Vedat and Kitley,
In summary, manpower is depleted & deficient, customer service access is infuriating, their repair dispatch is confused and not coordinated, power generators at their nodes are insufficient, or nonexistent. Coordination with NYSEG is clumsy. Down telecommunication wires are left unattended for days. Altice does not communicate repair schedules in a reliable way to their customers or municipalities. The town Highway Department REQUIRES POINTS OF CONTACT in their Operations and Repair Departments during emergency situations. Finally Altice does not have a consistent, comprehensive, and proactive outage credit policy. At best it can be construed as inadequate and depends on the event!
The overriding question to Altice must be; HOW DO THEY PLAN TO RESPOND TO THE NOTICE OF APPARENT VOILATIONS issued to them by the Public Service Commission. What is the time frame and investments necessary to fulfill the notice.
Altice is the sole provider of cable, internet, voice and data services for more than half the households in Somers, New York. Because credible alternatives do not exist, Altice operates as a monopoly. It is in the public interest that the responsiveness to emergency events, sustainable service to residents, businesses, schools, police and fire, as well as other municipal government agencies is reliable.
· Customer service, communication, outage and restoration reporting, dispatching of repairs teams, and follow up with government as provided by Altice, requires extensive scrutiny by the Public Service Commission.
· Emergency readiness and planning, including manpower, equipment, and supplies for repairs, should be transparent and shared with the municipality in order to coordinate relief efforts during emergency events.
· Network sustainability, particularly regarding power supply at their nodes, appeared to be largely nonexistent, resulting in large outages in portions of their service geography. In this regard, storm damage assessment, and the execution of repairs was slow and fragmented.
· The response to this event highlighted deficiencies in communication between Altice and carriers such as NYSEG, which Altice relies on for service. The interaction and coordination between these two providers must be reviewed as there should be clear service level agreements that speak to the interoperability and emergency preparedness, they provide in conjunction with each other.
· Altice should be proactive in providing service credits to customers experiencing outages, especially those who have experienced immeasurable difficulties in communication with Altice regarding repairs and restoration. In this regard, service credits should be proactive, comprehensive, relevant, and simply understood.
Verizon contacts have expressed to the town that they do not have plans to expand Fios/Data into Somers at this time. Efforts are devoted to more densely populated areas. The Town of Somers WELCOMES alterative providers. That being said, neighboring towns do have Verizon Data and they are in reach of certain areas of Somers. We require a Verizon Network Planning and Engineering to explain their network reach particularly where their network is contiguous to the more densely populated areas of Somers, such as Heritage Hill.
Cell towers in Somers and Northern Westchester REQUIRE ADEQUATE BACK UP GENERATION in emergency situations. They require additional capacity in normal operating conditions and certainly during times of emergency. There are gaps in service areas. We also require structural reviews of the aging towers to recertify that they are safe.
Anthony J. Cirieco 🇺🇸
Councilman, Somers NY