Dish Takes Aim At 'Illusory' Bright House Deal Benefits

Says upgrades would happen with, without Charter/TWC merger
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Dish, which is no fan of the proposed Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House merger, took aim at the Bright House portion of the deal in a filing with the FCC using information gleaned from highly confidential deal material made available to third parties by the FCC.

Dish says that the benefits from the merger across all three are "either illusory" or not specific to the transaction, with the most Bright House connection being the most tenuous between the deal and its purported benefits.

Stephanie Roy, counsel for Dish, said in a letter to the FCC dated Nov. 30 that, through its existing partnership with WTC, Bright House is already in a position to complete its deployment of next generation service.

"Far from making those deployments possible, or even accelerating their deployment," said Dish, "it seems the proposed merger may have had the reverse effect," according to a redacted version of the document obtained by B&C/Multichannel News. Dish claims that Bright House has admitted something internally to that effect, but that portion is redacted.

Dish also says the claim of a deal benefit of completing Bright House's conversion to all digital within 30 months appears to be slower than the plans Bright House already had--though that plan is also redacted.

Charter has also said the deal would mean broadband speed upgrades to 60 Mbps for TWC and Bright House. But Dish says Bright house is already positioned to boost speed whether or not there is a merger, citing investments--also redacted--and similarly already plans to expand its Wi-Fi hotpots.

"Put simply, it is unclear what Charter's management of BHN will do to improve upon BHN's existing and ongoing network deployment plans," Dish says.

Charter had no comment on the specifics of the letter, though given that many of those were redacted it upped the difficulty factor in responding directly to them.

“New Charter’s many commitments, including to provide faster broadband service without data caps or modem fees, establish industry leading interconnection policies, offer advanced video services, increase competition in the SMB and enterprise business markets, and return thousands of overseas jobs to the U.S., puts this transaction squarely in the public interest," the company said of the deal commitments in general.

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