The New York Attorney General's office didn't pull any punches in criticizing Time Warner Cable's Internet service. In an open letter to Charter Communications, Tim Wu, senior enforcement counsel for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, said the results of an investigation into TWC's Internet service were "abysmal," noting that customers were suffering through unreliable video streams and poor gaming performance, especially during peak hours, USA Today reports (opens in new tab).
Wu called the preliminary results "troubling," adding that in multiple advertisements TWC promised "blazing fast" and "super reliable" Internet connections. He also accused TWC of failing to take the necessary steps required to keep up with customer demand, the result of which is a congested network that often loses or discards data.
"This translates into degraded performance for customers, including those using popular on-demand video services, like Netflix—despite specific promises from Time Warner Cable that they could stream video content reliably and with 'no buffering'... Customers have been frustrated, as movies freeze, websites load endlessly, and games become non-responsive," Wu stated.
Wu also held TWC's feet to the fire for "advertising its Wi-Fi in ways that defy the technology's technical capabilities," along with providing equipment to customers that simply can't deliver the higher bandwidth they're paying for.
The FCC approved the $79 billion acquisition of TWC by Charter Communications back in May. Bright House Networks was also included in the deal, and between the two, it created the second-largest cable TV and Internet provider. Charter Communications had to agree to certain terms in order to gain approval, such as not imposing data caps or charging interconnection fees.
Now that it's been approved, Wu would like to see Charter Communications address the issues plaguing TWC so that it can overcome the "miserable reputation" it's earned thus far among customers.
"We hope your company will take the opportunity to work with NYAG to clean up Time Warner Cable's act and deliver the quality Internet service New Yorkers deserve and have long been promised," Wu said.
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