Originally Appeared in Democrat and Chronicle
By Jon Campbell
January 8, 2016
ALBANY – State regulators voted Friday to approve the proposed $55 billion sale of Time Warner Cable to Charter Communications, but only if Charter meets conditions that include boosting broadband Internet speeds upstate.
The order from the state Public Service Commission would require Charter to offer Internet speeds of 300 mbps throughout the state by 2019, while offering television, phone and Internet speeds to all New York homes in the current Time Warner service area.
The mega deal between the two cable giants still needs federal approval. But with Time Warner Cable’s headquarters in New York, the state was able to review the sale and impose conditions on it.
“I’m hopeful with all of these conditions, we really are going to be in a position that in the next several years we’re going to see all New Yorkers have access to well-priced, high-speed, modern Internet services,” said Audrey Zibelman, chair of the Public Service Commission.
The deal impacts about 2.6 million cable subscribers in New York, Zibelman said.
In order to approve the deal, the Public Service Commission — which regulates the state’s utilities and cable companies — had to find it would have a “net positive benefit” on New York. Staff at the Department of Public Service estimated it would have a $1 billion economic impact on the state, which includes the boost in Internet speeds.