Industry

NY is kicking Spectrum out of the state

NY is kicking Spectrum out of the state

In a meeting on Friday, the New York State Public Service Commission voted unanimously to revoke its approval of the 2016 merger agreement between Charter and Time Warner Cable because, since the merger, the company has apparently made it clear that it has no intention of following through with its side of the bargain. The state also fined the company $3 million and said it must provide uninterrupted service during the transition period. NY accepted the deal at the time on the contingency that the company meet several performance goals in the future. To ensure that Charter's customers are not negatively affected during that process, the Commission further ordered the company to maintain service to the company's more than 2 million customers in NY until an orderly transition occurs.

Charter, based in Stamford, Conn., serves 41 states and is New York's largest cable provider.

The commission said the US 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. The company said its workers "remain focused on delivering faster and better broadband to more New Yorkers, as we promised".

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

Charter had agreed to bring its broadband network to 145,000 unserved or underserved homes in NY as a condition of its acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

That pledge was one of the "most critical" conditions attached to the merger approval, the commission argued in an order posted online Friday.

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.

A Time Warner Cable sign and logo are seen on a Time Warner Cable store in the Manhattan borough of New York City, May 26, 2015. "Charter's non-compliance and brazenly disrespectful behavior toward New York State and its customers necessitates the actions taken today".

In the short term, Spectrum must continue to operate uninterrupted for the next 60 days while the state finds an acceptable replacement service provider.

In a statement, Charter spokesman Andrew Russell accused the commission's actions of being politically motivated. 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.