Charter blames Verizon pole-attachment delays for falling behind on NY commitments

Google Fiber pole attachment screencap
Charter has filed a complaint letter with New York’s Public Service Commission.

Charter has filed a complaint letter with New York’s Public Service Commission (PSC), alleging that pole-attachment delays caused by Verizon and two New York utilities caused the cable company to fall behind on broadband expansion commitments tied to the regulatory approval of its 2016 Time Warner Cable purchase. 

"Verizon's constructive refusal to provide timely access to its poles is further unjust and unreasonable because it is anticompetitive," Charter said in a complaint filed with the PSC and obtained by the Albany Times Union. "The cumulative effect of Verizon's conduct has been to frustrate Charter's ability to bring its services to additional areas in the state and offer competitive alternatives to … providers—including competing against Verizon itself."

Charter's complaint filing was made in late June, at the time of the settlement offer. 

Responded Verizon: "We have been more than cooperative and even presented Charter with options to speed up their construction efforts. For them to try to shift blame is puzzling at best. We stand ready to continue to assist them and again provide them with the methods to speed things up."

Charter is also accusing New York utility providers National Grid and NYSEG for pole attachment delays. 

RELATED: Charter says it's on track to meet New York merger commitments

Under its agreement with the PSU to approve the TWC purchase, Charter pledged to add high-speed internet access to 145,000 homes and business in New York over the next four years. 

Charter, however, fell behind on the initial benchmark for the expansion, which called for 25% completion in the first year. The MSO only had 15,164 homes and businesses to report as of May, which was the one-year mark. 

Charter agreed to pay $13 million in penalties over the next four years—a settlement offer the PSC is still mulling over. 

 

For its part, Charter has resisted the notion that it’s dragging its feet. 

 

"Charter has met and even exceeded the vast majority of our key year-one commitments in New York associated with the merger," the company said in a statement released in June. 

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