Eric Douglas Published

Suddenlink Under Legislative Scrutiny During Interim Meeting

In a proposal the FCC is launching Thursday, you'd be able to own your own cable box instead of renting it from your provider.

With increased emphasis on broadband internet access throughout the state, the West Virginia Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Technology and Infrastructure wanted to hear more about some of the problems facing the largest cable internet provider in the state — Suddenlink.

Linda Bouvette, a staff attorney for the Public Service Commission, said they compared complaints against Suddenlink to those the commission has received about Comcast. Comcast has about 15 percent fewer customers in West Virginia, mostly in the northern part of the state. In 2020, the PSC received 29 complaints about Comcast, but more than 1,000 about Suddenlink.

Suddenlink tries to use bad weather and COVID as a defense,” Bouvette said. “Comcast had the same weather conditions, and they operated under COVID, too, and they didn’t have these types of complaints.”

Bouvette said most of the complaints deal with customer service calls. Many of the calls are received out of the country and that leads to some communication issues and language barriers. The other major complaint was long delays to get a technician to come to a residence or business and fix a problem.

Despite a request from the PSC that Suddenlink set up a customer service call center in West Virginia, a company representative said he had no knowledge of plans to bring one to the Mountain State.

Legislators in the committee indicated Suddenlink will be called back to testify during the regular session that begins in January.