Charter Hits Problem in Broadband Deployment, Targets WRECC | New


Driven by funding of over $ 2 million through the Federal Communications Commission Rural Digital Opportunities Fund, Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.

But the other internet provider that has received local RDOF funds for broadband deployment, Charter Communications, has yet to begin expanding the service to more than 6,000 homes and businesses in Warren Counties, Butler, Ohio and Simpson.

Charter, which operates locally as Spectrum, received $ 58 million in statewide RDOF funding this year, including $ 1.2 million to expand service to rural Warren County.

Local work has not started, Charter says, due to problems getting access to the pole needed to extend the cable.

“We’re trying to build new broadband in 6,055 homes, but we’re having trouble,” said Joe Crone, Charter vice president of construction overseeing the company’s RDOF deployment in Kentucky and Ohio.

The problem is access to the poles, Crone said, and he indicated that WRECC was the main obstacle to gaining that access.

“We are having issues with the WRECC,” said Crone. “Basically, they stipulate that they will only accept 120 post applications per month.

“There are over 19,000 poles in our construction area, so we are looking at 13 years to complete our construction. “

WRECC Senior Director of Communications and Public Relations Kim Phelps disputed this description.

“We are ready to work with Charter,” Phelps said in an email. “We support their efforts to provide quality high-speed Internet access to our members as soon as possible while protecting the integrity and reliability of the electrical system of Warren RECC members. “

Charter took the extraordinary step this week to send a complaint to the FCC, asking the federal agency to address the issues.

In the ex parte presentation to the FCC, Charter vice president Maureen O’Connell wrote: “Charter and its predecessors have operated for decades under an agreement with the WRECC for fixing requests. posts that did not limit the number of attachments the WRECC would process each month, and although Charter has a pole attachment agreement in operation, the WRECC insists that Charter sign a new pole agreement before processing. any request. The new deal would also unreasonably and arbitrarily limit the number of pole fastening requests it would process, preventing Charter from meeting its RDOF deadlines.

For its part, WRECC is moving forward with its deployment to both the RDOF portion of Warren and neighboring counties and its partnership with the NCTC to bring broadband to unserved parts of Warren County.

WRECC and NCTC, which in 2019 launched a partnership to bring broadband internet service to 800 homes in Southeast Warren County, won an RDOF funding offer to provide services in the eastern regions. County of Warren, County of Grayson and part of County of Edmonson.

The partners also received $ 300,000 from Warren Fiscal Court to extend broadband beyond the initial pilot area.

WRECC vice president of engineering and operations Butch Massey said the deployment is going well.

“In Warren County, we’ve done about 85% of our RDOF areas,” Massey said. “It’s going well and people are really happy with the product they’re getting from NCTC. “

Massey said more than 50% of homes that have access to the NCTC service have signed up for it, and he expects that rate to increase as the cable is built.

“People have been asking for this for a long time,” Massey said. “The RDOF funds and the county grant allowed us to do this much faster. “

Massey made a recent presentation at a tax court meeting, briefing magistrates on the progress of the deployment. Charter is expected to do a similar presentation in December.

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit


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