AT&T Broadband Gets Reprieve
Tustin, Calif. -- Rather than launching a denial or revocation proceeding, the City
Council here has given AT&T Broadband 60 days to submit a revised franchise-renewal
Officials were swayed by a letter from the operator's lawyer indicating that company
officials believed they were still in the informal-negotiation window and were surprised
by the city's threat to take definitive action on refranchising.
Councilmembers are considering punitive action due to missed appointment windows, rude
or unavailable customer-service representatives and spotty transmission.
But the greatest consumer ire will not be rectified by more phone lines and increased
personnel -- changes volunteered Monday by AT&T Broadband executives.
Consumers are furious about an operating change that now requires converters on all
sets that receive tiers beyond broadcast basic. The rental for the converters is about $4
per set Some who've accepted the boxes complained that they can't operate them.
"Oh, we're going to do better," councilman Mike Doyle said, mimicking the
response he's gotten from the operator. "Please! Customer service -- that's all we're
asking for!" he added, to the applause of the crowd at the meeting. "Put up,
shut up or get out of town."
AT&T Broadband officials promised a "rigorous re-engineering" of
operations by January.