Charter Communications (and its Spectrum internet service) has officially reached a deal to stay in New York State, with the Public Service Commission agreeing on a settlement that will see Charter fulfill its original commitments for broadband expansion that the company had agreed to when it first merged with Time Warner Cable in 2016, via Ars Technica.
Charter was originally at risk of being barred from operating in the state entirely due to its failure to roll out high-speed internet services to more homes, which the company had originally promised to do as a condition to be allowed to merge with Time Warner Cable.
Per the agreement, “Charter will expand its network to provide high-speed broadband service to 145,000 residences and businesses entirely in Upstate New York” by September 30th, 2021, with Charter to foot the estimated $600 million bill for that expansion. By the Public Service Commission’s estimate, Charter has reached approximately 65,000 of the required 145,000 addresses it’s obligated to, meaning that it’ll have plenty of work over the next two years in order to hit that deadline.
In addition to meeting its expansion commitments, Charter will also have to pay $12 million for “additional broadband expansion projects at locations to be selected by the Department of Public Service and the New York State Broadband Program Office.” That money will be split in half, with $6 million going to the New York State Broadband Program Office, and $6 million placed in an escrow fund for Charter to do work as directed by the state.
They’re nice concessions as far as the state of New York is concerned, with the only possible flaw being that it relies on Charter to actually do the expansion that it already has failed to do before. The PSC notes that this time there are “frequent interim enforceable milestone requirements,” along with a $2,800 fine for each address to which Charter fails to provide service.