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SEC Filings

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS, INC. /MO/ filed this Form S-1/A on 11/04/1999
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provide increased bargaining power, whether or not through TeleSynergy,
resulting in an ability to limit increases in programming costs. In addition,
upon the close of the InterMedia, Falcon and Bresnan acquisitions, the
InterMedia, Falcon and Bresnan cable systems will no longer be able to obtain
certain of their programming services through affiliates of AT&T Broadband and
Internet Services, formerly Tele-Communications, Inc. We expect that the impact
of any programming cost increases associated with the termination of these
arrangements will be more than offset by cost savings generated from our other
recent and pending acquisitions. Management believes it will, as a general
matter, be able to pass increases in its programming costs through to customers,
although we cannot assure you that it will be possible.
     Pursuant to the Federal Communications Commission's rules, we have set
rates for cable-related equipment, such as converter boxes and remote control
devices, and installation services. These rates are based on actual costs plus a
11.25% rate of return. We have unbundled these charges from the charges for the
provision of cable service.
     Rates charged to customers vary based on the market served and service
selected, and are typically adjusted on an annual basis. As of June 30, 1999,
the average monthly fee was $10.59 for basic service and $19.16 for expanded
basic service. Regulation of the expanded basic service was eliminated by
federal law as of March 31, 1999 and such rates are now based on market
conditions. A one-time installation fee, which may be waived in part during
certain promotional periods, is charged to new customers. We believe our rate
practices are in accordance with Federal Communications Commission Guidelines
and are consistent with those prevailing in the industry generally. See
"Regulation and Legislation".
     The unauthorized tapping of cable plant and the unauthorized receipt of
programming using cable converters purchased through unauthorized sources are
problems which continue to challenge the entire cable industry. We have adopted
specific measures to combat the unauthorized use of our plant to receive
programming. For instance, in several of our regions, we have instituted a
"perpetual audit" whereby each technician is required to check at least four
other nearby residences during each service call to determine if there are any
obvious signs of piracy, namely, a drop line leading from the main cable line
into other homes. Addresses where the technician observes drop lines are then
checked against our customer billing records. If the address is not found in the
billing records, a sales representative calls on the unauthorized user to
correct the "billing discrepancy" and persuade the user to become a formal
customer. In our experience, approximately 25% of unauthorized users who are
solicited in this manner become customers. Billing records are then closely
monitored to guard against these new customers reverting to their status as
unauthorized users. Unauthorized users who do not convert are promptly
disconnected and, in certain instances, flagrant violators are referred for
prosecution. In addition, we have prosecuted individuals who have sold cable
converters programmed to receive our signals without proper authorization.