Time Warner Cable, an aggressive blocker of utility pole access in markets like Louisville, Ken., is suing electric utility cooperatives in North Carolina, claiming it's the one getting bullied on pole access this time around.
TWC has filed its complaint with the North Carolina Utilities Commission in Raleigh and is suing the South River Electric Membership Corporation.
TWC hopes to resolve a series of ongoing contract dispute affecting some 75,000 utility poles across North Carolina.
"South River has refused to negotiate a reasonable rate in good faith," TWC said in its complaint. "South River for years has refused to acknowledge the parties' existing contract, or to accept the $5.92 per pole rate stipulated in that contract. Instead, South River has sought to coerce TWC into paying rates more than double and triple the contract rate by rolling TWC's alleged past-due pole attachment payments into TWC's unrelated, and paid-in-full, electric service bill, and threatening to cut off the electric service to TWC's network."
In February, it was reported that AT&T (NYSE: T) and TWC, the incumbent telco and cable operator for Louisville, are fighting city leaders over a proposal to streamline the city's utility pole attachment process.
Louisville's metro council had earlier proposed measures that would give other competitive ISPs like Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) a way to more readily access the city's rights-of-way along utility poles that are mainly owned by AT&T or Louisville Gas & Electric.
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