Since You Asked: Some Charter subscribers are eligible for free digital TV boxes
It's mea culpa time here at Since You Asked. In a recent SYA about Charter's digital rollout and the FCC's mandates for free equipment, we left out a common subscriber scenario, and boy did our eagle-eyed readers let us know. We left off the FCC's requirements for cable subscribers receiving a service level other than the basic one. Those subscribers are entitled to one complimentary box for one year. We admit it, that added a layer of confusion to an already complicated issue, so this time we reached out to Charter spokesman Jack Hardy for a simple list of who gets what:
- Those currently on Charter's "limited basic" tier can get two free boxes for two years.
- Limited basic subscribers who qualify for Medicaid can get two free boxes for five years.
- "Expanded basic" subscribers are eligible for two free boxes for one year.
- Customers on the digital service tier before the rollout are eligible for one free box for one year.
Hardy added that restrictions apply, so customers should consult a Charter store to confirm their situation.
We'd also heard from readers who'd heard the digital conversion was due to FCC mandates. We checked with Charter to verify whether there was any sort of federal mandate to go digital.
"There's no mandate from the FCC," Hardy said.
Hardy explained that Charter had been providing both old-fashioned analog and digital channels, but removing its old analog channels freed up the system's signal spectrum, which will allow Charter to expand its high definition channel count up to 200, expand Charter's on-demand services and support technology allowing subscribers watch TV on tablets and smartphones with a Charter app that works on a subscriber's home Wi-Fi network.
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