Charter takes over TWC's Louisville charter, agrees to free Wi-Fi, 1 Gbps conditions

The Louisville Metro Council in Kentucky is expected to approve the transfer of the city's cable TV franchise from Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) to Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR). And the non-binding commitments made by Charter give insights to the kinds of concessions the MSO is making as it seeks approval from myriad federal, state and local governments for its proposed purchases of TWC and Bright House Networks. 

As it has pledged on numerous occasions to do across the combined footprint of the three companies, Charter agreed to increase its base Internet download speed from 15 Mbps to 60 Mbps. It also reiterated its pledge to offer low-cost broadband to qualifying consumers. 

But its commitments in Louisville, Ky. go even further: Charter said it will maintain the 2,600 TWC jobs across both TWC and Charter call and network operations centers in the area. The company will continue TWC's long-standing $50,000-a-year payment to the local government for education and other needs. 

And in addition to offering free Wi-Fi to city-owned community centers, Charter will also provide 1-gig Internet service to a city-managed subdivision as a "demonstration project."

"This marks the first time in the company's history that it has announced plans to demonstrate 1 Gbps service in a community," Charter said in a memo outlining its Louisville plans. "While Charter will strive to deliver its 1 Gbps demonstration project within 24 months, the company will need to acquire the cable system and asses its condition before it can identify specific plans and timelines."

The council's public works committee approved the transfer last week. The full council is also expected to vote its approval. 

For more:
- read this WDRB-TV story

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