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New York shows Spectrum ISP the door, in part for throttling League of Legends

State public service commission revokes approval of Charter, Time Warner merger due to "various instances of misconduct"

The New York State Public Service Commission proved today that the state isn't going to play softball with ISPs taking advantage of the end of net neutrality rules. Today, the commission rescinded a merger approval due to "various instances of misconduct" on the part of Charter Communcations, doing business as Spectrum.

The official act is a revocation of the commission's approval of a 2016 merger between Time Warner and Charter in New York state. In an official release, the commission detailed the points of misconduct that led to the revocation, noting that these points were key to the merge being approved in the first place.

The failures consisted of "The company's repeated failures to meet deadlines, Charter's attempts to skirt obligations to serve rural communities, unsafe practices in the field, its failure to fully commit to its obligations under the 2016 merger agreement, and the company's purposeful obfuscation of its performance and compliance obligations to the Commission and its customers."

That last item likely refers to a 2017 lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman which accused Spectrum of, among other things, throttling Internet speeds for movie streaming and online gaming. Riot Games was specified in the lawsuit, and provided data to demonstrate that Spectrum speeds for League of Legends players in its area had dropped dramatically until Riot paid Spectrum for improved speeds.

This decision on the part of the state is in keeping with an executive order signed by New York governor Andrew Cuomo in January, which required that ISPs with state contracts abide by net neutrality rules even after the rules were appealed by the FCC. Federally-mandated net neutrality officially ended in June.

Spectrum has 60 days to come up with a plan "to ensure an orderly transition to a successor provider(s)." If customers experience further service interruptions during the transition, the Commission may take the issue to the Supreme Court to seek recompense.

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.