Charter Testing ‘SpectrumU’

Charter Communications has been quietly testing SpectrumU, a managed IPTV service for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, that is delivered via on-campus WiFi networks.

Evidence of SpectrumU, spotted first by Light Reading, appears in these app pages and this user manual that’s hiding out in the open.

SpectrumU, a service that shares some similarities with other on-campus IPTV services from Comcast (Xfinity on Campus), Cox Communications (Campus Connect) and Philo, is apparently a product of Charter’s business services unit.

RELATED: Cox Makes Its Own Campus Connection

Charter has been asked for more detail about SpectrumU and where it’s available, but LR found that several schools, including Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Nazareth College, St. John Fisher College, St. Louis University and the University of Wisconsin, are on board. 

According to SpectrumU’s documentation, the app streams more than 50 live channels (a pared down version of Charter’s clear QAM lineup for the campus) when the smartphone or tablet is connected to the university’s WiFi network. Notably, students don’t need to use log-in credentials, because Charter’s system is designed to auto-authenticate on the partner school’s  WiFi network using “whitelisted” IP addresses that are authorized to tap in.

Charter noted that a fiber internet service is preferred for delivery of SpectrumU to the campus, with 1 Gbps of dedicated capacity – enough for 5,000 students, based on 10% peak simultaneous usage.

Though the pilot version of SpectrumU has some shortcomings (no VOD or DVR support, a lack of premium channels and local channels in some markets, for example), but it does include some other features like Sport Zone (adds in real-time scores), show reminder alerts, and a 30-second buffer for live streams.