ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Charter Communications will expand broadband internet access upstate under a tentative deal with New York regulators.

Under the proposed agreement announced Friday, Charter will roll out broadband service to 145,000 upstate customers before October 2021 — a move projected to cost more than $600 million.

In addition, Charter agrees to pay $12 million for expanded service in especially underserved rural areas.

Once formally approved by regulators, the agreement will resolve a dispute between the state and Stamford, Connecticut-based Charter over upstate broadband access.

In a statement, Charter says the settlement prevents the possibility of a costly legal battle.

Charter, which does business as Spectrum, merged with Time Warner Cable in 2016. Last year Charter agreed to give customers refunds and free services to settle allegations that Time Warner failed to deliver promised internet speeds.

More From WIBX 950