New York Kicks Out Spectrum
The State Public Service Commission has given the company 60 days to come up with a plan for selling their New York assets
For nearly a year and a half, Local 3 IBEW members at Spectrum/Charter have been on strike. With the company refusing to negotiate, New York’s utility commission, the Public Service Commission (PSC) began taking a deeper look at their business practices and found that the company was not holding up their end of their franchise agreement with the state.
In an announcement made on July 27th, the PSC moved to revoke Charter Communication’s ability to provide service in New York. Charter does business in New York as the cable brand Spectrum. The allegations against the company include failing to meet pre-approved benchmarks for rolling out high-speed internet to rural areas of the state and misrepresenting internet speeds in their advertising materials.
Spectrum, which is the largest cable provider in New York with over 5 Million customers, now has 60 days to dispose of their New York assets which include TV, Phone and Internet services. If they do not meet the PSC’s standards they could be barred from doing business in New York. The PSC also rescinded $1 Million in credits that were given to the company when they merged with Time Warner and are considering more fines. Today’s action rescinded the state's approval for that merger. Previously, Spectrum was fined $2 Million for failing to meet rollout deadlines.
In the PSC’s announcement they accused Spectrum of gaslighting their customers into believing that the company was meeting their promises:
Charter has continually failed to meet its commitments to the state, including its obligation to timely extend its high-speed broadband network to 145,000 unserved and underserved homes and businesses. 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. Charter's claims are simply false and the Commission will not stand idly by while Charter deceives the public and its shareholders. Charter's own data shows a gaping hole between its commitments and its performance. New York will not tolerate Charter's gaslighting its own customers into believing it is meeting its promises.
The vote to rescind approval for the merger was unanimous.
You can read the full statement by clicking here.
Video from the meeting can be found here.