Charter: 93% Completed With DOC 3.0 Upgrades – 95% of Users Now at 15 Mbps or Higher

Charter this week unveiled their fourth quarter earnings, which show the company took a fourth-quarter loss of $67 million, down from $70 million one year earlier. The company lost 45,500 basic video subscribers during the fourth quarter, but managed to add 67,700 residential Internet customers. Charter’s new president and CEO Tom Rutledge spoke publicly for the first time since leaving Cablevision, noting in a conference call that the company has deployed faster DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades to 93% of the company’s footprint. After a recent round of speed boosts, Charter says that 95% of their customers are now on speeds 15 Mbps or higher.

With the relatively inexpensive cost of DOCSIS 3.0 versus DSL to FTTN/FTTH upgrades, it’s not too hard to begin seeing how more rural telcos are struggling to compete with cable. Rutledge spoke briefly on the call about how Charter differed from Cablevision:

Well, as I just said Charter isn t Cablevision and it s a different time and place for me with the issues in front of Charter. But inherently the physical asset the cable system that passes 12 million homes at Charter is a highly capable network. And we can design products on that network that are superior to our competitors and I think we can drive into the marketplace. It is true that it s less clustered which requires different kinds of marketing strategies and tactics, but I think those tactics are available to us.

Things like the networked DVR (RS-DVR) which Rutdledge focused on at Cablevision will have to wait, according to the new CEO, who says things like deploying the TiVo Premiere DVR are taking priority for the company.

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