Charter's TWC deal faces 1 Gig requirement from New York regulators

Charter Communications' (NASDAQ: CHTR) proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) could be facing a new catch in New York State as regulators have suggested that the cable MSO should build out 1 Gbps-capable last mile networks.

The idea of having Charter build a 1 Gbps network was raised in a Sept. 16 report by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), which is currently reviewing the deal. It said that Charter could deliver the 1 Gbps service in the five largest markets where Time Warner Cable currently operates, including the Capital Region.

Attorneys representing Charter immediately nixed the 1 Gbps idea, saying that federal law prevents the PSC from telling the cable MSO what technology or speeds it has to offer consumer and business users.

"There is no reason for the commission to take the unprecedented step of conditioning its approval of this transaction on the provision of certain minimum broadband speeds," Charter wrote, according to a times union report.

In addition to 1 Gbps, the PSC said that Charter should be required to offer 300 Mbps speeds across the upstate portion of New York three and half years after it completes the TWC acquisition.

Justin Venech, a Charter spokesman, said that the service provider's plans include offering Internet speed tiers of 100 Mbps or higher to New York State customers after it completes its transition to an all-digital network within two and a half years after it completes the deal.

Charter has told the New York PSC that customers will be initially upgraded to 60 Mbps for $39.99 a month.

For more:
- see this Times Union article

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