Charter strikes deal with New York

A Charter Spectrum van parked on the streets of Manhattan.
A Charter Spectrum van parked on the streets of Manhattan.
Roman Tiraspolsky/Shutterstock
A Spectrum Cable truck in New York City.

Charter strikes deal with New York

Charter will pay an additional $12 million to expand broadband in underserved areas.
April 22, 2019

After nine months of negotiating – and following years of rising tensions – Charter Spectrum has reached a preliminary deal with New York’s Department of Public Service to allow the cable provider to maintain its operations in the state.

Last July, New York’s Public Service Commission effectively revoked its approval of Charter’s 2016 merger with Time Warner Cable, alleging that Charter had failed to follow through on promises to build out broadband service across the state – something that had been a condition of the merger. After originally giving the company six months to exit the state and sell off its business to another provider, the PSC agreed to several extensions. Now, as many predicted, the two sides look likely to settle.

As part of the agreement filed jointly by Charter and the Department of Public Service, Charter will pay an additional $12 million to expand broadband in underserved areas, and the expansion of service to 145,000 residences and businesses upstate will have to be completed by September 2021.

The agreement will be subject to a 60-day comment period and final review by the Public Service Commission. Assuming it goes through, some argue a settlement – rather than kicking Charter out of the state and finding another provider – is the best-case scenario.

“Achieving a better-specified expansion of service does appear to be the best outcome,” Lawrence White, a professor of economics at New York University, told City & State in March. “It is unrealistic to expect another company to take over Charter’s operations. That is the ‘nuclear option.’”

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Annie McDonough
Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
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