, isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work? Yes, some things are negotiable and some aren't, and there are reasons for that. In each of your examples, Dish, Audible, Symantec, Prime, Netflix, there are competitors you could use instead if you didn't like what those companies were charging you. Those competitors may not have as compelling a product, but alternatives exist. Adobe CC is probably the only one where the alternatives that exist just really aren't worth considering for most people. For many, many things, including cable, satellite, and, for some people, Internet, there is competition for customers, so negotiation is part of the equation. Those providers can choose to say "one price" for all, and, if their product is compelling enough, it might work. Google Fiber does this, for the few who can get it, and it seems very popular, and, as you point out, Netflix does this. Content is different than connectivity however due to copyright law. I cannot get exactly the same thing on Prime as I get on Netflix, but I can get essentially the same thing (Broadband Internet) from AT&T as I would get from Spectrum.

I totally understand introductory rates. My AT&T Fiber was $40/month for the first year. When the contract was up, I asked what is the price if I sign another contract vs. signing no contract. It was $50 vs $70, so I signed another contract. That was my choice, because I have a choice. I could have gone back to Spectrum for the $45 with no contract, but upload speeds are an issue. Gaming the system may have an effect on rates, but competition has a much bigger effect IMHO. In places where there is competition, prices people actually pay are typically lower. No one I know is actually paying $66 for 200/10 where I live. Spectrum doesn't even try to raise the rates at the end of the promo period here because they know people will leave when they do. It is too easy to switch if you don't like what your current service costs. I guess what that probably means is people in places without competition make up the difference as a result.
 
Apparently, I should have been offered 400/20 for $44.95 for 24 months as I am in a "level 3 competitive service area" and have AT&T Fiber at my address, according to the folks on DSLReports.
 
Have your parents asked TWC/Spectrum about their 30/5 $14.99 plan? I have it for our Adirondack cottage, and my daughter was offered it when she said she was dropping cable completely, including Internet. The plan includes a free non-WiFi modem, although I preferred using my own.
 
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