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NY regulators revoke Charter merger, tell them to leave

NY regulators revoke Charter merger, tell them to leave

The Public Service Commission's decision is the latest and most aggressive offensive in a prolonged battle between Charter, which operates under the brand name Spectrum and employs more than 11,000 New Yorkers, and Cuomo, who has accused the company of reneging on its promises to expand broadband service to rural areas of the state.

"These recurring failures led the Commission to the broader conclusion that the company was not interested in being a good corporate citizen and that the Commission could no longer in good faith and conscience allow it to operate in NY", the commission said in a press release. It determined that Charter failed to deliver the benefits to New Yorkers that were "at the core of the merger approval". As such, the commission concludes that it can no longer allow the company to operate in NY in good faith. "Charter's noncompliance and brazenly disrespectful behavior toward NY state and its customers necessitates the actions taken today seeking court-ordered penalties for its failures, and revoking the Charter merger approval".

The decision came after more than a year of administrative enforcement efforts to get Charter to comply with the commission's merger order, the release said.

"Charter continues to show an inability or a total unwillingness to extend its network in the manner intended by the Commission to pass the requisite number of unserved or underserved homes and/or businesses", John B. Rhodes, chair of the commission, said in a 28-page decision. 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.

On Friday, the commission escalated that battle by revoking its approval of the 2016 Charter-Time Warner Cable merger, which would prevent the company from operating in ny and will likely launch a prolonged court battle. "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", Andrew Russell, director of communications for the company's Northeast branch, said in an email.




The commission had previously ordered Charter to pay a $2 million fine for its slow broadband rollout. According to the commission, Spectrum has blown past every network expansion target since the merger, while falsely claiming to customers that it is exceeding these commitments. During the transition process, Charter must continue to comply with all local franchises it holds in NY state and all obligations under the Public Service Law and the commission regulations.

Although New York wants Spectrum out immediately, they are required to remain in the state until New York state can find another service provider to fully replace Spectrum.

Charter also counted some addresses in other densely-populated cities like Rochester and Mount Vernon, the state claims.

Spectrum - formerly known as Charter - is one of the most popular cable television and Internet access providers in the United States.

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