When you want cable Internet—but Charter wants $9,000 first

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Before Charter purchased Time Warner Cable (TWC) in May of this year, the company promised New York state regulators that it would bring broadband to 145,000 unserved and underserved homes and businesses by 2020. The condition helped Charter win government approval of the merger.

Christian Babcock of Schuylerville, New York, is one of the state’s unserved residents, but he has no idea if his home will be included in the required buildout to 145,000 locations. Before the merger, TWC told Babcock he’d have to pay thousands of dollars up front to subsidize construction needed to serve his home. Even now, the Charter-owned TWC is demanding more than $9,000 in exchange for service. That's the price to cover Charter's construction; Babcock would have to pay that plus the usual monthly service fees.

Making the situation even more frustrating, Charter wouldn’t have to extend the TWC network very far to reach the house owned by Babcock and his wife. One nearby house has Charter service already, Babcock says. But even just getting an accurate explanation of the costs has been a hassle.

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