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Experiencing Charter’s Speed Upgrades: 100, 200, 300, 400, and 1,000Mbps Tiers

Phillip Dampier January 2, 2018 Broadband Speed, Charter Spectrum, Consumer News 19 Comments

Most Charter Communications customers should now be experiencing Spectrum’s free holiday season speed upgrade as the company rolls out speed tiers ranging from 100-1,000Mbps. Customers have been sharing their stories about the speed changes, especially for former Time Warner Cable and Bright House customers that, in many areas, languished with maximum speeds of around 50Mbps for years.

Most of the changes were noticed by customers around mid-December when Charter reprovisioned customer modems to reflect the new speed tiers. But some customers have had to call to get their modems refreshed to get the new speed upgrades. Others may need a new modem to take advantage of faster speeds. Since Spectrum does not charge a customer modem rental fee, if your speeds are inadequate with your current modem, it may not hurt to try one of theirs. Just remember they will often attempt to sell you added Wi-Fi service which you may not need for an additional $5 a month. This feature can be disabled to avoid the fee on any modem they provide if you already have your own router.

There has also been confusion because some cities are not yet fully upgraded to receive some of Spectrum’s fastest tiers and some current customers will not automatically qualify for speed upgrades until they talk to Spectrum customer service.

Premium Speed Price Reductions Arrive

Some good news — the premium prices Spectrum charges for its highest speed tiers are dropping to make room for the company’s new gigabit plan ($124.99), currently only available in a very limited service area. Spectrum Internet Ultra, which ranges in speed between 120-400Mbps depending on your service area is dropping from $104.99/mo to $89.99/mo ($79.99 if you have a television package). The original Spectrum Ultra upgrade setup fee – $199.99, has been reduced to $49.99.

If you subscribe to Internet Ultra, you may need to contact Spectrum to make sure they have provisioned your service at the new lower price. If you have any problems, refer them to Charter’s non-promotional rate card for your area, which should now show the new non-promotional/regular pricing.

Remember too that customers with legacy Time Warner Cable or Bright House packages and pricing will not receive speed upgrades.

Speed Changes in Select Areas

For many Spectrum customers, the speed increase introduces 100Mbps as the new Standard Spectrum internet speed, but in more than a dozen markets, even faster speeds are now available, at least for some customers.

In Austin, Tex., Charlotte, N.C., Cincinnati, Oh., Kansas City, Mo., New York, N.Y., Raleigh, N.C., and San Antonio, Tex.:

  • Spectrum Internet Gig (up to 940/35Mbps) is now available
  • Spectrum Internet Ultra (up to 400/20Mbps) for new customers (existing customers should check to see if they are still stuck at 300Mbps, the old speed)
  • Spectrum Internet Standard (up to 200/10Mbps) for all customers, which includes a free speed boost.

Note: Current Internet Ultra customers may need to contact Spectrum to make arrangements for the speed upgrade. You may also need a new modem to qualify for 400Mbps speed.

In Bowling Green, Ky., Burlington, Vt., Dayton, Oh., Dallas-Ft. Worth, Tex., Evansville, Ind., Green Bay, Wisc., Greensboro, N.C., Greenville, N.C., Houston, Tex., Lexington, Ky., Los Angeles, Calif., Louisville, Ky., Milwaukee, Wisc., Palm Springs, Calif., San Diego, Calif., Syracuse, N.Y., Utica, N.Y., Waco, Tex., Watertown, N.Y., Wilmington, N.C., and Yuma, Ariz.: 

  • Spectrum Internet Ultra (up to 400/20Mbps) for new customers
  • Spectrum Internet Ultra (up to 300/20Mbps) for existing customers, which represents no change.

Note: Some existing customers claim they have been upgraded to 400Mbps speed automatically, but others have had to contact Spectrum to make arrangements for the upgrade. You may also need a new modem to qualify for 400Mbps speed.

Experiencing Spectrum’s Gigabit Service

Technicolor 4400 DOCSIS 3.1 modem

Upgrading to gigabit speed will take more than a phone call with customer service. For now, Charter Communications insists on an in-home service call and a setup fee that was originally set at $199.99 but may have recently dropped. Some customers report getting the fee waived by complaining about it on Twitter and referencing @Ask_Spectrum in the tweet.

We have heard from customers in Texas and Hawaii that signed up for gigabit service and their stories are similar.

