City forum collects public feedback on whether to renew Suddenlink services
CHARLESTON, Virginia (WSAZ) – Internet service became just as important as other public services across the country, as most people had to rely on their connection to work and help their children go to school.
“For the better part of 18 months I had socialized in the hills – 10 miles outside of Clarksburg, West Virginia, and had better service there through Spectrum than I did. ‘m six miles from where we are now, “said Tina Gallaway, who lives on the West Side of Charleston. “As a remote worker, I couldn’t get a better paying job due to connectivity issues. “
Gallaway’s cable and internet service provider is Suddenlink. On Thursday evening, she shared her story at the public forum and urged city council not to renew its franchise agreement with the supplier.
“I am with the majority of just about any location where Suddenlink provides service and would like another option,” said Gallaway.
She was one of many who shared their views before Suddenlink representatives and the Cable Franchise Select Committee, made up of members of Charleston City Council.
“I’m the person who writes ‘I hate this business’ on every check I give them because I do,” said Shauna Steadman, a Suddenlink customer for 11 years. “I hope they don’t renew the contract.”
The Charleston Select Committee on Cable Franchise is currently reviewing the city’s cable franchise agreement, which expires at the end of 2021.
During the forum, Suddenlink representatives gave a presentation before collecting comments from the public.
“We are moving in the right direction and we are moving in the right direction,” said the Suddenlink representative. “In 18 months (we saw) about 851 complaints (in town), or a little more than 40 per month, half of them are of a technical nature.
Suddenlink said they plan to spend around $ 5 million across West Virginia to improve and upgrade their network. They also said they were reducing complaints of poor service and their response rate to home visits was the highest ever.
“Our tech call rate is lower than ever, (these) are tech service calls. (They) tend to go down from what they’ve been in two years, ”the rep said.
“West Virginia is impatient. We need broadband service and we need it now, ”Gallaway told WSAZ. “If the capital can’t get it, I’m worried about the rest of West Virginia.”
City leaders say they will officially submit all forum comments to Suddenlink, who says they will review and find a solution to the issues. Officials predict the next meeting will be in late summer, when Suddenlink will address concerns.
Anyone in town who wishes to submit a comment can do so by sending an email to one of the members of the Cable Franchise Special Committee.
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