Charter touts spending on network-wide upgrades at Investor Day (NASDAQ:CHTR)

A Spectrum store in Buffalo, NY, USA.

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Communications Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR) said it plans more than $10 billion in total capital spending next year, as part of a plan to upgrade its subscriber footprint with faster speeds and better mobile device coverage.

New leader Chief executive Chris Winfrey – who takes over from longtime chief Tom Rutledge – used Charter’s Investor Day presentation on Tuesday night to tout $5.5 billion in spending to upgrade the network for faster speeds. high for Charter customers.

The company forecasts $5.5 billion in “network evolution” spending, the bulk of which will land in 2024 and 2025 – and after which it expects most of its service footprint to see downloads 5 Gbps and 1 Gbps downloads.

Surprisingly, Winfrey says the cost of this upgrade will be around $100 per house passed – around 90% less than if Charter had decided to replace its coaxial lines with fiber optics, and cheaper than the plan of Comcast to use amplifiers for upgrades (which comes in around $200 per house spent).

Charter’s network already goes through 55 million passes, with 500 million devices connecting to the network every day, Winfrey said.

“We have gigabit (service) everywhere we offer it; we haven’t upgraded just parts of the ‘network’ where it was attractive. We’ve upgraded everywhere, and that’s not what our competitors have done,” Winfrey said.

“We have great products and the fastest Internet, the fastest Wi-Fi, the fastest overall mobile speeds, and we’re the fastest growing mobile provider,” he said. -he declares.

Winfrey also touted the company’s long-term plan over its rivals. “As everyone knows, we have fiber superbuilders today,” he said. “Now I’ve never seen an overbuilder in my cable years that really had a big [return on investment]but history tends to repeat itself.”

On service rivals like T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) and Verizon (New York stock market :VZ) and their fixed-wireless broadband alternatives, “they’re new — that’s the challenge,” Winfrey said. The reality is that “their ability to scale from a penetration or usage perspective is going to be limited.”

And when it comes to wireless and her plans to move to gigabit wireless across the footprint, Winfrey says “Take AT&T (New York stock market :J). Big national wireless carrier, but their wired coverage – what, maybe 40%? Of which a third, perhaps, is upgraded?

“So they don’t have a path to a ubiquitous converged product today; as far as I know, they don’t have a path to that in the future. And even if they could – remember that around 70% of their revenue is mobile-related at very high prices, so it’s very difficult for them to keep up with where we’re going,” he said.

For 2023, the company expects between $6.5 billion and $6.8 billion for base expenditures and an additional $4 billion for line extensions, compared to approximately $9 billion in aggregate investments in 2022.

Charter is seeking to tap into some of the nearly $100 billion in federal funding to extend broadband internet service to underserved areas – including more than $20 billion available through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and $42.5 billion through the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program.

Beyond 1 million RDOF passes, Winfrey says the company is committed to leveraging state subsidies for another 160,000.

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