Former North Brunswick Council President Ralph Andrews recalls that township residents’ concerns over Optimum’s service did not just happen overnight.
“Prior to the pandemic and March 2020 shutdowns, residents were complaining of increasing fees and declining service and customer service support from Optimum, commonly referred to as Optimum-Altice,” Andrews said in a statement released by Burton Trent Public Affairs on behalf of the Township of North Brunswick on March 15.
Cablevision of Raritan Valley, also known as Optimum-Altice USA, provides telephone, cable and internet service to multiple communities in Central Jersey, including North Brunswick.
“Then the pandemic hit. Scores of people started working from home and students at all grade levels were homeschooling,” Andrews said in the statement. “Resident frustration with Optimum-Altice service outages and poor customer service was mounting. Complaints on the township’s Facebook page were multiplying. The council and mayor’s office were inundated with calls for help. We realized we had to escalate our involvement. Poor internet service was affecting people’s livelihoods and students’ ability to succeed.”
The North Brunswick governing body prepared to petition the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), the state agency which regulates cable, telephone, internet and other utilities with their issues.
Joining the Townships of Hamilton and Robbinsville in a formal request for a BPU investigation, the municipalities cited not only the company’s poor performance, but the lack of a response to their earlier requests for assistance, according to the statement.
North Brunswick’s efforts to get the attention of the BPU paid off, according to the statement. In its issuance of the Notice of a Public Hearing, the BPU said “after review of various complaints from municipal and government officials requesting a board investigation and intervention in this matter, found that there is sufficient cause to convene a public hearing to afford both the officials and Altice customers the opportunity to voice their concerns about the services received from Altice; as well as afford the company the opportunity to respond to these concerns before determining what corrective action may be warranted and should be taken in this matter.”
The public hearing investigating the operations of Altice USA in New Jersey, under Docket No. CX21020139, will begin at 10 a.m. March 16.
Individuals wishing to attend the hearing should register via GoToWebinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6394623700937034763
Comments on this matter may be filed either at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the board’s External Access Portal upon obtaining a MyNewJersey Portal ID. Once you establish a MyNewJersey account, an authorization code is required which you can request by emailing the Board’s IT Helpdesk at BPUITHELPDESK@bpu.nj.gov. If you have questions about the e-Filing portal, consult BPU’s e-Filing FAQs.
For further information residents can visit northbrunswicknj.gov or the township’s Facebook page.