Charter may have to stop business in NY after state regulator ruling
Jul 29, 2018, 16:39
The commission states Charter failed to uphold promises and follow regulations that were set in place during the Time Warner Cable merger.
Charter has denied failing to meet obligations to expand broadband service. NY is accusing Charter of failing to meet its commitments have led to the move.
Charter missed a number of milestones including its promise to deliver statewide broadband speeds of 100Mbps by the end of 2018 and was nowhere close to being able to deliver 300Mbps speeds by 2019.
Charter says it has extended broadband service to 86,000 homes and businesses. NY will not tolerate Charter's gaslighting its own customers into believing it is meeting its promises.
In a highly-publicized 2016 merger, Charter bought out Time Warner Cable, significantly increasing its reach as one of the largest cable and internet service providers in the country and rebranding as Spectrum in the process.
Little more than a year after the merger, cracks began to appear.
The commission is giving Charter 60 days to come up with an exit plan from NY and has ordered the firm to pay $3 million in penalties.
Mr. Hume said the move could be a negotiating tactic to squeeze Charter into meeting its requirements and agree to a settlement.
The PSC said it concluded that Charter is "not interested in being a good corporate citizen".
Charter must also ensure no interruption in service by customers and, in the event it does so, the PSC will take further steps, including seeking injunctive relief in Supreme Court in order to protect NY consumers.
Further, PSC charged in its order Friday that some of the work Charter has done is unsafe, has caused damage to surrounding equipment, or does not comply with electrical codes. This has effectively halted Charter's broadband rollout over a wide area. "The company has had multiple opportunities to correct these issues and either has not done so or has been openly brazen in its efforts to avoid them". NY is giving Charter a 60-day grace period to continue operating in the state to provide service to customers, and during the time it must aid in helping to find a replacement service provider and to help ease the transition process. And on Friday, the commission said it will seek to impose additional penalties. Charter is a communications hub for two million state residents, delivering digital cable TV, Internet services and phone service to customers.
Its rulings do not affect the operations in other states of companies such as Charter.
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