  • Expect a service call lasting up to two hours. A technician, or more likely a few of them will be thoroughly testing the condition of your current cable lines, both inside and outside of the home. They have new testing equipment that is more sensitive than older testing equipment, and can spot signal problems, interference, or deteriorating infrastructure that will need to be repaired or replaced before service can be installed. In most cases, this can be done during the same service call.
  • There are no authorized customer-owned modems for Spectrum’s gigabit internet at this time. Customers have received Technicolor TC4400-AM DOCSIS 3.1 modems during these early days of gigabit service. There will likely be others offered in the future.
  • Customers can expect speeds to approach 940Mbps of download speed and close to 40Mbps for uploads if they own gigabit capable routers and reasonably modern computers. Expect wireless speeds to be significantly lower — sometimes by more than half, depending on the device, distance from the router, and the router itself. Spectrum technicians will probably strongly recommend the use of one of their routers.
  • Faster speeds were noticeable downloading large files and streaming very high bandwidth multimedia, but average users may not notice a dramatic difference from gigabit speed while doing basic web browsing and other similar activities. But the larger installed base of gigabit-capable consumers will likely inspire future applications built to take advantage of that higher bandwidth.

Currently there are 19 comments on this Article:

  1. FredH says:

    I’d be interested in knowing if anyone with the legacy Time Warner Maxx Speed (300mbps) has successfully been able to get upgraded to the new 400mbps speed at no cost?

    I just got off a chat session with Spectrum (I have the transcript if anyone is interested) explaining that I currently have the Ultimate 300mbps service and would like to be re-provisioned at the new, higher speed. First response was “I have checked your account. I see that you are in Legacy TWC services. If you migrate to Spectrum you will be able to get the 400Mbps speed and also can get a free modem.” to which I replied “So – the only way to get the 400mbps speed is to migrate to Spectrum? My modem is an Arris SB6190 which is on the compatible high speed list – so I don’t need a new one. I also do not want to pay a “migration” fee.”

    I then was transferred to another “team” to assist me with that. New chat agent asked “I can see here that you wanted to migrate your TWC internet service to Spectrum, and in order for me to best assist you, I need to ask a few questions, would that be ok?” to which I replied “I’m not sure I want to migrate to Spectrum….I do not need a new modem and I do not want to pay any migration fee or increased costs for internet service. If any of those conditions are not met, I do not want to migrate.” The agent replied “I see, Thank you for sharing that to me Fred. and for bringing that up, you have a good point with that cause upon migrating it will cause the package to be at regular rate.”

    I then asked what that would make my monthly bill to which he replied “Doing the math, your monthly rate will be roughly $205.81 before state taxes upon migrating your current TWC services to Spectrum.

    Since I am now paying $147 per month all-in (includes taxes, fees, etc) I told the agent to forget it, I’ll stay where I am.

    If anyone else has tried this and managed to get a free speed-bump, I’d like some tips on how to go about it – since my first attempt didn’t go too well.

    • James R Curry says:

      Oddly enough, before I switched to Google Fiber, my Legacy TWC Maxx internet service was regularly getting over 400mbps on speed tests.

      I’m guessing this might be because I’m in a Google Fiber area.

    • EJ says:

      Fred before switching just make sure you NEED to switch. Please be considerate of other people on that network (this goes to all cable company subscribers). Remember most cable companies dump very little money into “upgrading” their plant to supply customers with speed upgrades. Since they are not regulated and have very little incentive to keep the plant kept up you and other customers brown outs and black outs will become more frequent. I get the data cap has to play to a factor since they purposely manipulate that so some HAVE to upgrade to get the data they need without paying overage costs. I worked as a contractor for a cable company I seen how the game is played. The lack of competition has created this mess along with the thirst to make more money. Dark days of the modern internet. We Americans should all be ashamed and fearful of slipping even further behind. Corporatocracy is alive and well. Hell we even elected a “business man” into the highest office.

    • Nick says:

      I called up and got switched from the 300mbit to the new 400mbit plan.

      My rate went down by $15 just like this article mentioned. My old rate was $105/mo for 300 Ultra, and my new rate is now $90/mo for 400 Ultra.

      I’m actually on a new customer promo though still, so my old rate was really $85, and my new rate is $70.

      Even though we don’t have the Gigabit available in my area yet (Milwaukee, WI), they already lowered the Ultra tier price to “make room” for the Gigabit which is awesome.

      Hope this information helps.

