KENMORE, Wash. – Cable customers in Kenmore are fed up with a monopoly that they say isn’t serving the consumer well after they were promised more choices years ago.
"We're just not a priority," said customer and Kenmore resident Sasha Philip.
In 2009, Frontier Communications took over the Verizon cable franchises in Kenmore and many more communities across Western Washington. The company promised to offer healthy competition within two years for customers whose only choice was Comcast.
That promise hasn't been kept in several communities. Eight years later, 2,000 people in Kenmore alone are still waiting.
"We live in a place where we have choices and believe competition is a good thing and we don't have that," said Philip. "Right now, it's essentially a monopoly by Comcast. If I don't like their prices or their offerings, I have nothing else."
Philip runs her business out of her home. Frontier does offer Internet, but it's DSL, and it's slow. So, it's back to Comcast where things are only marginally better.
"I would say, generally, it's fast enough, except when it goes down completely,” Philip said. “It's either OK, or it's non-existent."
The City of Kenmore is now going after Frontier, demanding the company keep its promise and get service to everybody. It's fining Frontier $30,000 on top of another $45,000 it collected in 2014.
The city said the problem appears to be Frontier is allocating its resources to new markets in California and Texas. The city estimates it will be next year at the earliest before the coverage is in place.
"Frontier has left half of our city without that choice, and we're holding them to their commitments," said Mayor David Baker.
A Frontier spokesman would only say the company is reviewing the situation with Kenmore and the company is "committed to serving" its customers in Washington.
"At this point, I just don't think they care," said Philip.
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