NY PSC fines Charter for failure to meet buildout condition

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) fined Charter Communications $1 million for failing to meet merger conditions set by the PSC. The fine was the result of a settlement between the PSC and Charter after the company passed less than half the premises it committed to by this year. The $1 million will be used to provide equipment and Internet access for low-income users.

Last year, the PSC approved Charter’s $55 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, contingent on Charter agreeing to provide a minimum service speed of 60 Mbps throughout the state; to provide Internet, video, and phone services to all households within the current Time Warner Cable footprint; to provide 100 Mbps Internet speeds to all New Yorkers by 2018; and to invest $50 million in customer service and maintain employment levels for employees that interact with customers.

“The Commission conditioned its approval of the merger on Charter’s agreement to undertake several types of investments and other activities,” said PSC Interim CEO Gregg. “While Charter is delivering on many of them, it failed to expand the reach of its network to un-served and under-served communities and commercial customers in the time allotted.”

This is not the first trouble Charter has run into in New York. Earlier this year, NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against Charter Communications for “defrauding New Yorkers over Internet speeds and performance.” The complaint alleges that customers paying for premium plans were receiving service 70 percent slower than promised with even slower wi-fi speeds. The AG’s investigation found that executives knew the company’s hardware and network were incapable of achieving the promised speeds, but advertised them nonetheless.

 

Links:

Charter Agrees to Pay $13M Fine to NY PSC (Multichannel, June 20, 2017)

New York State approves Charter, Time Warner deal with conditions (Speed Matters, Jan. 13, 2017)

New York sues Charter for defrauding customers (Speed Matters, Feb. 16, 2017)