Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) will be joined by Texas State Rep. Helen Giddings on June 28 to commemorate the introduction of a new low-cost, high-speed broadband service, Spectrum Internet Assist, in Texas.
More than 75 North Texas Spectrum employee volunteers will be in West Dallas on Saturday, June 24, to support Charter Communications, Inc.’s national philanthropic initiative, Spectrum Housing Assist, which focuses on safe and healthy homes and seeks to improve 25,000 homes by the year 2020.
Cable – from TV shows to streaming movies to online surfing – is a great go-to entertainment resource for bored out-of-school kids or others looking for indoor options during the blazing days of summer. But in recent years, online gaming has seen a steady surge in popularity in U.S. households. Online gaming traffic is predicted to increase eight-fold between 2015-2020, when gaming will make up 5 percent of consumer internet traffic, according to NCTA-The Internet and Television Association.
Of course, no matter how popular online gaming becomes, it can’t succeed without cable’s technological innovations that have led to faster internet speeds and improved latency. We’ve come a long way from the cartridges inserted into the early video game consoles 20 years ago!
Just who’s playing? An Entertainment Software Association survey found that 65 percent of American households are home to someone who plays video games regularly. In those households, the average gamer tends to be 35 years old.
They survey also found that gaming isn’t necessarily an individual activity – 67 percent of parents say they play video games with their children at least once a week.
The gaming community is expected to continue to grow with the rise of esports, or organized, multi-player professional competitive video gaming, which has become popular TV viewing in recent years – the global esports market was about $696 million in 2016 and could exceed $1 billion by 2019.
Example of this popularity: In late 2016, an esports competition, the “League of Legends” World Finals, drew 43 million viewers during the series finale – 12 million more people than watched the 2016 NBA Finals.
Whether you play online games or just watch them, true growth in gaming will depend on technology innovators such as the cable industry, which continues to expand on and deliver media and entertainment experiences for its customers.
The Texas Cable Association had significant wins to celebrate when the 85th legislative session drew to a close on Monday, May 29. TCA worked to successfully protect the cable industry from unnecessary regulation and fees, chiefly in the areas of small cell deployment and Texas universal service funds. In addition to these priority bills, TCA also successfully lobbied against impact fees for cable in special purpose districts, and right-of-way liability and fees. Privacy and cybercrimes were also high priorities this session.
Among the Texas Cable Association’s legislative successes:
- Small cell legislation, Senate Bill 1004, now on its way to the governor, creates a new Section 284 in the Local Government Code to regulate deployment of small cell devices in the municipal right of way. The final version includes cable’s carefully negotiated language to protect cable providers from additional fees for right of way access, protects wireless access points, and ensures a level playing field for all entrants to the cable market place.
- TCA monitored a few bills on universal service fund. The most important among these, Senate Bill 586, focused on reforming the small carrier fund, will create a “mini-rate case” process to determine need for funds. As filed, the bill would have increased the size of TUSF fund $23-$28 million with no sunset date. TCA lobbied against the increase. The final bill now holds the rate steady, and reduced potential fund increases by 90 percent, or approximately $2 million. The bill will sunset in 2023, when the PUC is up for review.
- Privacy protection became a high priority mid-session. When the FCC announced in April that it would not implement Obama-era rules on ISP privacy, the states rushed to file legislation to protect customers’ private information. Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) filed such an amendment to the appropriations bill, Senate Bill 1. TCA worked with Anchia to address his concerns, pledged to work on the issue in the interim, and prevented passage of the amendment.
For more detailed information on any of these bills, or any legislation tracked by TCA this session, please contact TCA at (512) 474-2082, or email@example.com.
Altice NV (Euronext: ATC, ATCB) today announces a new unified global strategy, representing a new step in the Group’s evolution to strengthen its industrial and operational platform. This follows Altice’s transformation into a leading transatlantic telecoms, content and advertising company serving more than 50 million customers around the world.
