Charter accuses Google Fiber of ‘abandoning’ Kansas City in newspaper ad

(Kansas City Star)

Charter Communications has fired a shot across the bow of Google Fiber in Kansas City, a market the cable company recently entered when it acquired incumbent MSO Time Warner Cable.

Charter is running ads in Kansas City newspapers this month, with the banner headline (featured in the same multicolored type as Google’s logo) reading “Abandoned by Google.” In its ads, the cable company lays out Google Fiber’s chronological history in the region, the narrative focused on the service’s alleged unfulfilled promises. (The photo of this Charter ad comes courtesy of the Kansas City Star.)

RELATED: Google Fiber TV disappoints in Kansas City, but will spur innovation in cable industry


Like this story? Subscribe to FierceVideo!

The Video industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Cable, Media and Entertainment, Telco, and Tech companies rely on FierceVideo for the latest news, trends, and analysis on video creation and distribution, OTT delivery technologies, content licensing, and advertising strategies. Sign up today to get news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

Kansas City was the first market Google Fiber moved into back in 2012, disrupting a sleepy telecom market with notoriously bad feelings for its indigenous pay-TV and broadband services. Today, 88% of customers for the still-nascent service reside in the Kansas City area. 

And now that Google Fiber has fired its CEO, laid off staff and paused on any new buildouts—including extending its fiber-optic service to Kansas City customers left out of the initial deployment—competitors like Charter are taking aim. 

RELATED: Google Fiber at only 84K+ pay-TV subs, analyst says, as growth slows for fading service

This is not an endeavor without risks, as Comcast discovered in November 2015 when it took shots at Google Fiber in a Facebook ad, only to have angry customers advise the cable company to get its customer service problems under control before taking shots at competitors. 

For its part, Charter purchased a TWC system with a poor service reputation in the region—an impetus that spurred interest in Google Fiber in the first place. 

Charter has rebranded that local TWC service under its Spectrum banner. But to date, it has not yet upgraded internet speeds in the area to at least 100 Mbps. 

Suggested Articles

Comcast/NBCUniversal is planning an investor day on January 16 to discuss details about its upcoming streaming service, Peacock.

Parks Associates has released its list of the top 10 U.S. streaming video services, which could change drastically by this time next year.

Fox and AWS have signed a multi-year strategic collaboration agreement to build an integrated, cloud-based platform for video distribution.