March 22, 2016
By Stephanie West
Long Island, NY – As the public awareness increases of Altice’s plan to purchase Cablevision, there is growing concern across Long Island and the rest of the region. More questions are being raised as to how the company intends to serve the public interest in light of its stated intentions to dramatically cut costs while assuming a debt load pegged at $15.3 billion. Legislators want assurances that jobs will not be eliminated and costs will not be raised. Even the aspect of Cablevision’s headquarters being relocated must be addressed.
Altice has made very few specifics available concerning its changes in service and fees. Public officials are underwhelmed by Altice’s response to questions of how the company will serve the public if they purchase Cablevision.
Fair Media Council has filed objections to the sale with the NYSPSC, and FMC commentary on the matter is before the FCC. FMC also reached out the New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s office, in support of his office’s strong opposition to the sale. New York City, along with the Communication Workers of America, have been highly critical of the proposed sale. Interestingly, the City's attempts to negotiate with Altice have been rebuffed. The company has stating that it believes New York City has no say in the deal.