Charter Communications Buys Time Warner Cable

The state Public Service Commission on Friday approved Charter Communication’s $55 billion deal to acquire Time Warner Cable, a move that will pave the way for faster Internet speeds for all New Yorkers and more availability of high-speed Internet access across the state.Under the draft order that the commissioners approved Friday Charter would be required to provide Internet, TV and phone services to all homes within the current Time Warner Cable service territory – including rural areas – and it would be required to provide 300 Mbps Internet speeds to all New Yorkers by 2019. Time Warner Cable already offers 300 Mbps speeds in New York City.

The expansion would mean expanding service to 145,000 customers in the Time Warner Cable footprint that currently are not served by Time Warner Cable.

The “net benefit” to New Yorkers will be $1 billion, according to the commission.

A special meeting of the PSC was held to vote on the deal Friday.

Only three of the four PSC commissioners were available to vote, which was approved unanimously, 3-0. Commissioner Patricia Acampora was not able to make the meeting, but she supported approval of the deal with the conditions.

Commissioner Diane Burman, who said she was not happy with the original petition that the two companies filed with the commission, said the conditions set out by staff at the Department of Public Service convinced her to change her mind.

“I don’t believe a denial outright is appropriate,” Burman said. “I think (this draft order) finds the right balance.”

The deal still needs federal approval.

Charter, which is based in Connecticut, would also have to put a hold on laying off any Time Warner Cable employees in the state for two years. The company would also have to spend $50 million on upgrading its customer service in the state. Charter will be required to reduce customer complaints by 35 percent over time.

“Nobody likes the cable guy,” Zibelman said.

The total “net benefit” to New Yorkers would be $1 billion.

“It’s what we deserve and need in this state,” Zibelman said.

Charter has to accept the conditions to receive the approval from New York.

 

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