NY state revokes approval of Charter-Time Warner Cable deal

PSC revokes Charter's authorization to operate in state

Spectrum handed out digital boxes to its customers in Saratoga Springs in March

The order, which some regulatory experts said was unprecedented in recent memory, sets the stage for a legal battle between New York's top telecommunications regulator and the state's largest cable and internet service provider. NY is accusing Charter of failing to meet its commitments have led to the move.

As conditions of the 2016 merger, the PSC ordered that Charter expand service to unserved areas of the state and increase the broadband internet speed it offers customers.

Charter - which has more than 2 million customers and 11,000 employees in NY, where it operates under the trade name Spectrum - will nearly certainly fight the revocation, though it would not confirm this Friday.

"Such egregious conduct can not be condoned and the only reasonable remedy that remains is for the Commission to revoke the 2016 merger approval and order Charter to plan for an orderly transition to a successor provider (s) to serve its New York State customers", the PCS said.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Charter said in a prepared statement that "In the weeks leading up to an election, rhetoric often becomes politically charged".

The commission alleges Charter has repeatedly failed to meet deadlines for improving internet speeds and has attempted to skirt obligations to provide high-speed internet to rural communities.

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Apparently, Charter has still failed to live up to its obligations because the Commission announced today they that it revoked its preliminary approval of the merger between Charter and Time Warner Cable in the state. Lawyers for the PSC also took steps in State Supreme Court in Albany to seek additional penalties.

Charter also must pay the commission another $1 million in fines, on top of $2 million already paid. As a result of Charter's adamant refusal to abide by the conditions of the merger approval, the Commission ordered Charter to develop a transition plan.

Under the order, Charter has 60 days to come up with a "transition" plan complying with the commission's decision.

The election reference is likely to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has set an ambitious goal of giving every New Yorker access to high-speed internet service by December 31, 2018, eight weeks after voters go to the polls to vote on whether he gets a third term. 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.

7 News has reached out to Charter for comment.

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