Time Warner Cable wants to charge $12,000 to install cable and internet for a customer in the remote town of Lee, MA. The town's Board of Selectmen, however, are having none of it. They say that Time Warner Cable in in breach of their contract, which requires them to install cable in any house that already has electricity and telephone service.
From the Berkshire Eagle:
"We've put Time Warner on notice," said [Lee's delegate to the Five Town Cable Television Advisory Committee] "They are in breach of contract."
"The $12,000 fee is certainly a ridiculous amount," said [another town Selectman.]
Lee officials are upset Time Warner would charge [the customer] the exorbitant fee -- rather than the basic installation cost of $35 -- because his home is roughly a half-mile away from the closest Time Warner Cable subscriber. [Lee's representative] said the cable company -- evoking the so-called "long-driveway" clause in [the customer's] case -- is using an incorrect interpretation of the town's license agreement.
[The town's representative] said the contract entitles all homes to cable service if electric and telephone service are already available.
"They have to step up and run the cable to the home," said [a town selectmen] "It's part of the agreement [Time Warner] signed up for."
Williams' home on Fernside Street near the Tyringham town line is roughly 300 feet away from the nearest utility pole. Since the $35 installation fee covers up to 200 feet, [the customer] said he realizes he'll have to pay extra for the additional 100 feet, but he won't pay $12,000.
The town says that if TWC doesn't change its mind, it will begin deducting from the $10,000 the company posted with the town when it signed the contract.