Minutes from July 17, 2018 Open Board Meeting-Charter Communications on Net Neutrality

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

Open Board of Directors Meeting

Norton Event Center
1601 E. Third St., Suite 138
San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present:   Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Mark Cloud, Sandra Cuellar, Kevin Dyerly, Adam Eventov, Del Heintz, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Bill Lemann, John Mirau, Roman Nava, Kevin Porter, Brian Reider, Thomas Rice, Michael Rivera, Daniel Roberts, Kristine Scott and Paul Shimoff.

Announcements: 1) Members of the West End Ad Hoc Committee were asked to stay for a short meeting immediately following today’s regular meeting. 2) Members were reminded that quarterly invoices for dues were sent out recently.

M/S/P: Minutes from July 10, 2018

Adam Eventov introduced Sandra Cuellar, Government Relations and Del Heintz, Sr. Director State Government Affairs West Region for Charter Communications.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in December 2017 to repeal net neutrality rules and deregulate internet access in the U.S.  The purpose of net neutrality: All traffic on the Internet should be treated equally.

  • No blocking – Your Internet access provider (IAP) cannot block you from accessing legal content of your choice
  • No throttling – Your IAP cannot intentionally throttle legal internet traffic to slower speeds than other traffic
  • No paid prioritization – Your IAP cannot sell “fast lane” service to content providers who can pay more than others

In 1996 Congress developed Title I and Title II in the Communications Act.  Title I services designed for enhanced ‘information services’ are subject to fewer regulations, whereas Title II services designed for the basic ‘common carrier’ are subject to more regulation.  Rules enacted by President Obama’s administration in 2015 required internet service providers to offer equal access to all web content and prohibited internet providers from charging more for certain content or from giving preferential treatment to certain websites.

Charter Communications has 100,000 employees and serves 4 million customers in 294 California communities.  Like any business, they need certainty in the market to continue to make capital investments in the ever-changing competitive high-tech world.  Believing in an open and equitable internet, they would like a reasonable national policy as their business will be unnecessarily and negatively impacted if rules vary from state to state.  Customers and providers would enjoy consistency and predictability.

Charter Communications and others advocate for the orders reversal,wh such as AT&T, Frontier and Cox Communications who are pushing for a lighter-touch approach to internet regulation and citing that the rules create too much government oversight, impede innovation, discourage capital investment and create an anti-competitive market.  Charter Communications believe the rules are unnecessary as they have never, and would not in the future, engage in any of the prohibited practices stated in the rules as they are a service provider and doing so would jeopardize their market share.

Charter has over the years doubled their speed multiple times but have had only one rate increase for their customers in ten years.  They have some 300 employees in their R & D department located in Denver that have been testing 5G for the last year.  Demand for band width continues to grow as technology changes and “smart” home devices are on the rise.  Combining cutting-edge network technology and the very latest research, 5G should offer connections that are multitudes faster than current connections, with average download speeds of around 1GBps. This is expected to soon be the norm.

Security for customer data is ongoing and evolving.  Charter Communications use a very sophisticated military-type encryption system that is monitored 24-7 and changes every few seconds.

Citing that most of our news is L.A. centric, Charter will be launching a 24-hour news service that will focus on the Inland area.

A Q & A period followed.

Meeting adjourned 8:30 a.m.