Charter Communications responded to charges by New York regulators that it’s behind on obligations to expand its network tied to its merger last year with Time Warner Cable.
"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.
While it conceded that some delays have been caused by pole-attachment issues, the No. 2 U.S. cable operator added: "Thousands of upstate consumers now have access to Spectrum services where approvals and make-ready have occurred, and we have a solid deployment plan to reach the thousands of additional homes in our commitment.”
The statement came after the New York Department of Public Service announced that Comcast is behind in its pledge, and that the cable company had agreed to pay $12 million on network expansion, as well as another $1 million to provide telecom equipment to low-income New York residents.
Charter is the biggest cable operator in New York, controlling 2 million customers in the state following its purchase last year of TWC. As a condition to approve the deal, Charter agreed to expand its network to an additional 145,000 homes by 2020. The rate of such an expansion is 36,250 homes a year. But so far, public service department officials say, the cable company has only expanded by 15,164 premises.
“The commission conditioned its approval of the merger on Charter’s agreement to undertake several types of investments and other activities,” Gregg Sayre, the department's interim CEO, said in a statement. “While Charter is delivering on many of them, it failed to expand the reach of its network to unserved and underserved communities and commercial customers in the time allotted.”
Certainly, Charter has a lot of conflict occurring in New York right now.
Separately, the MSO has been sued by the state attorney general for allegedly not delivering on broadband speeds promised in the run-up to the TWC purchase.
And in March, 1,700 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers-repped Charter employees walked off the job in New York and New Jersey.