Charter Reaches Deal To Remain In New York

Charter Communications has agreed to expand its rural broadband network in New York, in order to resolve a dispute with regulators.

The tentative deal, which hasn't yet been approved by New York's Public Service Commission, requires Charter to make high-speed broadband available to 145,000 residences and businesses in upstate New York by September of 2021.

The company, which offers service under the name Spectrum, will also be required to pay $12 million to expand broadband service to “additional unserved and underserved premises.”

News of the deal comes nearly nine months after officials in New York threatened to rescind approval of Charter's 2016 merger with Time Warner Cable, due to Charter's alleged failure to extend broadband service to rural areas.

To gain approval for the $55 billion merger, Charter promised to offer broadband service at speeds of 100 Mbps throughout the state by the end of this year, and 300 Mbps by the end of 2019.

Charter also promised to extend service to 145,000 new homes and businesses in areas of the state considered "un-served or under-served."

Regulators said last year that Charter attempted to "skirt obligations to serve rural communities."

Late last year, the company settled a separate matter with New York officials -- a false advertising lawsuit brought by the state attorney general. That matter centered on allegations that Time Warner Cable advertised faster broadband speeds than it delivered.

The company agreed to resolve the matter by paying around $62.5 million in refunds to 700,000 customers, and by offering streaming services and premium channels for free to more than 2.2 million subscribers.

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