Will TWC/Spectrum be Able to Win Back Business in New York?
The New York Public Service Commission revoked approval for the 2016 Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable merger last Friday. It also imposed a hefty fine on Charter alongside the decision. Since then, the atmosphere in the State of New York has been thrown into confusion, with wild stories circulating Spectrum.
Charter Communications Inc. has been operating in New York under its Spectrum banner. The revocation came after the Public Service Commission cited inconsistencies and unfulfilled objectives as well as non-compliance. However, speculation is that with election season in NY, this may be more of a political stunt. With the memory of the 2016 United States election still fresh, this may not be as far-fetched as one may think. During election campaigning in America, and elsewhere, individuals have been known to go to no end to gather votes. Whether it’s appealing to racism, Islamophobia or allegations of Russian interference, elections are tense times to be sure. People often resort to tarnishing reputations and attacking soft targets in the hope of striking a chord with voters. So is Spectrum a bad corporate citizen as the New York Public Service Commission maintains? Or is it a corporate scapegoat to be sacrificed on the altar of re-election? Only time will tell. Needless to say, Spectrum is taking this order very seriously.
Will Spectrum Customers in NY be Affected?
Spectrum will continue to provide internet services to its customers for 60 days until a replacement is found, in any case. So if you are their customer, you don’t have to worry about your service being cut off. More importantly, Spectrum is almost certain to appeal this decision by the New York Public Service Commission. Spectrum currently serves 86,000 homes and businesses in New York, having extended their reach beyond most service providers. According to Spectrum, the company is committed to expanding its advanced broadband network, giving access to much of New York. Since the company is expected to pursue litigation, a definitive exit may be many years coming or not at all. So you shouldn’t necessarily expect that you may have to turn to a different, less desirable option. In fact, in order to boost morale amongst stakeholders, you can even expect Spectrum to drop some tasty deals. Many would say that now is the right time to take advantage of the company’s no contract/no early termination fee bundles. Spectrum would be looking to prove to the state and to the people that it is the best available option. Make sure you are ready to take full advantage of that!
What Does this Mean for Spectrum?
Spectrum is in a tough spot, to be sure, but in no way is it washed up. The company, as mentioned above, has a subscriber base of 86,000 strong in New York. These homes and businesses depend on Spectrum’s quality service for their connectivity needs. It can be fairly expected that Spectrum will appeal this decision. Not only that, to protect its network, it will engage in hard litigation in order to prevent the implementation of this order. Officials at Spectrum believe that the Public Service Commission is wrong in this instance. It is speculated that they intend to pursue all avenues to overturn and prevent implementation of the controversial order to protect the company’s interests.
What should Spectrum Customers in NY Expect?
As mentioned above, Spectrum will continue to provide internet services, in the short term at the very least. This means Spectrum New York customers will have uninterrupted service for at least 60 days. But there is no reason to believe 60 is the magic number here. Like any major service corporation, Spectrum believes in protecting its operations and stakeholders. As such, in the interests of its customers, employees, and shareholders, the company can reasonably be expected to undertake litigation. As is usually the case, this litigation could drag on for many years and may even overturn the initial decision. The duration of the litigation can be affected if Spectrum decides to prove that it has delivered on its promises. In the meantime, business is being operated as usual until a conclusion to this entire episode can be reached.