Charter Communications is seeking to have a lawsuit filed against it last month by the New York State Attorney General moved to federal court and thrown out.
In a Feb. 24 filing (PDF) obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Charter succeeded in moving the case to federal court, arguing that its internet speeds—and complaints arising from the lack thereof—are under the federal jurisdiction of the FCC, not the states, per the Communications Act.
In early February, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit against Charter, alleging that it promised internet speeds for its acquired Time Warner Cable systems it knew it couldn’t deliver. Schneiderman further accused Charter of throttling Netflix usage.
"Given the state’s distortion of the speed tests approved by the FCC and its reliance on other tests that the FCC does not require or endorse, if the 'state court vindicate[s] [the state’s claim], the relief granted would necessarily force [defendants] to do more than required by the FCC,'" Charter’s lawyers argued. "The state is, in effect, 'trying to invalidate' disclosures made pursuant to the FCC’s reporting regime; its claim thus is necessarily federal."
“The state’s claims, though presented under state law, actually arise under federal law,” Charter lawyers added.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, on Monday, Schnedierman’s office filed a motion (PDF) to remand the dispute to state court.
The lawsuit, filed in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, accused Charter's Spectrum unit of systematically defrauding at least 640,000 consumers since 2012, three years before Charter closed on TWC.
Schneiderman’s office claimed Charter hasn’t moved fast enough to fix the problems it inherited from TWC.
Among the other allegations, the Attorney General said TWC provided older modems to 900,000 customers, knowing that they were incapable of delivering speeds necessary for applications like streaming video.