In a situation similar to the Frontier letters to Sibley we published last week, the cable company Mediacom has sent letters to Silver Bay and Two Harbors in Lake County to scare them into abandoning the rural county-wide FTTH network that they are building with federal broadband stimulus aid.
Interestingly, rather than sticking to the normal fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) campaign, Mediacom apparently based its threats on a
draft previous version of the joint powers ordinance rather than the language actually passed by the resolutionsincluded in the current JPA. Whoops. [See Update below]
Mediacom, perhaps you should focus on improving your networks rather than stifling potential competition. Please send us copies of letters your community network has received from incumbent providers.
Without further ado, here is the letter [download pdf] sent to Silver Bay and Two Harbors on December 21, 2010 by Tom Larsen, VP of Legal and Public Affairs for Mediacom:
Re: Joint Powers Agreement with Lake
County Dear Mayor Johnson:
Mediacom prides itself in being one of America's leading providers of telecommunications services to small and medium sized communities. As you may be aware, Mediacom offers a highly competitive suite of high-speed Internet, cable television and phone services to homes and businesses throughout Silver Bay (the "City").
It has come to our attention that the City passed a resolution on November 15, 2010 approving a Joint Powers Agreement with Lake County (the "JPA"). Given the significant private capital that Mediacom has invested in order to make advanced telecommunications services available throughout the City, we were extremely surprised to learn that your resolution approving the the JPA includes the following finding in Section 4(e):
The Municipality hereby finds that the facilities composing the Project are necessary to make Internet and other communication services that are not and will not be available through other providers or the private market accessible and available on an equal basis to the residents of the municipality.