By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Altice USA Inc has reached an nearly $ 72 million settlement to resolve claims by New York State that the phone and cable TV supplier has failed to arrange or reply to Tropical Storm Isaias in August, when greater than 439,000 clients misplaced service.
The settlement is most vital for any enterprise overseen by the State Civil Service Fee for failing to comply with emergency response procedures, Gov. Andrew Cuomo mentioned when saying the settlement on Thursday.
Altice, which owns the Optimum model, will spend $ 68.5 million to improve its infrastructure and know-how, together with storm response, and has supplied $ 3.4 million in buyer credit. Prospects won’t be charged for upgrades.
In a press release, Altice mentioned its investments are aimed toward enhancing service, together with in inclement climate, and benefiting all clients within the New York metro space.
The Lengthy Island Metropolis, New York-based firm doesn’t help upgrades or cash loans .
On August 5, Cuomo ordered the State Division of the Civil Service to analyze main utility, phone and cable TV firms over their response to Isaias, which had hit New York Metropolis the day earlier than and triggered greater than 920,000 failures.
A report launched in February by the Civil Service Fee mentioned Altice “apparently failed” to comply with vital features of its emergency response and storm preparedness plans.
He mentioned this left Altice unable to revive service in a well timed method or talk successfully with downed clients.
A number of different cellphone and TV suppliers additionally reported blackouts, and the company’s report additionally criticized Frontier Communications Inc for its response to the storm.
Altice has roughly 5 million clients. It makes use of the Optimum model within the New York space and the Suddenlink model within the south-central United States.
Isaias was briefly a Class 1 hurricane, however had been decommissioned by the point it reached New York.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Enhancing by Chris Reese, Jan Harvey and David Gregorio)