      • FredH says:

        @Nick – it sounds like you were a previous Charter/Spectrum customer, not a former TWC customer – correct? If so, that’s a totally different scenario from mine.

        • Curious George says:

          nah(I mean it depends what you call a spectrum customer) it looks like he already had ultra which was $85 new people, $105 current with a $200 install fee.

          Since September 20th in L-TWC wisconsin areas the speeds have started at 100/10. In December they boosted 300/20 to 400/20 and lowered the install fee to $50. Hopefully they waived the $50 install fee if he already had ultra and previously paid $200 for it. These speeds were only offered if you moved away from your L-TWC grandfathered plan.

          If he was on a ultra promo already at $85 it means he changed his plan once after January 18 2017 and once again on January 29th 2018. The change after January 18th 2017 must have been after January 29th 2017 if was still on a promo.

          Milwaukee was suppose to be Twc Maxx way back in like September of 2016 but that never happened and Ultimate 50 was the highest speed up until that January 18h 2017 date.

          • FredH says:

            Correct….he might have been a TWC customer before, but he had to have switched over to a Spectrum rate plan before this “speed bump” was offered. As you can see from my post, it doesn’t make any sense at all for me to pay over $60/month more to go from 300Mbps to 400Mbps.

            • Curious George says:

              if it was to switch to $90 ultra internet only it should be easy. If they are adding spectrum tv and/or phone with that it does get complicated cuz they won’t let you keep twc tv or twc phone.

              They got people by the balls and with all the promos from twc coming to an end ur pretty much forced to keep getting price increases with the grandfathered twc plan, quit, or switch to spectrum pricing

        • Nc says:

          If u have anything more then just internet you need to be migrated to spectrum modem needs to be swapped for modem/ router separately only one model will pick up the upgrade so far and only being switched to spectrum will give u the increased speed at no additional charge there is no migration fee but in most cases you will pay more because you are getting more services possibly more channels if you want to stay with what u have there will not be an option for you to get the new upgrade you’re in a plan of a company that no longer exist! since you are grandfathered into it you can keep what u have but you will not receive any new benefits spectrum rolls out hope this helps

  2. Charles says:

    I guess littler towns like Wichita Falls, TX will be left out of any speed upgrades. Before the Charter take over of TWC, Wichita Falls was going to get the 300Mbps upgrade in Dec 2016 to Jan 2017, but then Charter cancelled all the upgrades. Spectrum doesn’t even advertise the faster 50Mbps service (or is it 60Mbps, because I was on TWC’s faster 50Mbps but I am always getting 70Mbps due to overprovisioning), they just advertise the 30Mbps service.

  3. Frances says:

    Currently we only get 100Mpbs which is the new standard to my understanding. So I contacted spectrum about if that was the standard why are we being billed an extra $10 on our bill for “ultimate upgrade 100Mpbs”. They said we are on TWC legacy pricing but if we migrate they can take that off and the modem fee. But we have to migrate and they give us a different modem. I was so fearful of changing anything from the horror stories I said no. Since we have only the 100Mpbs, does anyone see a negative to migrating over? It would apparently be cheaper…but I fear making the change. Sounds like from the article I might be OK to change in my situation but I am hesitant.

    • Curious George says:

      A new modem isn’t required if you already have 100mbps. They probably do want you off of a 8 channel modem even though it’s supported. TWC should have just gave you a 16+ channel modem as soon as your area got 100mbps in the first place. They will most likely switch you to a Arris TM-1602ap2 Telephony Modem.

      Are you paying $75 + 10modem = $85
      Don’t be afraid to do it
      $65 with own router at same speed and probably soon to be 200mbps if not already. Save $240

  4. jeff says:

    They have to migrate you because they cant put the new promos (which give you the price) on legacy product codes. They need to migrate you over to their product codes which are compatible with the promo codes. Fred can get the legacy pricing as long as he doesn’t change anything. As soon as he changes anything the legacy codes are gone and can’t be brought back. Its also a matter of getting the correct person who knows what they are doing and doesn’t attempt to mash different programs together

  5. James says:

    San Diego here. It took speaking to whatever the retentions department at Spectrum now is, but they were able to reduce my Ultra 300 bill to the current non-promo rate (down from $105). Phone rep was adamant that 400 wasn’t available, despite the website saying so if I typed in my address. Twitter support said the reason I couldn’t get 400 was my modem. Went into the store today to get a Spectrum modem and they told me that they are not taking requests to migrate current customers, and I have to wait until that happens. I think there’s a lot of internal confusion on what’s going on with these new speeds and rates.

