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NYS moves to kick Charter Communications out of state

29 July, 2018, 16:39 | Author: Janis Wilson
  • A Spectrum truck in New York

On Friday, the state Public Service Commission began the process of revoking its approval for the Charter-Time Warner Cable merger.

In addition to be kicked out of the state, the Commission is asking for a total of $3 million in penalties for missing previous milestones. NY accepted the deal at the time on the contingency that the company meet several performance goals in the future. "After more than a year of administrative enforcement efforts to bring Charter into compliance with the Commission's merger order, the time has come for stronger actions to protect New Yorkers and the public interest", said Commission Chair John B. Rhodes. "Charter's non-compliance and brazenly disrespectful behavior toward New York State and its customers necessitate the actions taken today seeking court-ordered penalties for its failures, and revoking the Charter merger approval".

Charter - which has more than 2 million customers and 11,000 employees in NY, where it operates under the trade name Spectrum - will nearly certainly fight the revocation, though it would not confirm this Friday.

"In the weeks leading up to an election, rhetoric often becomes politically charged", spokeswoman Shelley Loo told The Post.

Since then, NY says Spectrum has fallen short in almost every aspect of the deal, failing to meet the incremental deadlines and obligations for several rural communities, they have engaged in unsafe field practices, and they have attempted to obfuscate their shortcomings by blaming other companies.

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In its complaints, the commission said Charter missed deadlines for improving Internet speeds and has not delivered on promises it would get high-speed Internet service to rural communities, which the commission views as its most serious failing.

That pledge was one of the "most critical" conditions attached to the merger approval, the commission argued in an order posted online Friday. The combined Charter-Time Warner Cable operation is the second-largest cable company in the country. The state lawyers plan to bring an enforcement action in NY state court. Although Spectrum says it made its network available to over 86,000 residents, NY was planning on 145,000 businesses and homes being serviced.

Charter is also accused of "below standard installation and construction work" including, the commission claims, improperly installing poles and leaving detached wires laying on the ground.

A spokesman for Charter, which provides services under the Spectrum brand, said the company has extended its broadband network to more than 86,000 homes and businesses since the merger.

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