May 15, 2014

Clarifying Data Caps & Prioritization

Yesterday, I spoke at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit in New York City about a range of topics. Since some of my comments have been picked up out of context and misinterpreted in a number of places, I thought it was worth clarifying a couple of things about the Internet, data caps, and prioritization.

To be clear, we have no plans to announce a new data usage policy.  In 2012, we suspended our 250 GB data cap in order to conduct a few pilot programs that were more customer friendly than a static cap.  Since then, we’ve had no data caps for any of our customers anywhere in the country.  We have been trialing a few flexible data consumption plans, including a plan that enables customers who wanted to use more data be given the option to pay more to do so, and a plan for those who use less data the option to save some money.  We decided to implement these trials to learn what our customers’ reaction is to what we think are reasonable data consumption plans.  We certainly have no interest in adopting any plans that our customers find unreasonable or disruptive to their Internet experience. 

It’s important to note that we remain in trial mode only.   We're now also looking at adding some unlimited data plans to our trials. We have always said that as the Internet, and our customers’ use of it, continues to evolve, so will Comcast and our policies.

With today’s FCC announcement issuing a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on the Open Internet, there has been a lot of discussion about net neutrality, fast lanes, and paid prioritization. To be clear, Comcast has never offered paid prioritization, we are not offering it today, and we’re not considering entering into any paid prioritization creating fast lane deals with content owners.

First, I expressed my support – and Comcast’s support, for legally enforceable Open Internet rules.  The fact remains that no company has had a stronger commitment to openness of the Internet than Comcast. We have supported and been legally bound by the Open Internet rules set forth by the FCC because they struck the appropriate balance between consumer protection and reasonable network management rights for ISPs.  Even though these rules were struck down earlier this year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, today Comcast is the only Internet Service Provider in America legally bound by them.  In fact, when we close our transaction with Time Warner Cable, we will extend our commitment to support the Open Internet rules to millions of additional broadband customers in Time Warner markets. This means that millions of additional customers also will be legally bound by the 2010 Open Internet rules. And we think the DC Circuit decision lays out a clear path, under section 706 of the Telecommunications Act, for the FCC to put in place legally enforceable, transparency rules, no blocking rules, and non-discrimination rules – and we’re supportive of that.

Second, an Open Internet is about much more than "fast lanes" and "paid prioritization".  What I said about those issues was (1) that I wasn’t even sure what the definition of "fast lanes" and "paid prioritization" were; (2) that they were not covered by the 2010 Open Internet Order and that, therefore, I did not believe that they were illegal.

I hope this clarifies our plans.  Comcast's commitment to a free and open internet has never been stronger.

 

Important Information For Investors And Shareholders

This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval.  In connection with the proposed transaction between Comcast Corporation ("Comcast") and Charter Communications, Inc. ("Charter"), Charter will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") a registration statement on Form S-4 that will include a proxy statement of Charter that also constitutes a prospectus of Charter, and a definitive proxy statement/prospectus will be mailed to shareholders of Charter. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF COMCAST AND CHARTER ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS THAT WILL BE FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the registration statement and the proxy statement/prospectus (when available) and other documents filed with the SEC by Comcast or Charter through the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov.  Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Comcast are available free of charge on Comcast’s website at http://cmcsa.com or by contacting Comcast’s Investor Relations Department at 866-281-2100. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Charter will be available free of charge on Charter’s website at charter.com, in the "Investor and News Center" near the bottom of the page, or by contacting Charter’s Investor Relations Department at 203-905-7955.

In addition, in connection with the proposed transaction between Comcast and Time Warner Cable Inc. ("Time Warner Cable"), on March 20, 2014, Comcast filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4 containing a preliminary joint proxy statement of Comcast and Time Warner Cable that also constitutes a preliminary prospectus of Comcast.  The registration statement has not yet become effective.  After the registration statement is declared effective by the SEC, a definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus will be mailed to shareholders of Comcast and Time Warner Cable.  INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF COMCAST AND TIME WARNER CABLE ARE URGED TO READ THE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS FILED OR THAT WILL BE FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN OR WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION.  Investors and security holders may obtain free copies of the registration statement and the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC by Comcast or Time Warner Cable through the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov.  Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Comcast are available free of charge on Comcast’s website at http://cmcsa.com or by contacting Comcast’s Investor Relations Department at 866-281-2100.  Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Time Warner Cable will be available free of charge on Time Warner Cable’s website at http://ir.timewarnercable.com or by contacting Time Warner Cable’s Investor Relations Department at 877-446-3689.

Shareholders of Comcast and Time Warner Cable are not being asked to vote on the proposed transaction between Comcast and Charter, and the proposed transaction between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is not contingent upon the proposed transaction between Comcast and Charter.

Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter and their respective directors and certain of their respective executive officers may be considered participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the proposed transaction between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and Comcast, Charter and their respective directors and certain of their respective executive officers may be considered participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the proposed transaction between Comcast and Charter. Information about the directors and executive officers of Time Warner Cable is set forth in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, which was filed with the SEC on February 18, 2014, and its proxy statement for its 2014 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on April 29, 2014.  Information about the directors and executive officers of Comcast is set forth in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, which was filed with the SEC on February 12, 2014, and its proxy statement for its 2014 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on April 11, 2014. Information about the directors and executive officers of Charter is set forth in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, which was filed with the SEC on February 21, 2014, and its proxy statement for its 2014 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on March 27, 2014.  These documents can be obtained free of charge from the sources indicated above.  Additional information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitations and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, are contained in the preliminary joint proxy statement/prospectus of Comcast and Time Warner Cable filed with the SEC and will be contained in the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus of Comcast and Time Warner Cable and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC when they become available, and will also be contained in the preliminary proxy statement/prospectus of Charter when it becomes available.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this communication regarding the proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast and the proposed transaction between Comcast and Charter, including any statements regarding the expected timetable for completing the transactions, benefits and synergies of the transactions, future opportunities for the respective companies and products, and any other statements regarding Comcast’s, Time Warner Cable’s and Charter’s future expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, financial conditions, assumptions or future events or performance that are not historical facts are "forward-looking" statements made within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.  These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as "may", "believe," "anticipate," "could", "should," "intend," "plan," "will," "expect(s)," "estimate(s)," "project(s)," "forecast(s)", "positioned," "strategy," "outlook" and similar expressions. All such forward-looking statements involve estimates and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results expressed in the statements. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are the following: the timing to consummate the proposed transactions; the risk that a condition to closing either of the proposed transactions may not be satisfied; the risk that a regulatory approval that may be required for either of the proposed transactions is not obtained or is obtained subject to conditions that are not anticipated; the parties’ ability to achieve the synergies and value creation contemplated by the proposed transactions; the parties’ ability to promptly, efficiently and effectively integrate acquired operations into their own operations; and the diversion of management time on transaction-related issues. Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in Comcast’s, Time Warner Cable’s and Charter’s respective filings with the SEC, including Comcast’s, Time Warner Cable’s and Charter’s most recent Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K.  Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Charter assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof.

Tags : Time Warner Cable, Time Warner Cable Transaction, TWC

 
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