The federal regulator is about to give Charter the go-ahead to gobble up Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse, which will make it the second largest broadband provider in the country with 19.4 million subscribers, Re/code reports. However, one of the stipulations attached to the acquisition of the smaller companies is that Charter cannot place caps on users' broadband limits–for now. The no-data-cap stipulation is to last for seven years, the FCC says. After that time, however, Charter could place data caps on users at will.
Previously, data caps on home broadband haven't been much of an issue, but as more and more people increasingly use video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, broadband providers are looking for ways to both monetize that usage and ensure they have enough money in the bank to build out their infrastructure so they can support the increased bandwidth households are demanding. MG