Senator Urges Constituents To Keep
Complaints Coming Until Outages End
MORRIS – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, today said he has received assurances from Frontier Communications and from John B. Rhodes, state Public Service Commission chairman, that frequent lengthy outages in telephone service in the Butternut Valley will be address.
But he added, “the proof is in the pudding. I will remain vigilant and encourage constituents to keep me apprised of any additional problems.”
The problems are in western Otsego County and contiguous areas of Delaware County.
“After learning of telephone outages in rural portions of my district, I called on Frontier Communications to spell out what is being done to correct deficiencies and ensure customers that they will have reliable service moving forward,” said Seward in a press release issued over the weekend.
“I had a frank, face-to-face discussion with Frontier Communications officials and also expressed my concerns to the chairman of the Public Service Commission during a state budget hearing,” he said. “I have been told steps are being taken to improve service, but the proof is in the pudding. I will remain vigilant and encourage constituents to keep me apprised of any additional problems.”
In January, the senator sent letters to Frontier Communications calling on the company to address deficiencies in rural portions of their coverage area immediately and to make financial restitution to customers who were without service. Senator Seward also requested a full review by the New York State Public Service Commission.
In response to Seward’s outreach, PSC Chairman Rhodes indicated that PSC staff members met with Frontier management. A letter to Senator Seward from Chairman Rhodes reads in part:
“I have directed Staff to ensure that Frontier follows through on its commitments to improved service quality and an expanded customer outreach effort regarding service outages, and take appropriate action as necessary, including recommendations to the Commission if warranted.”
Seward also received a letter from Frontier Communications Vice President Kenneth Mason that details specific repairs made in Otsego County: “Namely, Frontier has upgraded the backhaul to our Bourne Hill office from copper to fiber and we are augmenting backup power in West Laurens, in addition to continuing building out rural broadband and improving our network under the New NY Broadband Grant Program and the Federal Connect America Fund.”
The letter from Mason also stated that customers who notified Frontier of an outage would receive credit on their bills.
“Reliable communication service is essential in the event of an emergency, for economic development, and for quality of life. People who live in rural areas should not be left behind, or treated like second-class citizens,” Seward concluded.
Anyone experiencing a service problem should contact Frontier Communications at 1-800-921-8104. Complaints can also be registered with the PSC at 1-800-342-3377 or online at www.dps.ny.gov<http://www.dps.ny.gov>.