June 27, 2014

Comcast investigating Mooresville’s complaints about Time Warner

Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins complained to Comcast, which is trying to buy Time Warner, about Time Warner ignoring the town’s request to stop digging in homeowners’ yards to lay cable line.

Cable giant Comcast Corp. is looking into Mooresville’s concerns that Time Warner Cable is digging up homeowners’ yards without permission to lay its cable lines.

David Cohen, executive vice president of Philadelphia-based Comcast, told Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins that Comcast will check into the town’s concerns, Atkins told the Observer after a Mooresville Board of Commissioners meeting Thursday night.

Atkins wrote Cohen on June 16 because Comcast, the nation’s largest U.S. cable company, is trying to buy No. 2 Time Warner Cable Inc. for $45.2 billion.

Time Warner has ignored the town’s revocation in May of all of its easement agreements with the company until the company can show it stayed within the town right of way on all of its projects, Atkins told the Observer.

The company must also show that an agreement existed with the town wherever it buried lines, Town Attorney Steve Gambill has said.

Raleigh attorney Marcus Trathen, who said he represents Time Warner Cable, denied Time Warner has done anything wrong. “Does the scenario you paint sound remotely plausible to you?” Trathen asked in an email to the Observer.

Time Warner Cable continues to dig on private property, Atkins said, including the mayor’s yard in the historic Academy Street district downtown, where the town never established a town right of way. That’s the case in many older parts of town.

Atkins said he got to know Cohen at the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, D.C., this year.

In his letter to Cohen, Atkins wrote: “We hope that Comcast was not aware of Time Warner Cable’s activities and that it will not similarly interfere with private property rights of Mooresville’s residents, if it is successful in acquiring Time Warner Cable.”

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