TCA NEWSLETTER
Latest industry news in Texas and around the country.
WEATHERING
THE STORM
BROADBAND:
CABLE AND TEXAS PRIORITY
CABLE LEADERS: DIVERSITY, EQUALITY & INCLUSION
WEATHERING THE STORM
Winter storm Uri may have been the worst natural disaster in Texas history. Millions of Texans lost power – and as a result their cable and Wi-Fi service. Even before recent winter storms hit Texas, though, Texas cable providers had technicians ready and waiting to start repairing and restoring service as soon as it was safe to do so. While some Texans were waiting for home broadband, some companies opened their Wi-Fi hotspots to the general public.

In addition to addressing customer concerns and restoring service, cable companies also immediately jumped in to help Texas communities get on the road to recovery. To alleviate the widespread suffering Texans endured in the aftermath of the storms, cable companies made significant donations to fund storm recovery efforts.
BROADBAND: CABLE AND TEXAS PRIORITY
During this legislative session, the Texas Cable Association (TCA) and its five member cable providers look forward to joining with Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature to bring broadband service to more Texans. Abbott has declared broadband expansion a legislative emergency item, and a number of legislators have filed related bills.

In addition, the governor in his State of the State address said he would like to see the use of telemedicine (which relies on broadband) grow so that it benefits Texans across the state.

For more than two decades, cable operators have invested billions of dollars of private capital in infrastructure, technology, low-income access programs and more. 

The Texas Cable Association is ready to work with Abbott and the Texas Legislature to bring vital broadband service to even more unserved Texans.
CABLE LEADERS: DIVERSITY, EQUALITY & INCLUSION
Diversity is important, in all parts of U.S. society. No longer do we limit such conversations to Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month or other specific times of the year. In our industry, cable companies have made diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I) key components of their culture, mission and practices. 

Two leaders in this field – Teresa Ward-Maupin, senior vice president, digital and customer experience, Comcast Business, and Donna Chatman, vice president of Sparklight’s South Central Division – share why DE&I is an important focus for their companies, and how their efforts have evolved.
CABLE BROADBAND PROVIDERS HAVE CONNECTED 10M PEOPLE IN NEED (BY NCTA)
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, NCTA members (including cable providers serving Texas) have worked hard to ensure all Americans remain connected to fast and reliable internet service. In rising to the challenge, cable broadband providers expanded and enhanced their low-income broadband programs and launched new programs to qualifying customers. To date, NCTA members have connected over 10 million consumers to broadband internet through these programs.
CABLE CONTINUES TO CONNECT

In cities and towns across Texas, local cable operators and their employees make their communities a better place to live. Cable companies not only make financial and in-kind donations to numerous civic and charitable organizations, but employees volunteer thousands of hours of their time each year. Check out the latest cable industry community initiatives below.
Charter Communications announces multiyear, $586 million initiative to expand broadband availability to unserved communities in Texas
Charter Communications, Inc. announced plans to deliver gigabit high-speed broadband to approximately 133,000 unserved Texas homes and small businesses, as estimated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As part of this effort, more than $586 million will be invested in Texas, which includes an expected private investment of at least $400 million by Charter and more than $186 million in support won by Charter in the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity (RDOF) auction. The effort is part of the company’s recently announced expected investment of approximately $5 billion — offset by $1.2 billion in RDOF support — to expand Charter’s network to what the FCC estimates to be more than 1 million homes and small businesses in lower-density, mostly rural communities across 24 states that do not have access to broadband service of at least 25/3 Mbps. More.

Charter Communications launches new multiyear, multibillion-dollar initiative to expand broadband availability to over 1 million new customer locations
Charter Communications, Inc. on Feb. 1 announced the launch of a multiyear, multibillion-dollar broadband buildout initiative to deliver gigabit high-speed broadband access to more than 1 million unserved customer locations, as estimated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and awarded to Charter in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction. Charter expects to invest approximately $5 billion to support its buildout initiative – offset by $1.2 billion in support won from the RDOF auction – expanding Charter's network to lower-density, mostly rural communities that do not have access to broadband service of at least 25/3 Mbps. Read more.

Spectrum announces launch of 24/7 AccuWeather TV network for video subscribers in Texas
Spectrum on Jan. 19 announced the launch of AccuWeather TV Network in Texas. AccuWeather is available on channels 96/687 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and channel 198 in Austin, San Antonio, Waco, El Paso, Beaumont and other Texas locations – all at no additional charge to customers who have Spectrum TV Select and higher video tiers. AccuWeather TV Network delivers 24/7 weather news from in-studio and in the field, providing reliable local, regional and national weather news and information. Spectrum offers the AccuWeather’s national weather feed with regionalized weather data, pertinent to Spectrum TV customers in Texas. Read more.

