CATEGORY: Pontotoc County
PONTOTOC COUNTY FINES CABLE COMPANY
By Jane Hill
PONTOTOC - Following the example of another county dissatisfied with its service, the Pontotoc County supervisors last month imposed a $100-a-day fine on the Mississippi Cable Co.
Pontotoc County Chancery Clerk Reggie Collums said the board imposed the fine, which now totals close to $3,000, because of continuing problems with the quality of the cable service and with renewed customer service problems that surfaced in January. The company already is under a fine imposed by the Lee County Board of Supervisors for similar problems.
Collums said there has been some recent confusion about whom the county would demand payment from because the company that owns Mississippi Cable has put the operation under new management.
County officials had been working this fall with Vince King, president and part owner of Mississippi Cable in Brentwood, Tenn. King said Monday that he had been removed as manager of the company in January by Brookridge Cable Partnership, the principal partner in the cable franchise ownership group.
King maintained that the most recent problems in customer service with Mississippi Cable did not arise until he was replaced as manager.
"That's when the whole thing went to heck in a hand basket," King said.
Collums said in recent months the cable service had improved, but the overall quality of the system was not up to minimum standards the supervisors expected under the franchise agreement. Also, the county never received a schedule of work for the rebuilding of the system to ensure lasting signal quality. That schedule was to be delivered to the county by the end of December.
King said he mailed a copy of the schedule of work to the county and does not know why it was never received.
Mississippi Cable customers, particularly those living in and around the Randolph community in southwestern Pontotoc County, have ongoing complaints of unclear signals and service that is completely interrupted during poor weather conditions.
Mississippi Cable owns cable line in Pontotoc, Lee, Itawamba, Union and Tippah counties. Cable customers in Lee and Pontotoc counties have been the most vocal about problems with cable reception and customer service in the past year.
Lee County Administrator Ronnie Bell said Mississippi Cable recently entered its second 60-day review with Lee County. Bell and board President and District 1 Supervisor Billy Davis have informed the new managers that the demands and fines made by the county under the old management are still in effect, Bell said.
In December, the Lee County board cashed a check for $6,700 from Mississippi Cable and vowed to continue its $100-a-day fine until television service improves.
Bell said the Brookridge Cable Partnership is managed by Sun Country Cable, 7901 Stoneridge Drive No. 404, Pleasanton, CA 94588. David Kinley is president of the company whose office number is (510) 463-1919. For local service problems and questions contact Richard Shows at the Oneonta, Ala., office at (205) 625-3452.