Spectrum (brand)

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Charter Spectrum
Spectrum
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryTelecommunications
Predecessors
Founded
  • July 22, 1999; 22 years ago (1999-07-22) (as Charter Communications)
  • 2014 (2014) (as Charter Spectrum)
Headquarters,
U.S.
Products
ParentCharter Communications
Websitewww.spectrum.net

Spectrum is a trade name of Charter Communications, used to market consumer and commercial cable television, internet, telephone, and wireless services provided by the company.

The brand was first introduced in 2014; prior to that, these services were marketed primarily under the Charter name. Following the acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks by Charter, these operations also assumed the Spectrum brand.[1][2]

Original programming[edit]

On June 26, 2018, it was announced that Charter Communications had given L.A.'s Finest a series order for a first season consisting of thirteen episodes.[3] The series premiered as the cable service's first original series on May 13, 2019, marking Charter's first foray into original programming.[4]

In August, Curfew[5] and E Is for Edie[6] received pickups. On March 6, 2019, the service picked up a 12-episode eighth season of the 1992-1999 NBC sitcom Mad About You which premiered six of the episodes on November 20, 2019.[7][8]

On June 11, 2019, it was announced that a series titled Paradise Lost received a pickup.[9] On February 19, 2020, it was announced that the series would premiere on April 13, 2020.[10]

On June 26, 2019, it was announced that the DirecTV Latin America original series Todo por el juego (Everything for the Game), would premiere on Spectrum Originals on July 15, 2019. The original series would be offered, along with an English dubbed version entitled Side Games.[11]

On January 18, 2020, it was announced that Manhunt: Unabomber would return as Manhunt: Deadly Games and premiere on February 3.[12]

On February 13, 2020, it was announced that the Sky One series Temple would premiere on March 9, 2020.[13]

Internet service[edit]

History[edit]

Road Runner's official logo (2007).

Time Warner Cable first launched what would become Road Runner with a 1995 market test in Elmira, New York, under the banner Southern Tier On-Line Community.[14][15] Later it became known as LineRunner[16] (a moniker subsequently employed by VoIP service[citation needed]), before Time Warner Cable adopted[when?] the Road Runner brand name.[citation needed]

Road Runner High Speed Online employed the Road Runner character from the Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoons distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures as its mascot and brand name. However, in 2012, it was rebranded as simply Time Warner Cable Internet, dropping the Road Runner branding that Time Warner Cable had to license from the now-unaffiliated Warner Bros.[17] With Charter's acquisition of Time Warner Cable in May 2016, the service was rebranded as "Spectrum Internet" on September 20, 2016.[citation needed]

Bandwidth caps[edit]

Despite raising prices of its Internet service within the previous year, Time Warner Cable announced in February 2009 that it would expand its bandwidth caps and coverage fees into four additional markets by the end of the year.[citation needed]

On April 1, 2009, the cities to have metered billing were announced, which included: Beaumont, Texas; Rochester, New York; Austin, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; and Greensboro, North Carolina.[citation needed]

These metered based billing plans were canceled[when?] according to Time Warner Cable "due to customer misunderstanding".[citation needed]

Caps would range from 5 GB to 100 GB with no unlimited option. The bandwidth will include downloads and uploads. If a user goes over, they will be charged $1 per additional gigabyte. Time Warner Cable announced they would provide a meter for users to monitor their usage. The new plan was set to begin in the summer of 2009, however due to protests they had decided against the bandwidth caps. Currently, users have unlimited bandwidth usage given that it does not exceed the predetermined data service maximum as given in the "master agreement".[18] Time Warner Cable would have offered unlimited data for $150/month had the plan continued.[19]

Glenn Britt (1949–2014),[20][21] CEO from 2001 until December 2013, justified the new billing plans by claiming that the infrastructures had to be continuously upgraded and users would pay for how much they use. In February 2015, a Huffington Post article alleges a 97% profit margin on Time Warner Cable's Internet service.[22]

Facebook groups have been created in protest in addition to an online petition and a Web site dedicated to stop the movement.[23] Other Web sites have been recently following the Time Warner Cable cap plans that were already following broadband Internet providers metering and capping plans.[24][25]

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Eric Massa, both of whom represent portions of the Rochester, New York market that would be affected by the changes, announced their opposition to the plan and even went as far as to threaten legislation to ban such a scheme. On April 16, 2009, Time Warner Cable abandoned the plan.[26]

As a condition of the merger with TWC, Spectrum agreed to not impose any bandwidth usage caps for seven years post-merger.[27]

Time Warner Cable Maxx[edit]

