The New York attorney general is investigating whether three major Internet providers could be short-changing consumers by charging them for faster broadband speeds and failing to deliver the speeds as advertised.
Letters, were sent on Friday to executives at Verizon Communications Inc, Cablevision Systems Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc, asking each company to provide copies of all the disclosures they have made to customers, as well as copies of any testing they may have done to study their Internet speeds.
The probe by the attorney general is particularly focused on so-called interconnection arrangements, or contractual deals that Internet service providers strike with other networks for the mutual exchange of data.
In the letters, the office says it is concerned that customers paying a premium for higher speeds may be experiencing a disruption in their service thanks to technical problems and business disputes over the interconnection agreements.
A 2014 study by the Measurement Lab Consortium, or M-Lab, found that customers’ Internet service tended to suffer at points where their broadband providers connected with long haul Internet traffic carriers including Cogent Communications Group Inc.
A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said the findings in 2014 study, coupled with consumer complaints and internal analysis, prompted the inquiry into the Internet speeds.
Some of the letters also raise questions about speeds delivered by Time Warner Cable and Cablevision to consumers over “the last mile,” a term that refers to the point where a telecommunication chain reaches a retail consumer’s devices.