Human Rights Campaign Foundation recognizes Altice USA as a ‘Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality’ for a third year
For the third consecutive year, Altice USA has achieved a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The Human Rights Campaign is the country’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. Every year, the CEI voluntarily benchmarks companies on how inclusive their policies, practices, and benefits are of LGBTQ employees. 
Read more.

Comcast NBCUniversal commits $500,000 to support Winter Storm Uri relief efforts
To help support those impacted by Winter Storm Uri, Comcast NBCUniversal is committed to providing $500,000 dollars in support to Houston-area relief efforts, including cash and in-kind contributions. The $500,000 commitment includes $250,000 in cash that will be shared between the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the United Way of Greater Houston. Additionally, the company will donate advertising time on its cable systems to these organizations to run public service announcements to help educate concerned citizens about how they can assist with relief efforts. Read more.

Comcast RISE to award $1 million in grants to BIPOC-owned, small businesses in Houston
Comcast on Feb. 9 announced the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, providing $5 million in grants to hundreds of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned, small businesses in five cities nationwide, including $1 million in Houston. From Marcy 1-14, eligible businesses in Houston and the other four cities can apply for a $10,000 grant at www.ComcastRISE.com. A total of 100 grants in Houston, or 500 grants overall, will be awarded in May. The Investment Fund is the latest extension of Comcast RISE, the multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched in October 2020 that initially focused on black-owned, small businesses and then extended to BIPOC-owned to help those hardest hit by COVID-19. Read more.

Comcast and City of Houston Mayor Turner partner to celebrate Houston History Makers
In celebration of this year’s Black History Month, Comcast will honor eight community volunteers for the fourth year since the Mayor’s History Makers Awards began. This year’s History Makers Award recipients will be celebrated through a series of vignettes that are being featured on Comcast’s social media platforms as of Feb. 1. Comcast will also donate $1,000 to the nonprofit organization of each honoree’s choice. Read more.

Comcast provides update on decade-long commitment to digital equity; announces plans to accelerate efforts in 2021
Comcast on Feb. 2 made several announcements that build on its longstanding commitment to advancing digital equity, closing the digital divide, and addressing both digital literacy and the homework gap. The new and expanded efforts are designed to help connect as many Americans to the internet as possible and create new opportunities for underrepresented communities through the education, resources, and skills training they need to succeed in today’s digital economy. Read more.

Comcast launches Black experience on Xfinity Channel, endorsed by African American Film Critics Association
Comcast NBCUniversal on Feb. 2 announced the launch of Black Experience on Xfinity, a first-of-its kind destination of Black entertainment, movies, TV shows, news and more. Curated by industry leaders, Black Experience will feature high-quality content from many of Xfinity’s existing network partners, at no additional cost, while investing millions of dollars in fostering and showcasing emerging Black content creators. The channel is the only one of its kind endorsed by African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), the world's largest group of Black film critics that gives annual awards for excellence in film and television. Read more.

Houston local business owners benefit from Comcast Grant Program
Comcast RISE is an initiative created to help strengthen and empower small businesses hard hit by COVID-19. The first phase of Comcast RISE awarded grants to small businesses in 285 cities in 29 states, and 43 of those small business owners were from Houston. Houston RISE recipient, Angelus McFarlane, found out about Comcast RISE by searching for grants on the web. McFarlane recalls staying up late to find ways to help recover from the effects of COVID and grow his martial arts business. Read more.

Sparklight extends relief to Texas communities impacted by Winter Storm Uri
As nonprofit organizations work to provide food and shelter for Texas residents impacted by Winter Storm Uri, Sparklight, part of the Cable One family of brands, has donated $15,000 along with food and supplies to support relief efforts in Longview, Marshall, Odessa, Sherman and Texarkana. Funds have been distributed to local non-profit agencies, including the Salvation Army. Read more.
Cable One (Sparklight) launches Charitable Giving Fund
Cable One, Inc., which provides Sparklight services in Texas, on Feb. 23 announced the launch of the company's Charitable Giving Fund, which will annually award $200,000 in grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations across its 21-state footprint, including Texas. Grants will concentrate support in the following priority areas: education and digital literacy; hunger relief and food insecurity; and community development. Read more.

Sparklight connects first Longview customers
Sparklight on Feb. 2 announced it has connected its first Longview customers to the company’s fast and reliable fiber internet service, which is now available to more than 800 residential and business customers in the Longview community. Construction is continuing on a state-of-the-art Passive Optical Network (PON) throughout Longview, and services are expected to become available in a phased, neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis throughout the remainder of the year. The company’s all-fiber network will ultimately connect more than 31,000 Longview residential and business customers by year-end. Read more.
CABLE IN THE NEWS
Altice USA

Charter Spectrum

Comcast

Sparklight
Texas Cable Association | www.txcable.com