On January 30, 2014, Time Warner Cable announced its new TWC Maxx initiative in New York City and Los Angeles which substantially boosted service speeds at no additional cost compared to the existing speed tiers, with the highest speed tier tripling from 100 Mbit/s to 300 Mbit/s.[28]

As of mid 2016, TWC Maxx upgrades have been completed in New York City up the Hudson Valley, Los Angeles,[29] Austin, Kansas City, Dallas, San Antonio, Raleigh, Hawaii, and Charlotte. Rollouts of TWC Maxx were in progress in San Diego, Greensboro, and Wilmington and were completed in early 2016.[30]

After the TWC acquisition by Charter in June 2016, TWC Maxx upgrades have indefinitely been put on hold.[31]

Spectrum Internet[edit]

After its merger with TWC and Bright House Networks, Charter Spectrum offering broadband Internet plans across its entire service area. In December 2017, Charter began its rollout of DOCSIS 3.1,[32] initially in early TWC Maxx markets, which increased speeds and added a gigabit tier. As of April 2020, most of the Spectrum footprint has Spectrum Internet Gig available and starting base speeds depend by area which at one point will all be upgraded to 200/10 Mbit/s in the near future.[clarification needed][citation needed]

Mobile services[edit]

Road Runner Mobile (defunct)[edit]

In late 2009 after split off from Time Warner (now WarnerMedia), Time Warner Cable began reselling Clearwire mobile WiMAX service as Road Runner Mobile, bundled with the company's existing broadband, TV and VoIP services. In October 2009, the company indicated that they'd be launching their incarnation of the service starting December 1 in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Charlotte and Greensboro, and later, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Honolulu, and Maui.[33]

As of late 2011, Time Warner Cable stopped signing up new Road Runner Mobile customers under resold Clearwire WiMAX service. Existing WiMAX customers could continue to use the service, but TWC began signing up new Road Runner Mobile customers under resold Verizon Wireless 4G LTE services. As of late 2012, however, all mention of Time Warner Cable-branded mobile broadband services have been removed from Time Warner Cable's website and most regional franchises, and eventually those customers were transitioned directly to Verizon.

Spectrum Mobile[edit]

On June 30, 2018, Charter launched Spectrum Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator service. Spectrum utilizes their service area's Wi-Fi network for extended network coverage, while Verizon Wireless provides the network Spectrum Mobile utilizes for mobile service, both a traditional 4G network and newer 5G network.[34][35][36]

Controversy[edit]

Spectrum Strike[edit]

On May 23, 2017,[37] about 1,800 Spectrum workers went on strike in New York City, following the company's efforts to take control of workers health insurance and pension plans.[38] The strike, which remains ongoing as of October 2021,[39] is currently the longest strike in United States history.[38] Spectrum has refused to negotiate with the workers' union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3, instead, hiring a large temporary workforce of strikebreakers, and attempted to launch a vote to decertify IBEW Local 3.[37][38] Spectrum's efforts to decertify the union has faced legal challenge, including a March 2020 decision by the National Labor Relations Board, which found "a serious and substantial issue" regarding Spectrum's efforts to decertify the union.[40]

New York State[edit]

