Published: Sat, July 28, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

NY is kicking Spectrum out of the state

NY is kicking Spectrum out of the state

The cable company, which was formed when Charter and Time Warner Cable merged in 2016, hadn't extended service to 145,000 homes and businesses in the state that are in unserved or underserved areas in NY, according to a ruling from the state's Public Service Commission.

The PSC accused Charter of repeatedly failing to meet deadlines, not filling its obligations to serve rural communities and "purposeful obfuscation of its performance". The PSC said it is ordering Charter to sell the former TWC system that it purchased in NY, and it's "bring [ing] an enforcement action in State Supreme Court to seek additional penalties for Charter's past failures and ongoing non-compliance".

"Charter's repeated failures to serve New Yorkers and honor its commitments are well documented and are only getting worse".

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NY regulators have revoked their approval of Charter Communications' merger with Time Warner Cable and ordered the company to find another cable provider for its more than 2 million customers in the state. The company must provide uninterrupted service while the state transitions to a new service provider, the commission said.

Charter said in a statement that its Spectrum internet brand "has extended the reach of our advanced broadband network to more than 86,000 NY homes and businesses since our merger agreement" with the Public Service Commission, and is working to deliver broadband to more New Yorkers. Spectrum vowed to fight the ruling.

In a statement, Charter said the claims made by the commission were "politically charged" and tied to the state's election season.

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"The fact is that Spectrum has extended the reach of our advanced broadband network to more than 86,000 NY homes and businesses since our merger agreement with the PSC", the email from Charter stated. This means that the company can no longer operate in the state and in essence forfeits future revenue from roughly 2 million subscribers.

Charter, based in Stamford, Conn., serves 41 states and is New York's largest cable provider. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has not shied away from criticizing Charter for its delays; in May, he foreshadowed regulators' decision by saying the public service commission had initiated "legal action" against the company. "The most critical of these conditions required Charter to expand the company's network. within less-populated areas of NY".

Charter spokesman Andrew Russell said later by email that the company would not comment on the substance of the commission's revocation action.

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The Public Service Commission gave Charter 60 days submit a plan to hand over its NY operations to a new cable, internet and phone provider, rescinding the state's previous approval of the major cable merger.

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