The state's Public Service Commission cited several specific areas, including repeatedly missed deadlines, attempts to "skirt obligations" to serve rural communities and unsafe practices in the field. Because of these misdeeds, the New York State Public Service Commission warned Charter that it could face franchise revocation in the state and additional penalties. The Commission points out that Charter is the largest cable provider in NY, and it offers TV, internet and VoIP services to more than two million subscribers in over 1,150 communities, including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens and parts of Brooklyn. Charter has 60 days to file a plan with the Commission to find another service provider.
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. Spectrum vowed to fight the ruling.
"In the weeks leading up to an election, rhetoric often becomes politically charged", Russell said. But the fact is that Spectrum has extended the reach of our advanced broadband network to more than 86,000 NY homes and businesses since our merger agreement with the (commission). The company said its workers "remain focused on delivering faster and better broadband to more New Yorkers, as we promised". This means that the company can no longer operate in the state and in essence forfeits future revenue from roughly 2 million subscribers.
Regulators in NY are reneging on their approval of Charter Communications acquisition of Time Warner Cable, alleging the cable provider broke its promise to deliver high-speed broadband to rural customers.
John Sipos, the Public Service Commission's deputy general counsel, said the commission "explicitly conditioned its approval [of the merger] on a host of conditions created to yield incremental net benefits to NY".
It's rare to see a state try to undo a merger this way and prohibit a company from operating (in its current form) in the state, but NY is clearly unhappy with Charter's actions in the wake of this merger, and displeased enough that they're moving beyond fines to merger revocation.
Charter objected, saying that the commission was seeking to add new requirements the company had never agreed to and that the effort to disqualify the homes was groundless.
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.