Superior City Council Holds On Broadband Vote After Charter Communications Challenges Data
Not so fast. The plan to move forward with a high speed fiber optic broadband plan for Superior was supposed to get a vote at this weeks City Council meeting on August 3. Instead of voting on the issue, councilors decided to put the plan on hold after facts and data used by proponents came under dispute from a local internet supplier - just a few hours before the vote was to take place.
Charter Communications (also known as Spectrum) raised issues about some of the market analysis data that plan developers used and presented as part of their pitch. A spokesperson for the company called the data being presented "misleading....[and] incredibly inaccurate".
According to an article in the Superior Telegram, the main disputed points were:
- Data caps
- Modem costs
- Taxes and fees as part of the standard pricing structure
- The availability of reduced pricing for seniors
In the email that Superior City Councilors received two hours prior to the meeting, Charter Communications Regional Senior Director Adam Raschka pointed out the issues the company had with the plan:
"Among the misstatements Rashka cited were data caps, the cost to use a Spectrum modem, and taxes and fees that represented an additional 20-30% of the standard pricing, none of which are added costs for internet service provided by Spectrum. Raschka also noted that Spectrum offers a $17.99 broadband option for seniors over age 65 who receive supplemental security income and also for families with children eligible for free or reduced price meals."
Charter's last-minute communication and rebuttal of the data presented spurred councilors into postponing their decision on the broadband plan until the meeting on August 17. While most councilors agreed that they want to make sure that the most-accurate information in included as part of their decision-making process, they also lamented the fact that Charter waited until just two hours prior to the meeting to submit their statement piece. Superior City Councilor Tyler Elm said of Charter "I find a number of inaccuracies in what they have sent us, as well. They've had the opportunity to mention this in the past. It's disappointing to me that we received this email just a couple of hours before (the meeting)".
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