In 2018, Charter agreed to a $174 million fine with the state of New York, in lieu of the state completely revoking its franchise to operate throughout the state, which would have inconvenienced much of the state's residential and commercial operations. According to New York State, Charter did not provide new high-speed internet service to as many homes as they had promised during merger discussions with Time Warner Cable.[41][42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anders, David (April 21, 2022). "Need Home Internet Service? Find the Internet Providers in Your Area". CNET. Red Ventures. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
  2. ^ Paul, Trey (April 29, 2022). "Spectrum Home Internet Review: Keeping Cable Service Simple". CNET. Red Ventures. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 26, 2018). "'L.A.'s Finest': Charter Communications Gives Series Order To 'Bad Boys' Offshoot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  4. ^ Petski, Denise (February 7, 2019). "'L.A.'s Finest' Sets Premiere Date & Unveils First Trailer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  5. ^ White, Peter (August 28, 2018). "'The O.C's Adam Brody Joins Sky's 'Fast & The Furious'-Style Drama 'Curfew'; Strikes U.S. Deal With Charter". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Otterson, Joe (August 30, 2018). "Charter Picks Up Dark Comedy 'E Is for Edie' From Jeanie Bergen (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  7. ^ Ausiello, Michael (March 6, 2019). "Mad About You Revival With Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt (Finally) Finds a Home". TVLine.
  8. ^ "Spectrum Originals Limited Event Reunion Series "Mad About You" Produced by Sony Pictures Television to Debut November 20". The Futon Critic. September 5, 2019.
  9. ^ "Spectrum Originals and Paramount Network Announce Pick-Up and Cast of "Paradise Lost"". The Futon Critic. June 11, 2019.
  10. ^ "Spectrum Originals to Premiere Southern Gothic Mystery Series "Paradise Lost" on Monday, April 13". The Futon Critic. February 19, 2020.
  11. ^ ""Todo por el juego," The Mediapro Studio Series, Will Be Broadcast in the United States". The Futon Critic. June 26, 2019.
  12. ^ "Spectrum Originals Anthology Series "Manhunt: Deadly Games" Produced by Lionsgate Television to Debut February 3". The Futon Critic. January 18, 2020.
  13. ^ "Spectrum Originals Debuts Thriller Crime Drama "Temple" on Monday, March 9". The Futon Critic. February 13, 2020.
  14. ^ "Cable World, March 10, 2003". Findarticles.com. March 10, 2003. Archived from the original on August 9, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  15. ^ Woroch, Glenn (February 1996). Turning the Cables: Economic and Strategic Analysis of Cable Entry into Telecommunications (PDF). Consortium for Research on Telecommunications Policy. p. 27.
  16. ^ "Time-Warner Announces High Speed Data Services". Listserv.buffalo.edu. Retrieved 2012-07-16.[dead link]
  17. ^ "Time Warner Cable Kills the Roadrunner". DSLReports.com. May 15, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-26.
  18. ^ "Time Warner Cable Business Class Terms and Conditions". Archived from the original on February 14, 2014.
  19. ^ Eddy, Nathan (2009-04-10). "Time Warner to Offer Unlimited Bandwidth for $150 a Month". eWeek. April 10, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-05-05 from http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Midmarket/Time-Warner-to-Offer-150-Unlimited-Bandwidth-668524/.
  20. ^ "Glenn Britt timeline" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-01-13.
  21. ^ Henry, David; Sherman, Alex (June 11, 2014). "Glenn Britt, Who Raised Time Warner Cable Shares, Dies at 65". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  22. ^ "Time Warner Cable's 97 Percent Profit Margin on High-Speed Internet Service Exposed". Huffington Post. February 2, 2015.
  23. ^ "Stoptwc.info". Stoptwc.info. April 16, 2009. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  24. ^ "Stopthecap.com". Stopthecap.com. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  25. ^ "Meterthis.net". Meterthis.net. Archived from the original on 2013-01-21. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  26. ^ Stiehl, Renata. Time Warner Cable to Shelve Consumption Billing" Archived June 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. WENY-TV. April 16, 2009. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
  27. ^ "FCC To Approve Charter Merger, Conditions Ban Caps For 7 Years". DSLReports. April 25, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  28. ^ "Get the Details on TWC's Plan to Transform TV & Internet Experience". January 30, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  29. ^ "Time Warner Cable Completes "TWC MAXX" Rollout in Los Angeles and New York City". Archived from the original on April 11, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  30. ^ "TWC Maxx Expands Rollout in 2015". Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  31. ^ "Charter Indefinitely Suspends Time Warner Cable Maxx Upgrades Pending 'Review'". 16 June 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  32. ^ "Charter reportedly set to announce 1-gig DOCSIS 3.1 rollouts in 7 cities". FierceCable. December 18, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  33. ^ "DSLreports.com". DSLreports.com. November 24, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  34. ^ "Exclusive: Charter Wireless Launches June 30". DSLReports. May 4, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  35. ^ Castella, Sarah (2018-08-27). "Six Spectrum Issues and their Solutions". Seemit. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  36. ^ "Common FAQs on Spectrum Internet issues". BuyInternetCable. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  37. ^ a b Bode, Karl (2021-04-15). "Striking Telecom Workers Are Building a Community-Owned ISP". Vice News. Retrieved 2021-10-26.
  38. ^ a b c Khafagy, Amir (2020-05-28). "The Longest Strike In U.S. History Is Fighting To Survive Coronavirus". talkpoverty.org. Retrieved 2021-10-26.
  39. ^ Fong, Laura (2021-10-23). "A cooperative effort to bridge the digital divide with low-cost WiFi". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 2021-10-26.
  40. ^ Wallender, Andrew (2020-03-19). "Striking Spectrum Workers Granted Review of Decertification (1)". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved 2021-10-26.
  41. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (2019-07-12). "Charter gets to stay in New York, reaches new deal with state to roll out internet service". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
  42. ^ "Charter settles New York internet suit with record fine and Spectrum refunds". VentureBeat. 2018-12-18. Retrieved 2020-10-12.

External links[edit]