Pleasing Trump, Charter promises to invest $25 billion in broadband on top of 20,000 new U.S. jobs
Charter Communications Chief Executive Thomas Rutledge speaks to reporters outside the White House after meeting President Trump on Friday. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP/Getty Images) (MANDEL NGAN / AFP/Getty Images)
The chief executive of Charter Communications committed in a meeting with President Trump on Friday to invest $25 billion on broadband infrastructure while joining a trend of business leaders touting previously announced job creation at the White House.
In the case of Charter — Southern California’s dominant cable-TV and Internet service provider — Chief Executive Thomas Rutledge said he expected to hire 20,000 new U.S. employees over the next four years.
Charter had made the hiring promise in 2015 when it was purchasing Time Warner Cable. The new development was the time period in which it will occur.
Nevertheless, Trump indicated the job creation was triggered by his election.
“We are really in the process of announcements and you’re going to see thousands and thousands and thousands of jobs and companies and everything coming back into our country,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, flanked by Rutledge and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “They’re coming in far faster than even I had projected.”
The large investment in broadband infrastructure was a new commitment from Charter. Rutledge signaled that it was made because of the policies of Trump and congressional Republicans, who have promised to cut corporate taxes and reduce regulations.
Rutledge said the company was “excited about the opportunity in the right regulatory climate and the right tax climate to make major infrastructure investments.” A good portion of that investment could be in California because of the company’s large presence there.
Rutledge also renewed an earlier promise to bring all of Time Warner Cable’s call centers back to the U.S. About 50% of Time Warner Cable’s customer service calls are handled offshore, he said.
Trump said that Charter’s announcement followed companies such as Exxon Mobil and Intel Crop. that had “recently announced billions in investment and thousands of jobs coming into the United States following my election victory.”
But, like Charter, some of those companies were simply renewing or amplifying earlier commitments.
For example, Exxon Mobil’s promise to invest $20 billion and create more than 45,000 jobs in the Gulf Coast region was part of an initiative that began in 2013.
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