Public Service Commission orders Charter/Spectrum to leave New York State

Public Service Commission orders Charter/Spectrum to leave New York State

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) says that Spectrum repeatedly failed to meet deadlines, skirted its obligation to serve rural communities, had unsafe practices in the field, failed to fully commit to it obligations under the merger agreement and has purposefully hidden performance metrics from.

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.

Spectrum provides Cable TV, Internet and Voice Over Internet telephone service to much of Orange County and portions of Ulster and Dutchess counties.

Charter is also accused of "below standard installation and construction work" including, the commission claims, improperlyinstalling poles and leaving detached wires laying on the ground. Nationwide, Charter has 26 million customers, and the company would continue to own former Time Warner Cable systems in states besides NY. Charter now has 60 days to file a plan with the commission "to ensure an orderly transition to a successor provider (s)", but must continue to serve its customers in the meantime.

In the meantime, Charter must comply with all local franchises it holds in New York State and all obligations under Public Service Law and commission regulations.

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The commission said the USA broadband provider failed to live up to its agreement as part of the merger to build internet access to an additional 145,000 households and businesses in rural areas of NY under-served by internet providers.

"In the weeks leading up to an election, rhetoric often becomes politically charged", Russell said.

The commission's approval of the merger in January 2016 was contingent on Charter bringing broadband service to 36,250 new addresses per year for four years. Charter has also continued to make the false claim in advertisements and other public statements that it is exceeding its obligations to New York State, notwithstanding that the Commission has previously directed Charter to cease its misleading campaign and has referred the matter to the New York Attorney General for appropriate action.

The commission gave the company two months to find a new cable provider to replace its operations.

A spokesman for the NYPSC didn't respond to requests for comment.

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