New York Orders Spectrum Cable To Cease Operations

A Time Warner Cable sign and logo are seen on a Time Warner Cable store in the Manhattan borough of New York City

New York's utility regulators have moved to revoke Charter Communication's ability to operate in the state.

The decision cuts against a broader nationwide trend of consolidation in the telecom and media industries, although it is limited to NY state and does not cover the more than 40 other states in which Charter does business, including Kentucky, Montana or Texas.

The commission approved the decision unanimously at a hastily called meeting Friday, along with a civil lawsuit hoping to bring additional financial penalties against the company.

John Sipos, the Public Service Commission's deputy general counsel, said the commission "explicitly conditioned its approval [of the merger] on a host of conditions created to yield incremental net benefits to NY".

"We need to seek a different provider", he said.

Charter has 30 days to contest the order, which the company said it will do.

The cable company, which was formed when Charter and Time Warner Cable merged in 2016, hadn't extended service to 145,000 homes and businesses in the state that are in unserved or underserved areas in NY, according to a ruling from the state's Public Service Commission. "Charter's non-compliance and brazenly disrespectful behavior toward New York State and its customers necessitates the actions taken today seeking court-ordered penalties for its failures, and revoking the Charter merger approval". The cable company completed its $67 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in May 2016.

As part of the approval, Charter was required to extend its broadband network to 145,000 new homes and businesses in more rural areas of the state while hitting certain benchmarks along the way. Charter's claims are simply false and the Commission will not stand idly by while Charter deceives the public and its shareholders.

If you live in NY, what's your take on this decision?

"Charter opted to include addresses. that were neither unserved or underserved, including addresses in densely populated areas", he said. It claimed the commission's charges were "politically motivated" and tied to the upcoming election season.

Cuomo is up for re-election this year.

"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 with the PSC", the email from Charter stated.

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