Mediacom takes shot from Alabama mayor


A year after Mediacom paid an undisclosed sum to take over the cable system in Andalusia, Alabama, the town’s mayor is warning the operator that if he continues to hear complaints, Andalusia will shop for a municipal broadband provider. 

“For the entire time that I have been mayor, I have not received as many complaints about anything as I have received about the cable and broadband service from Mediacom,” said Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson during a Tuesday city council meeting, reported on by local paper the Star-News. “Whatever it is that they’re doing here, they need to make some changes.”

RELATED: Mediacom buys Alabama’s AndyCable

Mediacom acquired TV Cable of Andalusia (aka “AndyCable”) for an undisclosed sum in January 2017, taking on 14,000 customers in the Alabama Gulf Coast and Florida Panhandle. 

Last year, Mediacom began the process of converting 100 miles of AndyCable lines to DOCSIS 3.1 compliance, and expected to be able to deploy 1-Gig service within six months. In January, Mediacom started the process of converting AndyCable customers to its branding, pricing and packaging.

"I would just add that we are in the midst of transitioning an analog system full of traps and filters to an all-digital system with 1-Gig internet and all new packaging and pricing. It is a lot of changes all at once, but will ultimately lead to a much better experience for the citizens of Andalusia," said Mediacom spokesman Thomas Larsen in an email to Fierce this morning.

“(Mediacom) operate(s) here because we let them,” Johnson said, referring to the franchise agreement the company has with the city. “As a city government we can’t tell them or make them do anything. But we can locate someone who is an expert on broadband and Internet who can tell us what we can do.”

For his part, Johnson said he’s already directly expressed his concerns to Mediacom officials. The next step, he added, is to start talking to muni broadband vendors. 

“I don’t know of anything else to do but to start asking questions and find out,” he said. “We need enough broadband to provide our people with what their needs are and we don’t have it right now. People are paying for services that they are not getting them … I want to see if there is something we can do. It’s our duty to look into it.”