In 2015, when Charter Communications was preparing to acquire Time Warner and Bright House, the company said it planned to add 20,000 jobs after the merger was complete. Charter also said in a stock filing that year that it planned more than $19 billion in capital expenditures between 2017 and 2019.
When the Federal Communications Commission approved Charter's merger with Time Warner and Bright House in 2016, the agency imposed a condition that Charter extend broadband service to at least two million additional customers.
This morning, CEO Tom Rutledge went to the White House, where he announced that Charter would be following through on those plans. Specifically, he said that over the next four years, Charter plans to hire 20,000 people and spend $25 billion to build out broadband.
The fact that Charter plotted its hiring spree and at least some expansion of broadband during the Obama administration didn't stop President Donald Trump from touting the news as his achievement.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a net neutrality opponent who has already started dismantling the open Internet rules, also claimed some credit for the news. "I’m pleased to see that our investment-friendly policies, along with the Administration’s overall regulatory approach, are already producing results," he stated today.
This afternoon, advocacy group Free Press countered that the current administration's positions may create the kind of upheaval that discourages investment.
"This investment boost was planned out well before Trump won the election and Pai became the FCC chair," Research Director Derek Turner said in a statement. "That success is something Trump and Pai can help continue, or something they can destroy by unwinding the regulatory certainty put in place by those before them.”