24 Jun COMCAST PAYS DELINQUENT POLE RENT TO DREMC, AVERTING LOSS OF SERVICE
No interruption of service will occur for more than 7,000 Comcast cable TV and Internet subscribers in Franklin and Moore counties after the company paid delinquent pole attachment rental fees owed to Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC).
Earlier this month, DREMC put Comcast on notice that rental fees for using space on co-op utility poles would have to be paid by June 24 to avoid disconnection of power supplies and detachment of cable, fiber optics and other equipment. The delinquency dated back to 2015.
Almost a week of negotiation preceded Comcast’s decision to pay the past-due amount. During this time, Comcast customers were asked to contact corporate officials to urge that they act to keep service uninterrupted.
“Our contention was that Comcast should pay for the right to use our utility poles, that our electric co-op members should not be subsidizing their business or corporate profits. The majority of our members don’t have access to service from Comcast or other cable television and broadband providers. It is not fair that they should be providing a free ride for any company using our poles,” said DREMC President and CEO Michael Watson.
He noted that DREMC faced the same issue with Comcast in 2014.
“I am glad we were able to resolve this problem without affecting those subscribers of Comcast who have been paying their cable and Internet bills all along.”
Watson also thanked state lawmakers and federal elected officials who became involved so that Comcast customers would not be penalized by loss of service.
“They worked behind the scenes on behalf of their constituents, and we certainly appreciate their willingness to help,” he said.