NY attorney general sues Time Warner Cable over internet speed fraud

NY attorney general sues Time Warner Cable over internet speed fraud
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The New York attorney general’s office announced on Wednesday a lawsuit filed against Spectrum-Time Warner Cable and its parent company, Charter Communications, for allegedly defrauding and misleading New Yorkers about internet speeds and quality.

“The allegations in today’s lawsuit confirm what millions of New Yorkers have long suspected — Spectrum-TWC has been ripping you off,” New York Attorney General Schneiderman said in a statement. “Today’s action seeks to bring much-needed relief to the millions of New Yorkers we allege have been getting cheated by Spectrum-Time Warner Cable for far too long.”

Schneiderman claimed that the Spectrum-Time Warner Cable was still misleadingly promising consumers internet speeds that they could not deliver on.

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The complaint specifically alleges that since January 2012, Spectrum-TWC marketing materials claimed that consumers who subscribed to their internet service would "fast, reliable connection" in their homes. After 16 months of investigation, though, the Schneiderman's office found that hundreds of thousands of speed tests showed that customers were “getting dramatically short-changed on both speed and reliability” by as much as 80 percent.

The complaint outlined other specific issues, like Spectrum-TWC allegedly lending deficient cable modems to 900,000 customers even though the modems couldn't support the speeds that they were paying for, providing similarly deficient wifi routers, ignoring advice from their engineers and over-promising customers on what the company could deliver.

Charter defended its record providing broadband to New Yorkers.

“We are disappointed that the NY Attorney General chose to file this lawsuit regarding Time Warner Cable’s broadband speed advertisements that occurred prior to Charter’s merger,” a Charter spokesperson said in a statement provided to The Hill. “Charter made significant commitments to NY State as part of our merger with Time Warner Cable in areas of network investment, broadband deployment and offerings, customer service and jobs.”