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NY to probe major broadband providers over slow internet speeds

Mon 26 Oct 2015

New York Times Sqaure

New York is to launch a probe into three leading internet service providers, assessing whether their services are short-changing customers by charging for high-speed internet which they fail to deliver.

According to leaked documents, sent to Verizon Communications, Cablevision Systems and Time Warner Cable, the New York attorney general asked each firm to hand over copies of the advertising and copy they have provided to consumers regarding internet speeds, along with any testing documents which studied the speed of their service.

“New Yorkers deserve the internet speeds they pay for. But, it turns out, many of us may be paying for one thing, and getting another,” stated New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

According to Time Warner Cable spokesperson Bobby Amirshahi, the firm maintains that it provides customers with the speeds and services that are advertised. Cablevision’s Charlie Schueler added that the company’s Optimum Online service “constantly surpasses advertised broadband speeds.” Both organisations have confirmed that they are happy to work with the AG with performance information and to resolve the case.

Verizon is yet to provide comment, claiming it has yet to see the attorney general’s letter.

The probe plans to focus on the exchange of data through contractual partnerships between the ISPs and other networks. The AG office suspects that customers who are paying a premium fee for higher internet speeds could be experiencing a disruption to their service due to technical issues brought about by business disputes in these interconnection deals.

According to a study conducted last year [PDF] by the Measurement Lab Consortium (M-Lab), customers can suffer from slow internet speeds because of these relationships: ‘Internet service provider interconnection has a substantial impact on consumer internet performance – sometimes a severely negative impact.’

A statement from the attorney general’s office said that the inquiry was prompted by the findings of this report, along with customer complaints and other internal analysis.

 

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