Charter refuses to disclose build-out plans for thousands of residents in Columbia County
As residents in Columbia County grow increasingly frustrated over the wait for high-speed broadband service, Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D – Columbia, Dutchess) has requested State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli to audit Charter Communications, Inc. to ensure that the multi-billion dollar telecommunications company is compliant with standards set by the New York State Public Service Commission.
Charter, which merged with Time Warner Cable in 2016, is required to connect all their existing Columbia County systems to 100MBPS broadband within a thirty month period after the merger. However, as a result of questionable non-disclosure agreements made with the Public Service Commission and the Governor’s Broadband Program Office, information on when and where broadband service will be established is scarce and often misleading. As a result, municipalities and residents seeking broadband in areas served by Charter are left frustrated and without useful information as it relates to build-out plans, with only months to go before Charter reaches their mandated deadline.
“Columbia County residents deserve transparency and accountability as they await the full broadband access essential to function and flourish in the 21st Century,” said Assemblymember Barrett. “Utility companies like Charter should be held to the highest standard. We are calling upon the State Comptroller to ensure Charter’s compliance as it relates to their agreement with the Public Service Commission.”
“Charter is supposed to be done upgrading Columbia County by the end of this year, but they won’t tell the public if they are actually living up to the deal,” said David Berman, Co-Chair of Connect Columbia. “An audit appears to be the only way to make sure the people of Columbia County get the broadband service they’ve been waiting for. Thank you to Assemblymember Barrett for putting the wheels in motion to hold Charter accountable.”