Customers around Tampa Bay who subscribed to Bright House Networks cable TV, Internet or landline service are now being served by Charter Communications' Spectrum brand.
Charter announced Tuesday that it is formally rolling out the new brand locally, featuring uniform pricing with no contracts, no early-termination fees and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The Stamford, Conn., company completed a $71 billion acquisition of Bright House and Time Warner Cable in May, making it the Tampa Bay area's largest Internet and cable TV provider.
"Our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible for our customers," said Joe Durkin, Charter's director of communications for Florida. "If you're a legacy Bright House customer, you don't have to do anything — you will remain at the price and the package that you have."
Durkin said customers can visit spectrum.com for details of the Triple Play Select, Triple Play Silver and Triple Play Gold packages. The basic Select package starts at $29.99 a month each for cable TV, 60-megabit-per-second Internet service and unlimited nationwide calling, or $89.97 in full. The other tiers escalate in premium networks offered and in price, and there are lower prices for unbundled services.
Spectrum offers Internet speeds of up to 300 Mbps.
Charter serves more than 2 million households in the Tampa and Orlando markets. It has 91,000 employees, with 7,000 in Florida.
Charter has thus far avoided the widespread problems experienced by Frontier Communications when it took over local Verizon cable, Internet and landline service this spring. Verizon customers who woke up April 1 with Frontier service complained immediately and repeatedly about lengthy service outages, lousy customer service and poor response by technicians.
That ultimately resulted in an intervention by the state Attorney General's Office and an "action plan" from Frontier.
Since the Charter deal was announced in May, "there has been a tremendous amount of work aligning the three companies into one," Durkin said. "That process has been ongoing, and really invisible to the customer with little if any impact at all, and we're continuing that going forward."
Customers will, however, start noticing the Spectrum brand on their bills, on company trucks and equipment, and on employee uniforms.
Durkin declined to directly address the fate of Bright House Field, the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies and regular-season home of the Clearwater Threshers minor-league baseball team, but said the Bright House name is "changing across the footprint."
Bay News 9, the all-news cable channel, will keep the same name.
Contact Jerome R. Stockfisch at [email protected]