Spectrum Accused Of Throttling Netflix And Online Games In What Essentially Amounts To Extortion
Charter is not making many friends in high places in New York. Just the opposite, the New York State Public Service Commission announced it has revoked its approval of a 2016 merger between Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable (TWC) due to Charter, doing business as Spectrum, wavering on promises it made, along with "various instances of misconduct."
One of the times the Commission noted in its revocation announcement is a 2017 lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. In the lawsuit, the AG accused Spectrum of throttling Internet speeds for streaming services like Netflix, and online gaming. The lawsuit specifically mentioned Riot Games, with data to show that Spectrum slowed down traffic for League of Legends players until Riot paid for faster speeds.
"Charter's repeated failures to serve New Yorkers and honor its commitments are well documented and are only getting worse. After more than a year of administrative enforcement efforts to bring Charter into compliance with the Commission’s merger order, the time has come for stronger actions to protect New Yorkers and the public interest," said Commission Chair John B. Rhodes.
"Charter’s non-compliance and brazenly disrespectful behavior toward New York State and its customers necessitates the actions taken today seeking court-ordered penalties for its failures, and revoking the Charter merger approval," Rhodes added.
The Commission's decision is in line with an executive order signed by New York governor Andrew Cuomo in January, which imposed certain net neutrality rules on ISPs with state contracts. Such orders are designed to sidestep the FCC's decision to roll back net neutrality rules that were approved under the Obama administration.
Charter has 60 days to file a plan with the Commission "to ensure an orderly transition to a successor provider(s)."