City Making Inquiry into Charter Spectrum Cable Service



Lamar Mayor Kirk Crespin and City Attorney Lance Clark are composing a letter of concern to officials at Charter Spectrum, the city’s cable and internet provider.

“I’ve received quite a few calls and emails regarding Spectrum’s services which have been interrupted recently and most of the calls I’ve received in the past month have been about the company,” he explained during the council’s February 22nd meeting. “We operate on a 10 to 20 year franchise agreement with a provider which pays the City of Lamar a franchise fee and uses our infrastructure to connect to their customers,” he said, providing background on the cable company. He added that many of the comments are concerned about the amount of ‘down time’ when the signal fails to reach the community. Crespin said it could be due to a lot of reasons, from an Act of God or lines being downed because of poor weather conditions.

The current contract with Charter Spectrum will expire in 2026. Crespin said the city doesn’t have a lot of recourse available to make provider changes in mid-stream, unless the company is blatantly disregarding its duties to provide cable and internet service. “The city’s options in this are limited,” he stated.

City Attorney, Lance Clark, reviewed the contract and told the council there is a clause for continuity for obligation of service. The city is not being provided with an accounting for periods of down time or any data from Spectrum that they receive from their customers. Clark added the city should be able to be provided with those reports and records regarding service performance. “This enables the city to determine whether this is a true issue and we should send a letter of request to the company for this information.” He added the city can use those reports as a future determination to either continue with Spectrum or seek out bids for a new provider when the contract expires. Another facet of the letter of inquiry would cover any future upgrades for service being planned by the company. “If problems persist, you’ve developed a pattern of performance,” he explained, adding the letter puts the company on formal notice the city does have concerns that need to be addressed.

Mayor Crespin also explained that some customers are reading a portion of their utility bills believing a fee to be for Charter Spectrum. “This is not the case”, Crespin explained, stating that there is a line item for Charter Appropriations which has nothing to do with the cable company, but is a fee that is tied to basic electric service from Lamar Light and Power.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEntertainmentFeaturedHot TopicsUtilities


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