You love Game of Thrones. You rely on your cable company to make sure it’s available to you every Sunday night. For the longest time, that cable company has been Time Warner Cable. But now you’re hearing some buzz that Time Warner has become Charter Communications. Then why are you seeing a van labeled Spectrum messing with the cable lines on your street? Who is Spectrum? For that matter, who is Charter?
You're understandably concerned. With cable prices on the rise, you want to know what's happening with your service. You try to call your cable company, and they introduce themselves as Charter Spectrum. You’re ready to throw your phone out the window.
Who is Charter?
Charter Communications is a telecommunications company. In other words, it deals in long distance communication like phone, internet, and cable services. Founded in 1993 by former executives of Cencom Cable Television, Charter now serves some 25 million people in over 40 US states, meaning it’s come a long way in a short while. To put that into perspective, consider that Comcast was founded all the way back in 1963.
The Creation of Spectrum
All of this about Charter Communications is well and good, but what is Spectrum internet? Is it the same as Charter internet? Why are they in your neighborhood?
This is where things get a little confusing. In 2013, Charter announced that it would be rebranding its residential services as Charter Spectrum. Basically, Charter Communications would still be the name of the overarching telecommunications company, but they would provide services under the name Charter Spectrum. This is not all that unusual. Comcast did the same thing by branding their services Xfinity or Comcast Xfinity. Charter chose to do this in an effort to appeal to more people and boost sales. Around 2014, they started rolling out the new name, but not everyone got the message.
The Charter Merger with Time Warner Cable
Now we come back to your Time Warner Cable service. In 2015, Charter Communications announced that it would be merging with Time Warner Cable. Around the same time, it also announced its acquisition of another, smaller cable company called Bright Horizons (just in case there weren’t already enough names in this mix). The merger finalized last Spring (2016) and the company has slowly been rolling out the changes across America ever since.
So, why aren’t those Charter cable vans? As of January, 18th 2017, Time Warner Cable and Bright Horizons officially became Spectrum. Sometimes, it’s referred to as Charter Spectrum, but the actual name of the cable services that you’ll soon be provided with is Spectrum.
Wait, Who Provides My Cable?
All you need to know is that for all intents and purposes, Charter and Spectrum are the same. However, Time Warner Cable and Bright Horizons are no more. Your Time Warner Cable bill is now a Spectrum cable bill. Your Time Warner customer service is now Spectrum customer service. But if you talk to someone who says they work for Charter, know that you’re still in the right place.