Charter Communications is the third-largest cable provider in the United States, but it's got probably the biggest ambitions of them all.

Today Charter has announced plans to purchase Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The Time Warner Cable purchase will cost Charter $55.33 billion. Charter would also assume TWC's $24 billion in debt, according to USA Today.

Time Warner Cable is the second-largest cable provider, while Bright House is the tenth. If the deal is approved by Washington, Charter would jump from just four million subscribers to over 18 million. This puts it within striking distance of Comcast, which stands somewhere around 22 million subscribers.

If you're currently a Time Warner customer, don't expect any major changes to your subscription plan in the immediate future. CNN Money believes that the additional resources Charter will potentially have access to would allow it to broaden its cable and Internet package offerings at some point.

Charter's announcement stressed that it considers faster broadband, an upgraded cable TV interface and more public WiFi to be top priorities following the acquisition's approval.

Charter's plan would impact one in every six American households. But first, it must pass reviews by both the FCC and the Department of Justice. Charter is hopeful this can be achieved before the end of 2015.

A similar deal to merge Time Warner Cable with rival Comcast was abandoned just last month when it became clear that the government was committed to preventing it from happening.

Photo: Dwight Burdette

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