SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Charter Communications has taken a step that could ease tensions between the cable company and New York State after the state Public Service Commission voted last week to kick Charter out of the state in a dispute over extending broadband service.
When New York State approved Charter’s purchase of Time Warner Cable two years ago, it required the company to extend its network and meet certain deadlines along the way. It’s the state’s contention that hasn’t happened, leading to the PSC’s decision to tell Charter to leave the state.
There have been some rumblings suggesting the move is political in an election year. Le Moyne College political science professor Jim Snyder says that’s not the way the Public Service Commission works.
“They are not at the beck and call of the governor,” said Snyder. “They are an independent group. They are bipartisan. So this idea that this is a political stunt doesn’t fit with the history and what’s going on here.”
Gov. Cuomo for his part, has openly criticized Charter in the press recently.
“Just because you are a big corporation doesn’t mean you’re right, doesn’t mean you can come into this state and bully the consumers of this state. It’s not going to happen,” Cuomo said last week during an appearance in Auburn.
Snyder said the the PSC has pressing the issue with Charter for several months.
“They’re a powerful state agency with a lot of law on their side and they’re sitting down and saying this is wrong, it has to be fixed,” said Snyder. “So it’s up to Charter to come up with some kind of suggestion or compromise.”
And Charter appears to have done just that. In a statement released Wednesday, the company said “in an effort to help bring about a resolution of outstanding disputed matters with the Public Service Commission of New York, Charter will halt airing certain advertising. We look forward to resolving all matters currently disputed with the PSC in the not too distant future.”