Friday, January 08, 2016

Thompson's Station residents sue over TV/Web service

Thompson's Station residents sue over TV/Web service

"A group of Thompson's Station residents is suing developers and a telecommunications company they say schemed — along with DirecTV and their respective homeowners' associations — to give the tiny Internet service provider a monopoly over their growing neighborhoods. Attorneys representing the homeowners are seeking class action status for the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court on Tuesday. It alleges that the developers of the town's Tollgate Village, Bridgemore Village and Canterbury subdivisions made arrangements with Crystal Clear Technologies to be the neighborhoods' sole Internet and TV-service provider."


I haven't read the complaint so I don't know the details beyond what is in this story. However, historically developers have often made deals with cable TV companies that owners later found unsatisfactory.  One common practice was for the cable company run their cable up to all the lots in the subdivision at no charge to the developer, in exchange for the developer putting a provision in the CC&Rs that would prohibit all residents from using TV antennas. When HOAs enforced these bans, they would often think it was for aesthetic reasons, which I suppose is part of it too.  But when satellite came along and HOAs tried to ban satellite dishes as "antennas," the satellite industry persuaded Congress and the FCC to stop that. In this case, the owners are claiming that they are locked into paying too much for poor service from a small provider, when they could (they say) make a better deal with a larger company.

Thanks to the person who sent me this story--I hesitate to put people's names up here unless I know it is OK with them.

1 comment:

IC_deLight said...

Imagine that - an HOA being used to force homeowners to pay for economically unregulated services under threat of fine and foreclosure on their homes. Wonder where I heard about that problem?

Notice that CAI's Public Policies promoted exclusive monopolies on video services - and similarly promotes economic deregulation of electricity. You don't think this industry actually promotes giving homeowners a choice in conjunction with that economic deregulation? Who does CAI represent again?