Legislative Memo

Ken Pokalsky
Vice President
T 518.465.7511


S.5619-B (Parker)/A.8123(Brennan)



PSC Imposition of Service Quality and Minimum Standards



June 15, 2015


The Business Council opposes this legislation that amends the Public Service Law to create service quality standards and minimum performance levels for cable corporations, telephone corporations and combination telephone and cable corporations. These standards would be determined by the Public Service Commission (PSC), which would have the authority to assess civil penalties against any corporation that does not meet the standards.

In addition, corporations will be required to provide credits to customers whose serviceĀ  outageĀ  conditionĀ  was not resolved within forty-eight hours or had an installation that was not completed within five business days unless a customer opts otherwise. The PSC would be responsible for determining the credit rebate schedule as well.

A similar regulatory scheme, first enacted back in the 1970’s, used to exist before New York State modernized its statute back in 2010. The State recognized this type of regulatory scheme imposes significant financial and logistical burdens on corporations who are forced to try and meet arbitrary and unrealistic deadlines. The legislation is also being pushed by organized labor who seeks to increase their membership by getting burdensome laws enacted that will require companies to hire more employees to try and meet these unnecessary and burdensome regulations.

New York State has made much progress in recent years modernizing its statute and moving away from the 1970’s style command and control regulatory scheme this bill seeks to re-impose. The Business Council supports streamlining and removing unnecessary regulations to create a better business climate. This is especially true in the areas of telecommunications and cable where technological advances have changed the business model of these corporations and hence rendered many existing regulations obsolete. The proposed legislation would only rescind the progress New York has made and make the state less competitive.

For these reasons we strongly recommend opposing S.5619-B / A.8123.