Telephone Terminals in Disarray on Phone Pole

Cable Companies Sue to Block WV Law That Would Have Allowed New Competition


Telephone Terminals in Disarray on Phone PoleWell, this really should not be a surprise, but West Virginia’s largest cable companies have filed a lawsuit against Governor Jim Justice and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, alleging that a new state law could ultimately cause Internet service outages at customers’ homes and businesses.

This new law would have made it easier for start-up Internet firms to secure access to utility poles. Now the state’s Cable Telecommunications Association is suing to block other companies from having easier access to utility poles. It seems that the Cable Telecommunications Association is worried that inexperienced subcontractors may damage their equipment.

“There could be significant damage to equipment and to customer relationships and outages and things of that sort when you have circumstances where there are no limitations at all on competitors moving other competitors’ equipment around,” said Mark Polen, spokesman for the cable group.

The FCC has already been looking at a similar rule to what West Virginia is doing now. There is even a proposal by the current FCC board to force cable companies to let others use their poles. This is designed to help speed up the roll out of new Internet services and prevent multiple poles being placed next to each other.

“During the legislative session, we encouraged that the pole attachment provisions not be included in the bill, primarily because the FCC was undergoing an extensive review of these rules,” Polen said. “We thought it was premature for the state to deal with the topic.”

The new law not only makes it easier for new companies to run lines, but also for new community broadband for to start up. The law authorizes up to three cities or counties to band together and build broadband networks.

Source: Charleston Gazette-Mail

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  • TV Barrington

    On the surface, I would absolutely love more cable competition, especially when it comes to more internet access opportunities. I hope the FCC forces this to happen soon. However, I would hope that it doesn’t lead to some sort price and/or service collusion between “competitors” to help keep prices artificially high, speeds low, or data caps.

    • Vegas Steve

      I think the only way that would happen is if the cable companies paid off the competition. I doubt those greedy bottom feeders would share the $$$. Not to mention it would be illegal, but hey, when did THAT ever stop them?

    • mr Dave

      You’re right, here in New York we have Verizon Fios and Spectrum and they bend over backwards NOT to compete. They “target” expansion so we end up with ONE option and Spectrum out and out told me that they share “published’ rates. I was like isn’t that collusion? And the rep replied “no it’s all published” what a racket!!!!

  • stumpy579

    The only significant damage these greed mongering scumbags are worried about I$ damage to their bottom line$$$$. They’re losing their live tv monopolies and they will use any underhanded deceitful lying scam to protect their internet monopolies. Hope they burn in hell.

  • Robert Frankenfield

    These cable companies are grasping at straws to keep their monopoly since consumers are becoming smarter. Once there is competition, these cable providers are going to cease to exist. And rightly so since they’ve been gouging the public for far too long. Unless you live in a metropolitan area, you’re currently limited on which ISP services your area. Once it opens up to new companies, we’ll see better prices and higher bandwidth due to competition. I’ll personally be happy when these big companies go out of business since they’ve stolen money from people for years.

    • GersonT1000

      The sad thing is that if any of these companies go out of business, the executives that make all the decisions to screw the customers will have no problems with their 6 to 8 digit bank accounts and their bonus payments. It’s the regular employees that work in the field and offices that will be hurting. The politicians that are in the companies’ pockets will also stay in office and people will keep voting them to stay.

  • Vegas Steve

    Oh, I’m sure the cable companies are really worried that we lowly consumers might lose internet access! *wink* *wink*

    The only true consumer friendly action is competition, which is what they are trying to smash. Like when Centurylink ran fiber past my house and I dumped Cox… my speed went up and my bill went down.