Most Buckeye Broadband customers have probably never noticed it, but a notice on page two of each invoice says, “Your Local Franchise Authority is: Sylvania Township Trustees,” followed by an address and telephone number.
On occasion, people who have an issue with their cable service or just a question will notice that and call the township. They are politely told that the township has no authority over and no connection with Buckeye Broadband.
Samantha Babkiewicz, administrative assistant and IT coordinator for the township, said “I always know when Buckeye bills have arrived. The problem is in convincing the callers that we have nothing to do with Buckeye. There is no authority.”
There was a time when local governments granted individual franchises to companies seeking to provide cable television in their jurisdictions.
In 2007 a state law was enacted which took that authority from municipalities and townships and gave it to the Ohio Department of Commerce.
All local contracts across the state were nullified and the commerce department now issues what are known as video service authorizations.
John Borell, assistant Lucas County Prosecutor and an attorney for Sylvania Township, said he has fielded questions from people who have either a complaint or just a general question about the franchise.
“I tell them we don’t have anything to do with it. They don’t believe me, but we don’t.”
When officials of Buckeye Broadband were recently contacted concerning the issue, the company quickly acknowledged the problem and said that future bills will reference the state commerce department and not Sylvania Township.
A company official said they urge customers with an issue to please call them first.
They noted there was a time recently where the company received a communication from the commerce department concerning a customer. They said the issue was quickly taken care of, but they had never been contacted by the customer.
It all would have been dealt with more efficiently had the customer first called Buckeye, they said.
Written by: Mike Jones, Public Information Officer
Published: May 17, 2019
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