  6. Scott says:

    If your a TWC customer and happen to be having horrible issues with upload speeds ir packet loss you need to call them and ask about your current service. I have had 300/20 for a long time well over 8 months and then like 2 weeks ago they pushed some firmware or reprovisioned my modem and my 300/20 ( which would score a 350/25 on dslreports) went straight to s**t. Let me preface this by saying I own a SB6183 modem and an asus ac68u router flashed with Merlin firmware. I was noticing latency when I clicked a link that was out of the norm. I ran a speed test and my download was completely normal 300+ however my upload was barely hitting 5 and I had packet loss. I did all the usually stuff power cycled modem and even reset modem to reacquire bonding channels, which it did but nothing was Turing the packet loss or the slow upload. Long story … short version … 5 technicians later, and a new drop line directly to the pole still the issue persists. I called but instead of speaking to tech I asked to speak to account and services department. I ask the lady what my service package was and she said ultimate 300 legacy. I said ok but what do you show for my upload she says 5, I said what? 5Mbps up is what you show? She says yes and one of your devices has been unpingable for a couple weeks. So she switched me to spectrum 300/20 which removed the legacy and she says because I have my own compatible hardware it would be no charge. However when she was done with the account side of stuff she bounced me to tech to resolve the unpingable mac issue. Turns out the mac they have provisioned for my modem was correct, and they see my router but the 3rd device (unpingable one) was a MAC address I’ve never owned. I asked them to just delete it, they said they can’t because it’s showing as customer owned equipment. I said so how do we resolve this then? Can you at least give me the last known IP that was leased to it? The address was an IPv6 address and that unreachable machine is causing my modem to not receive a correct provisioning my new IP leases. They said they can’t delete it because it’s not there’s. So pissed off I hung up, thought for a second.. then had an idea… I grabbed an old bricked router I had wrote down the MAC address from the bottom of it, then reset my modem but not before disconnecting my router from it. I logged into my pc used putty to ssh into my router and spoofed the MAC address of my current working router with MAC address I wrote down off my bricked router. Powered back up my modem connected it to my router (which now has a new MAC) and no less than 2 mins later I’m getting well over 450Mbps down and 25 up. I was also put on totally different upstream bonding channels like in the 70s. I would check your uploads and if they are severely low call them and make sure your plan didn’t change or that your not having an unreachable device. The CMTS futtbucked my provisioning because of an over aggressive router sending too many wan ip inqieries to the modem before CMTS could properly honor IP V4 instead of instantly switching to IPV6.

  7. 16Candles says:

    I signed up for twc at the tailend of the buyout from spectrum and I’m on the l-twc extreme 60/5. My price just went up to $49.99 and I was wondering if I should migrate over to spectrum and at new customer pricing if possible $44.99 100/10?

    I feel like I”m missing out on the these speed upgrades though I’m not sure if my area will receive an upgrade.

    • You are considered a current Time Warner Cable/Spectrum customer so new customer promotional rates like the one you quoted are not available to you… unless….

      First, your internet only price as a current customer is $65 a month.

      Second, if there is more person living at your address, you can qualify for new customer prices by walking equipment into a local cable store and canceling service. Then return home and sign up under a different name on Spectrum’s website for basic 100 Mbps service at the current promotional price (good for one year). Select ‘new customer,’ select self-install, and also select ‘pick up equipment in store.’ You can then drive immediately to a cable store and pick up your equipment, return home, and activate it.

      Be aware that there are no modem rental fees for Spectrum customers. But watch out if they try and sign you up for Wi-Fi service, which costs an extra $5 a month and may be unnecessary if you have your own router. If you already own your own modem, you don’t even have to go to the store and can call and reactivate it on your new account.

      Almost 99% of Spectrum service areas now get 100/10 Mbps service — some even get 200 Mbps service.

  8. Jesse says:

    For people interested in the Gigabit(940MB) plan. As of right now Charter/Spectrum will not accept any Docsis 3.1 modem other than their own, so they can squeeze you for an $199 dollar installation free. Even the most popular brand is not supported.

  9. Jim says:

    I took a different approach, I didn’t migrate. I cancelled my TW account and then scheduled a new customer install with Spectrum. I got new customer rates (I only use their internet service) and got 400MB with my customer owned Arris SB6190 modem for 69.95 plus taxes. If you bundle you can probably add TV service for about $30 more.

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