ALBANY, N.Y. The New York Public Service Commission is asking the state Attorney General's Office to investigate the parent company of cable TV and internet provider Spectrum over failing to meet goals and misstating some accomplishments in a statewide build-out of new communications infrastructure. Unless overturned, this action will mean that Charter will no longer be permitted to operate in the state of NY.
Experts have reported that Charter Communications is going to be putting an appeal to the order made by the state of NY, though it likely will not be flipped over; it looks like Charter Communications is going out and never coming back in.
Charter is the largest cable provider in the state. 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.
The commission also directed its lawyers to bring an enforcement action in State Supreme Court to seek additional penalties for Charter's past failures and ongoing non-compliance. "(T) he time has come for stronger actions to protect New Yorkers and the public interest", commission chairman John B. Rhodes said in a prepared statement. The suit also claimed that Spectrum-Time Warner subscribers were "getting dramatically short-changed on both speed and reliability".
The commission invalidated more than 18,000 addresses Charter was counting toward the total number, with most of those being New York City addresses the commission says hardly count as "less-densely populated" areas.
As part of the approval, Charter was required to extend its broadband network to 145,000 new homes and businesses in more rural areas of the state while hitting certain benchmarks along the way.
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The Federal Communications Commission in May 2016 voted to approve Charter's acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks, so the PSC's Friday decision means Charter is no longer welcome to operate in NY. In response to the decision by the commission, Charter noted that it had extended its reach to "more than 86,000 NY homes and businesses", which is objectively less than 145,000.
As well, the PSC said, "despite missing every network expansion target since the merger was approved in 2016, Charter has falsely claimed in advertisements it is exceeding its commitments to the state and is on track to deliver its network expansion". "Rather than accept responsibility, Charter has tried to pass the blame for its failure on other companies, such as utility pole owners, which have processed tens of thousands of pole applications submitted by Charter".
The commission had previously ordered Charter to pay a $2 million fine for its slow broadband rollout.
A Charter spokesman did not respond to requests for further comment.
Spectrum provides Cable TV, Internet and Voice Over Internet telephone service to much of Orange County and portions of Ulster and Dutchess counties.
The Public Service Commission's order requires the company to maintain its service throughout the state while planning for a transition to a new company.