News that Charter is issuing $400mln in sr notes due in ’13 as part of its debt restructuring is hardly front-page news. But Charter’s 4Q numbers, which were included in its SEC 8K filing, show how important telephony is becoming to MSOs’ business. During 4Q, Charter plans to report a net gain of 31,600 telephony customers, well up from the previous year’s gain of 5,200. That figure becomes even more impressive when viewed against Charter’s basic sub losses, which have been a thorn in the MSO’s side for several years. In 4Q, Charter lost 21,800 analog video subs, compared to an 82,600 loss last year. It gained 47,200 digital video subs (compared to a gain of 14,400 last year) and 76,400 HSD subs (compared to 64,500 last year). On Mon, Citigroup’s Jason Bazinet suggested MSOs’ VoIP deployments would help them gain and retain basic subs (Cfax Jan 24). — The MSO has issued $6mln in credits to customers affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. — It plans to report a 4.6-5.4% jump in 4Q revenue to $1.335bln-$1.345bln.

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