Telecom Firms to Pay for Outages

State requires credits for storm-related service losses

Optimum and other cable and telephone companies must issue credits when storms or power outages interrupt service to 100 or more customers for over 24 hours, the state’s Public Service Commission said on Jan. 19. 

Affected customers will have to be credited 1/30th of their monthly rate for each day beyond the first 24 hours, said the PSC, which regulates the state’s gas, utility, water and telecommunications companies. 

The action is a response to the widespread outages in August 2020 following Tropical Storm Isaias. Altice USA, which provides cable and internet services under the Optimum brand, reached a $72 million settlement with the state over its performance during the storm, when 400,000 of its customers lost service, some for as long as two weeks. 

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