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Massive company's Internet speeds 'abysmal'

Massive company's Internet speeds 'abysmal'

You pay a lot of money every month so that your family can have really fast Internet connections and a wide selection of TV networks to watch. Those bills can be much more than $100. But it's worth it, right?

As it turns out, no. Not if you're a customer of the world's second largest cable TV and Internet company.

In fact, the attorney general's office in New York just ordered this cable company to make major improvements to its Internet speeds, which are advertised as being "blazing" fast.

But the AG says those speeds are abysmal. This affects you if you're a Time Warner Cable customer, a Charter Communications customer, or a Bright House Networks customer.

Note: Charter just bought Time Warner and Bright House for $79 billion. The new company will be called Spectrum.

In a letter to Charter, the attorney general's office harshly criticized Time Warner Cable for its Internet speeds. (See the whole letter on the next page. It was written by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's senior enforcement counsel Tim Wu.)

Here's part of what the letter said:

"In short, what we have seen in our investigation so far suggests that Time Warner Cable has earned the miserable reputation it enjoys among customers.

"In advertisement after advertisement, Time Warner Cable promised a 'blazing fast,' 'super-reliable' Internet connection. Yet it appears that the company has been failing to take adequate or necessary steps to keep pace with the demand of Time Warner Cable customers."

In their investigation, the AG's office said that Internet speeds got so bad that customers like you lost data or experienced frozen Netflix movies. Worse, some of Time Warner's ads for Wi-Fi made promises that aren't even possible with current technology.

The good news here is that this investigation is the result of the cable companies' merger. New York's Public Service Commission is requiring Charter to make improvements for customers in the state, including implementing broadband speed improvements by 2019.

In their defense, Charter Communications executives wrote, in part: "[We will make] all TWC and BHN systems all-digital so that Charter can provide its advanced Spectrum products and services, bringing greater value and more consumer friendly policies, such as minimum speeds of 60 Mbps, no data caps, no usage based billing, and no modem lease fees to our customers."

Next page: AG's letter to Charter Communications
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