By Joseph Spector, Gannett Albany
ALBANY -- Charter Spectrum on Wednesday received an extension from regulators to come up with a plan to exit New York amid an ongoing fight over its ability to expand internet services across the state.
The state Public Service Commission gave the embattled company until Nov. 8 to come up with a six-month exit plan, also giving the company an extension until Oct. 10 to seek a hearing on the state's effort to kick it out of New York.
The commission noted the reason for the extensions include the "productive dialogue that is ongoing between the Company and Staff, the commitments made by Charter not to air false or misleading advertisements, the work underway by the Company to comply with the network expansion condition."
The deadlines had been in late September or early October.
“We’re pleased with these extensions as we continue our dialogue with the PSC," Charter spokesman John Bonomo said in a statement.
The commission's decision is the second extension it has granted to Charter Spectrum after it made the remarkable decision July 27 to try to boot the company from New York amid criticism by the commission and Gov. Andrew Cuomo that it was moving too slowly to expand internet services.
The move is the latest signal the sides are perhaps working toward a compromise rather than moving ahead with forcing Charter Spectrum to turn over its operations with more than 2 million New York customers to another provider.
Last month, the Stamford, Connecticut-based company said it would take down ads the state called misleading about Charter's internet expansion in New York.
"Good cause exists to further extend the deadlines for rehearing," the company said in its request for an extension filed Friday. "Charter and the Department have been involved over the past few weeks in productive dialogue."
Cuomo has been hammering the company on multiple fronts, culminating in the Public Service Commission voting in July to rescind its approval of the 2016 merger between Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable.
The commission said Charter Spectrum has not met its goals to expand internet services to underprivileged areas of the state. The company disagrees and has threatened to sue.
Cuomo has ripped the company over the internet expansion.
He has also railed against it over its labor fight with IBEW Local No. 3, which represents about 1,800 workers in the New York City area and has been on strike for more than a year.
He also sniped at NY1, the cable-news provider in New York City owned by the company.
Last month, CEO Thomas Rutledge told analysts he was optimistic the sides could reach an agreement.
"We're hopeful that we can work all this out, but if necessary, we'll litigate and we believe we're in the right," he said.