When Charter Communications completed its acquisition of Time Warner Cable a few weeks ago, it wasn’t exactly the birth of a shining new star. TWC has a longstanding reputation for being godawful! Luckily, the New York Attorney General’s Office knows what’s up and just called out the company’s awfulness.
On Wednesday, the office—spearheaded by Tim Wu, an open internet proponent and the creator of the term “net neutrality”—sent a letter to Charter CEO Tom Rutledge demanding some big changes in the way TWC does business. Actually, that characterization is a little too benign, because the letter is full of some sick burns. Wu described the company’s internet speeds as “abysmal,” and called for a “fundamental revolution” in TWC’s business practices.
For your convenience, here are the six best burns from Tim Wu to TWC:
1. A new name won’t change the fact that Time Warner Cable sucks
Overcoming this history will require more than a name change; it will require a fundamental revolution in how Time Warner Cable does business and treats its customers.
In short, what we have seen in our investigation so far suggests that Time Warner Cable has earned the miserable reputation it enjoys among consumers.
In advertisement after advertisement, Time Warner Cable promised a “blazing fast,” “superreliable” 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.
We recently called on New York customers of major broadband providers to use open source tools to test the Internet speeds they were experiencing. The results we received from Time Warner Cable customers were abysmal.
In addition, it appears that Time Warner Cable has been advertising its WiFi in ways that defy the technology’s technical capabilities ...
We will be in touch soon to propose next steps.
The full letter can be found here.
As we’ve documented in the past, Wu is no stranger to calling out companies and government entities on their bullshit, and he has a fair amount of power in his role as a lawyer and “special advisor” to New York’s Attorney General. He’s also a staunch defender of the open internet. All of these qualities are good things for consumers and not-so-good things for crooked companies. Keep on keeping on, Tim!