FCC reverses Charter Communications 'overbuild' requirement

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A Charter Communications company service van is pictured in Pasadena, California U.S., January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (Copyright Reuters 2017)

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted to reverse a requirement imposed under the Obama administration that Charter Communications Inc extend broadband service to 1 million households that currently have service, a source briefed on the matter said.

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The decision was a win for a group representing smaller cable companies that petitioned to overturn the "overbuild" requirement.

As a condition of approval for its acquisition of two cable companies, Charter in May 2016 agreed to extend high-speed internet access to two million customers within five years, with one million served by a broadband competitor.

Under the revised FCC order expected to be made public Monday, Charter can opt to add all 2 million additional potential subscribers in places without existing service.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)