Charter, threatened with $1M fine in New York, seeks more time to respond to claims

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Charter said it needs more time to investigate a list of contested addresses provided by the state. (Image: Charter Communications)

Charter Communications has asked for a 45-day extension to gather evidence to defend itself in an ongoing battle with the New York State Public Service Commission—which is prepared to fine the cable company $1 million on April 9 for allegedly breaching its franchise agreement.

The commission previously found that Charter failed to meet its broadband build-out requirements in the state, disqualifying thousands of addresses that Charter had included in its tally. 

In a filing dated March 30 and made public Tuesday, Charter’s counsel Maureen O. Helmer said the cable company, which had just received a list of the contested addresses, needed time to investigate each one individually. Charter asked that it be given until May 14 to respond to the commission’s "Passing Order."

“Charter will need to investigate each address and assemble information regarding the basis for its continued inclusion in Charter’s completed or planned passings,” Helmer wrote. “The Company believes that the sheer volume of the data required to be analyzed, accompanied with the overwhelming number of requests … justifies a 45 day response time for the Company to thoroughly analyze the information.”

RELATED: Charter tells New York officials it’s ahead of schedule on promised broadband expansion

According to the Watertown Daily Times, the commission claimed in a March 19 order that Charter had failed to expand its broadband network to pass 36,771 additional unserved or underserved homes and business by a December deadline. That build-out requirement was established in a settlement in September after Charter failed to expand its network by an additional 36,250 properties by May—the initial requirement the state made for the company’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable, now Spectrum.

Charter Communications reportedly insisted that its network passed 42,889 residences and businesses, 6,000 more than required. But the commission, disqualified 14,522 of those properties—mainly because most were located in New York City, which the commission argues “is one of the most-wired cities in America and the world, and essentially, 100 percent of the (New York City) areas are served by one or more 100 Mbps wireline providers.”