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Cuomo takes Charter/Spectrum to task over operations in New York State

New York State officials are in a bit of battle with Charter Communications, the corporate name for the company that provides Spectrum cable TV and internet services.

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a statement this week saying that the NYS Public Service Commission has started legal action against Spectrum for potential violations of its franchise agreement.  Cuomo says the state approved the acquisition of Spectrum and its ability to operate in New York based on the company fulfilling certain obligations, including providing broadband access to underserved parts of the state.

Cuomo talked about the state’s position during a stop in Rochester on Thursday, and said this kind of supervision applies to any utility or cable company which is allowed to serve the public.

“These companies have to live up to their commitment, whether they’re big or whether they’re small, and I’m tired of there being two sets of rules where large corporations get away with abuses because they’re big and they’re powerful and they’re threatening." 

In terms of Charter/Spectrum's commitment, Cuomo said that, “They made an agreement, live up to the agreement, provide the broadband, provide the customer service, that’s why you got the license, that’s why you’re making the money you’re making. I represent the consumers, I represent the people of the State of New York, they have to live up to their bargain."

The PSC is also looking into whether Spectrum is complying with its New York City franchise agreements.

Charter Communications provided this statement in response:

"Charter is bringing more broadband to more people across New York State.  We exceeded our last buildout commitment by thousands of homes and businesses.  We’ve also raised our speeds to deliver faster broadband statewide.  

We are in full compliance with our merger order and the New York City franchise, and we will fight these baseless actions vigorously."

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.