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Spectrum dispute could keep some in WNY without internet

Posted at 6:33 PM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-01 18:33:20-04

New York State Senator Rob Ortt has concerns with kicking Charter Communication out of state. 

The Republican sent a letter to the New York State Public Service Commission regarding its recent decision to revoke Charter’s license to operate here in the state. 

Ortt said he supports the state’s desire to hold Charter accountable. However, he worries about the underserved communities who are “no closer to receiving the high-seed internet they were promised.” 

 Combined, Niagara and Orleans Counties were scheduled to receive more than $230,000 in funding  from the New York State Broadband Program Office, relying heavily upon the terms of Charter's proposed build-out.

Charter is the parent company to Spectrum Cable. NYS Public Service Commission accuses the company of “making patently false and misleading claims to consumers” about its efforts to provide New Yorkers with critical broadband access. 

Charter Communications Chairman & CEO Tom Rutledge released this statement. 

“We believe we're in compliance with the plain reading of the buildout requirements that the state imposed on us in merger conditions and we have a very strong legal case and ability to defend ourselves and it could play out over a lengthy period of time if required.  Just to put it in perspective, we're operating in 41 states, we have thousands of franchise agreements and generally, we have good relationships with the communities we serve and we live up to our commitments and we have in New York State. In fact we're well ahead of our obligations in terms of speed upgrades, and in buildout itself.” 
 
“We do have labor issues in New York City which we believe have politicized the actions of the PSC, and so we're concerned about that. We've successfully negotiated other agreements with the same union, IBEW, in other parts of the country during this period so we're hopeful that we can work all this out, but if necessary, we'll litigate and we believe we're in the right.
 
Charter Communications Chairman & CEO Tom Rutledge

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