The new initiative is in addition to Charter's existing network expansion plans, including numerous state broadband grant projects, as well as the Company's previously planned privately funded expansions. The network Charter will build in these rural areas will offer 1 Gbps high–speed broadband access to all newly served customer locations with starting speeds of 200 Mbps, enabling consumers to engage in remote learning, work, telemedicine and other applications that require high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity. These new customer locations also will benefit from Charter's high-value Spectrum pricing and packaging structure, including its Spectrum Mobile™, Spectrum TV and Spectrum Voice offerings. The Company will continue to apply its customer-friendly policies in newly served regions, including no data caps, modem fees or annual contracts, combined with high-quality service provided by
Today's announced initiative offers Charter an attractive long-term investment opportunity, as it will drive additional customer growth via an expanded footprint in unserved areas. Additionally, the presence of Charter's modern communications network in these rural areas may result in economic development and more homes and businesses for Charter to serve in these communities and additional buildout to adjacent communities, producing greater investment returns over time. Charter looks forward to participating in additional public-private partnerships to expand broadband access.
"The pandemic has further highlighted the need for broadband availability and adoption and Charter is committed to furthering its efforts as part of the comprehensive solution needed to address these challenges," said
Preparation for the RDOF Phase I broadband buildout has already begun and will include Charter expanding its existing construction organization in order to focus on deployment of this new fiber optic network. Charter expects to hire more than 2,000 employees and contractors to support the RDOF and future rural buildout initiatives. In addition to Charter's ongoing network expansion, the RDOF program alone will drive a 15% increase in the Company's network mileage coverage while expanding service to more than 1 million previously unserved homes and businesses across 24 states as estimated by the
The successful and timely execution of today's announced initiative is dependent on a variety of external factors, including the utility pole permitting and "make-ready" processes. With fewer homes and businesses in these areas, broadband providers need to access multiple poles for every new home served, as opposed to multiple homes per pole in higher-density settings. As a result, pole applications, pole replacement rules and their affiliated issue resolution processes are all factors that can have a significant impact on the length of time it takes to build into these rural areas.
Rutledge added, "The more cooperation we have with the pole owners and utility companies, the faster we can connect these communities with high-speed internet services. We look forward to working with local municipalities, electric cooperatives, and investor-owned utilities to ensure that permits are obtained in a timely, fair and cost-effective fashion."
Charter's operating strategy has succeeded in producing industry-leading broadband growth and the associated construction experience that will facilitate the Company's continued expansion of rural connectivity services and ongoing success for all stakeholders. In the last three years alone, Charter has invested more than
Learn more about Charter's broadband expansion efforts here.
For small and medium-sized companies, Spectrum Business® delivers the same suite of broadband products and services coupled with special features and applications to enhance productivity, while for larger businesses and government entities, Spectrum Enterprise provides highly customized, fiber-based solutions. Spectrum Reach® delivers tailored advertising and production for the modern media landscape. The company also distributes award-winning news coverage, sports and high-quality original programming to its customers through Spectrum Networks and Spectrum Originals. More information about Charter can be found at corporate.charter.com.
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