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Is Charter fighting dirty with Minnesota's Monticello Fibernet?

Is Charter fighting dirty with Minnesota's Monticello Fibernet?


Allegations of unfair competition have been raised against Charter Communications over a deal in Monticello that seems too good to be true.

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Charter Communications has been accused of using predatory pricing to force the local municipally-owned network Fibernet Monticello out of business. An article from Community Broadband Networks describes how the provider cut its premiere triple-play cable, phone, and internet package for just $60 a month in the MInnesota city, while keeping the same package at the standard $145/mo in neighboring Duluth and Rochester. This price isn't being widely advertised, with potential customers receiving a flyer encouraging them to call their local representative for the best price in the area.

Fibernet Monticello was built up in order to provide both a high-speed residential network and competition to the city, and it seems that it's certainly achieved the latter. The question is whether Charter is selling each subscription at a loss in order to unfairly damage competition — if true, this could place the cable firm in a difficult legal situation. The benefit to Monticello residents at the moment is obvious, but with Fibernet missing its recent earnings targets, it may be untenable for it to continue in such an aggressive market.