Like many of your readers, I’ve been forced to accept Spectrum as my new cable internet provider. Charter Communications purchased Time Warner Cable about a year ago, when the name changed to Spectrum, and my costs and service have never been worse.

This comes as no surprise. According to the Wikipedia entry on Charter, they have a long history of poor performance. PC World, for example, ranked them as the worst of 14 internet service providers.

Charter asserts that these takeovers serve consumers, but if you read through the hundreds of reviews on DSLreports.com, you’ll discover a lot of unhappy customers. Maine is just the latest place to suffer under Charter’s greedy grasp.

When TW became Spectrum, my low-cost options vanished, and basic service jumped by $10 a month, with only a minor boost in speed. Then the outages started.

After two long and tedious calls to tech support, their polite foreign call center tech told me that some Time Warner modems are not compatible with Spectrum’s services. How long had they known this? After another call, they assigned me a technician – a week away. For those of us who work online in Maine, a week without internet access is not a minor inconvenience. It’s a crisis.

Monopolies are never a good thing, and Charter has already been in discussions about acquiring Verizon. For anyone still jumping on the anti-regulatory bandwagon, I’d suggest you give Spectrum a try for a few months. That will cure you of the notion that allowing gigantic, out-of-state corporations to own our infrastructure will make life – or business – better in Maine.

Matt Power

Portland