New York Attorney General Investigates Cable Companies on Broadband Speeds


New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has opened an investigation into the three largest providers of broadband internet service in New York City. The probe is looking at how Cablevision Systems Corp., Verizon Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. charge their customers for service and whether disclosures are misleading. New Yorkers already pay prices far higher than subscribers in other major cities and Schneiderman says he thinks the speeds they are getting for those steep prices aren’t as advertised.

The Wall Street Journal has posted the letters which went out to all three providers today. (See here, here and here.) Tim Wu, senior enforcement counsel and special advisor for the attorney general, says that the difference between speeds as advertised and the actual speeds subscribers get may “render the advertising deceptive.”

Wu has a history as a strong advocate for net neutrality and is credited with coining the term.

Earlier this month, CivSource reported an action by 15 Mayors spread throughout the Northeast calling on Verizon to live up to their service agreements and settle an existing labor dispute. In that reporting we noted an earlier audit conducted within New York City showing that there were already some existing questions with Verizon’s level of service, which Verizon contests.

“New Yorkers deserve the Internet speeds they pay for,” Schneiderman said in a statement on the probe.

All three companies say they are cooperating with the investigations and are confident that they provide the service they advertise.