C‑SPAN & SPECTRUM VISIT STUDENTCAM DOCUMENTARY WINNERS IN MCKINNEY & BEAUMONT, TX
C-SPAN & SPECTRUM Honored National Winners from Imagine International Academy of North Texas and Ozen High School in Beaumont
C‑SPAN and Spectrum visited Imagine International Academy of North Texas on May 2 and Ozen High School on May 3 to honor local winners for C‑SPAN’s annual student video documentary competition,StudentCam. During the visit, C‑SPAN Representatives presented a StudentCam certificate of merit to all 13 winning students during ceremonies in front of classmates, teachers and family members to recognize their achievement in the national competition.
StudentCam encourages middle and high school students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and nation. This year, students were asked to create a 5-7 minute video documentary about the topic, “Your Message to Washington: What is the most urgent issue for the new president and Congress to address in 2017?” In response, C‑SPAN received 2,903 video submissions from over 5,600 students in 46 states and Washington, D.C. One hundred fifty student and 53 teacher prizes were awarded, totaling $100,000 in prize money. Visit www.studentcam.org to watch all the winning videos.
“Spectrum is honored to partner with C-SPAN on their annual documentary contest, StudentCam, and we congratulate these local winners on their hard work and national achievement,” said Todd Baxter, Regional Vice President, Government Affairs.
In addition to C-SPAN & Spectrum representatives, a number of local elected officials joined to congratulate the students including Mayor Becky Ames of Beaumont, TX, Megan Pulley from Rep. Scott Sanford’s office and Megan Foreman from Congressman Sam Johnson’s office.
Just as impressive as cable’s entertainment, education and technology offerings are the industry’s contributions to the Texas and U.S. economy.
A new report shows that in 2016, Texas’ primary operators – Altice USA/Suddenlink, Charter/Spectrum, Comcast/Xfinity and Vyve – generated 151,527 direct and indirect jobs, employed 16,614 and had a total economic impact of $22.5 billion.
In addition, the report recognized cable’s advancements and investments in technology.
The updated report from Bortz Media & Sports Group, Inc., shows that cable’s impact on the economy and on how we get our information and entertainment has grown and transformed significantly in recent years.
In Texas alone, 2016 impact totals show that cable operators have added almost 40,000 direct and indirect jobs and increased its total economic impact by $6.6 billion just since 2010.
This year’s report found, “Through its aggressive re-investment of capital and its efforts to deploy new and innovative services to consumers, the cable operator industry has fostered the development of a highly competitive telecommunications market and has been a catalyst for broadband growth in the U.S. Through these investment and innovation initiatives, the industry has exerted a substantial impact on the United States economy.”
Key national economic findings for 2016:
- Total industry impact: $421 billion.
- Total jobs: 2.9 million – since more than 1 million jobs were added in the past decade.
- More than 1 million jobs added by the cable industry in the last decade.
- At least 300 cable employees work in each of the country’s 435 congressional districts.
- Cash and in-kind charitable donations: More than $1 billion.
- Franchise and other customer-related fees paid by cable operators: $3.5 billion – funds paid directly to local municipalities
- Sales and use taxes associated with cable subscriptions: Over $4.2 billion – revenues to state and local government entities.
In addition, the report recognized cable’s advancements and investments in technology.
The number of cable customers with DVRS has more than doubled since 2007, totaling more than 22 million cable customers or 44 percent of cable homes in 2016
TV Everywhere allows cable subscribers to access TV programming at home or on-the-go across multiple platforms such as computers, tablets and smartphones. In 2016, an estimated 5.4 billion programming views took place on these alternative devices – up from 2.1 billion in 2014.
The report found, “the cable industry’s commitment has led to U.S. broadband service that is among the fastest, most affordable and most widely available in the world.” More than 93 percent of U.S. homes have access to cable’s internet service, and residents in every state enjoy average peak connection speeds over 50Mbps.
“By taking the lead in making broadband widely available … the cable industry has maintained its leadership in the delivery of high-speed internet service and increased its customer base by a factor of five over the past 14 years,” the report states.
The number of digital phone customers served by the cable industry has grown from just over 2.5 million at the end of 2002 to almost 32 million at year-end 2016.