In the two years he's been on the Georgetown City Council, Kevin Pitts has heard many complaints regarding what many in the town describe as its sole internet service provider: Suddenlink Communications.
Following the lead of Victoria City Council, which passed a resolution in November expressing dissatisfaction with Suddenlink, Pitts drafted a similar resolution for his own City Council.
He expects it to pass at Georgetown’s council meeting Tuesday.
“That’s not much, but at least it’s something,” Pitts said, acknowledging the fact that municipalities do not have jurisdiction over internet service providers.
Nevertheless, he hopes multiple cities passing similar resolutions will pressure the company to make changes.
Victoria Mayor Rawley McCoy said he’s thankful that another city will bring awareness to representatives.
“It’s educating our state officials of what’s going on locally,” McCoy said. “It’s not good enough just to sit here silently.”
McCoy said Victoria City Council sent the resolution passed in November to Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and Rep. Geanie Morrison. He said he’s also made contact with people from the offices of U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud and Sen. Ted Cruz.
Pitts said the biggest issue his constituents have about the company concerns its customer service. He’s heard reports of people waiting on phone lines with company representatives for hours on end, and about people waiting weeks for a technician to arrive at their homes only for them to say they can’t fix the problem.
In Victoria, residents complained of similar problems.
Victoria City Council has since discussed with Victoria Electric Cooperative a possible franchise agreement that would grant the company authority to provide broadband services throughout the city.
The VEC has been authorized to start a feasibility study for the Victoria area, but the company can’t offer a timeline for providing service in the Victoria area until that study is complete.
Nina Campos, a manager of human resources and communications with VEC, said in December that the study would likely take a few months.
Pitts said Georgetown City Council has already directed city staff to look for incentives it could offer new companies to create competition.
After the resolution passes, Pitts said the council intends to send it to Rep. Terry Wilson, Rep. James Talarico and Sen. Charles Schwertner.