Source: Staff Reports, The Albany Journal
L2Networks doesn’t seem interested in taking the “theft of services” charges lying down. First, they took their complaint to the Georgia Public Service Commission. Those complaint stem from Water, Gas & Light limiting access to vital equipment. Now, they’re taking the rest of their complaints to the Federal Communications Commission, claiming the local utility is violating “net neutrality”.
While the concept of net neutrality is controversial in many circles, the FCC has asserted its authority over such matters. In September, 2011, the FCC ruled that, “fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications services, or non-harmful Devices” as well as that “fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.”
L2Networks’ complaint is the first such complaint filed under the new rules. However, the FCC ruled against Comcast, the largest ISP in the country, for their efforts to slow down peer to peer file sharing websites in 2008.
Sources familiar with the situation have alleged problems between L2 and WG&L for some time. While WG&L claimed in June of last year that L2 had failed to live up to its obligations, sources claim that the problem really stemmed from WG&L officials. “They were the ones dragging their feet,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
In a quote published in another newspaper, WG&L General Manager Lemuel Edwards said, “L2 is viewed just like any other company, but we’ve limited the access to one of our huts that the company is using to store equipment to business hours with supervision,” with regarded to the Public Service Commission complaint’s basis, citing “trust issues” with L2. However, these “trust issues” appear to stem from the initial allegations of “theft of services”.
“It’s ridiculous,” said the Journal’s source. “They’ve made it sound like we’ve spliced lines to steal the services and sell them as our own, and that’s completely false. Then they use it as justification to pull this.”
News of friction between L2 and WG&L was first reported to the Journal over seven months ago, well before any allegations of “theft of service” first surfaced. At that time, there were reports of attempted cronyism by unnamed officials at WG&L who sought to replace L2 with another company for unspecified reasons. These reports were not printed due to a lack of any supporting evidence.
However, when taken within the context of the allegations from earlier this year, there appears to now be credence to those earlier reports.