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Agency action targets Spectrum cable television service shortfalls

New York state officials are targeting Spectrum, the provider of cable television, internet and phone service across the state, with two actions claiming the company is failing to fulfill its franchise obligations and faulting it for slow high-speed broadband rollout.

Though the governor’s office characterized the proceeding as a “legal action,” it is in fact two Public Service Commission orders issued in March and April in which it is seeking a $1 million fine for delaying introduction of high speed internet, and another alleging the company violated its New York City franchise agreement. No lawsuit has been filed.

There was no indication as to why the governor’s press representative chose to highlight those two initiatives today.

A war of words between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Spectrum was ramped up when the company acquired Time Warner two years ago.

The first PSC order accused Spectrum of falling behind on its merger agreement in New York, which had required the company to provide access to broadband internet by December to 36,771 additional homes and businesses that didn’t have access at the time of the Time Warner Cable merger.

The second order launched an investigation into whether Spectrum is complying with its New York City franchise agreements, questioning why payments to the city have dropped since Charter took over.

The full PSC approved the investigation at its April 19 meeting. The company has until May 9 to respond.
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