Charter Communications and the state of New York have reached a compromise agreement, whereby the Stamford company will expand its Spectrum cable television and internet operations in the state.The agreement brings to an end a battle that began last July, when the New York State Public Service Commission accused Charter of “repeated failures to serve New Yorkers and honor its commitments” and threatened it with expulsion by forcing it to cede its internet, television and phone services to another company.
The roots of the dispute date back to 2016 when Charter signed a deal with the PSC to gain approval of its purchase of Time Warner Cable. As part of that agreement, the Stamford company was required to add more than 58,000 homes, mostly in rural areas, to its Spectrum network by May 2018. While Charter said it had done so, the PSC held that it had inflated its figures by relying too much on New York City subscribers.
According to a PSC statement, “Charter would expand its network to provide high-speed broadband service to 145,000 residences and businesses entirely in upstate New York; the network expansion would be completed by September 30, 2021, in accordance with a schedule providing frequent interim enforceable milestone requirements; and Charter will pay $12 million to expand broadband service to additional unserved and underserved premises.”
Charter released its own statement maintaining that the agreement “allows the parties to move forward with the critical work of expanding access to broadband by resolving their disagreements without the need for costly litigation. As a result, Charter will invest even more money in New York state than originally planned, bringing the educational, economic and social benefits of high-speed broadband to areas where access is often limited.”
Following a 60-day public comment period, the final agreement is subject to review by the PSC.