Comcast accused by small Texas MSO of sabotaging lines, driving it out of business

Comcast Center headquarters in Philadelphia. Image: Comcast
Image: Comcast

A defunct Houston-area cable operator has sued Comcast, alleging the telecom giant sabotaged its equipment and drove it out of business after it refused a sale overture. 

Anthony Luna, owner of Telecom Cable, filed suit on June 14 against Comcast and two of its local contractors, Aspen Utility and A&A Cable Contractors, alleging they cut Telecom Cable coaxial on several occasions. The suit was first reported on by Courthouse News.

Luna said Comcast wanted entry into Weston Lakes, a community just west of Houston that included 229 Telecom Cable customers. Talks to sell Telecom Cable to Comcast broke down in early 2015, he said, and Comcast began to lay its own cable to reach the community. 

Luna said he took great pains to mark Telecom Cable equipment so that Comcast and its contractors wouldn’t disrupt it while laying their own cable. 

However, Comcast and its contractors severed Telecom Cable wire on three occasions, Luna said, adding that he had to use 4,000 feet of cable to repair damages.

“Within six weeks, the defendants destroyed or damaged the lines servicing every single Telecom customer in Weston Lakes,” the complaint said, “and not one of those lines was ever repaired by the defendants.”

Meanwhile, the resulting outages in Weston Lakes took their toll on the Telecom Cable subscriber base, and customers began migrating to Comcast. 

Luna is seeking more than $1 million in damages and punitive damages for negligence, tortious interference with contract, aiding and abetting and conspiracy.

Comcast's Ray Purser, VP of external affairs for the company's Houston region, responded Thursday afternoon with this statement: “We disagree with Telecom’s claim and will vigorously defend ourselves."