WINTERVILLE — Winterville has joined a group of municipalities with complaints against Suddenlink Communications that are jointly sending a letter to Attorney General Josh Stein about the company.

The letter asks the Attorney General’s Office to begin an investigation into Suddenlink’s business practices.

Winterville council members said they have received complaints from Suddenlink customers about the company, and Councilman Mark Smith recommended the town join Washington, Tarboro, New Bern and Ayden in sending a complaint to Stein’s office.

“I think that there is a lot of issues across our community in regards to business practices in regards to Suddenlink,” Smith said.

Complaints included escalating cost, long and frequent outages, poor communications in response to outages, failure to keep equipment in good working condition, temporary fixes, poor customer service, lack of availability and lower-than-advertised internet speeds.

The letter states the COVID-19 pandemic “has exposed the broad scope of the problems with both physical infrastructure and service delivery of Suddenlink” and asked for action to be taken to help improve service.

In other news:

  • The council discussed the possibility of holding a townwide forum. Winterville resident and advocate for advancement, justice and equality Shantel Hawkins expressed her desire to hold a forum to discuss national and local issues.

This is the second time Hawkins has requested a forum, which could not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Pro-tem Veronica Roberson made a motion instructing town staff to work with Hawkins to determine a workable forum format. It was seconded by Councilman Johnny Moye.

The forum could be held via Zoom or face-to-face. If face-to-face, Roberson suggested the forum be postponed until the pandemic situation had resolved.

Councilman Ricky Hines said a Zoom-styled forum could leave some people out and wanted to table the decision until the forum could be held face-to-face.

“All the community needs to be involved in the forum,” Hines said, “Let’s table it for now and come back and look at it. It would be a good opportunity.”

The motion passed 3-2 with Councilman Tony Moore and Hines opposed.

  • The council issued a proclamation for declaring Jan. 18, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and proclaiming January as human trafficking awareness month.
  • Approved the town’s audit 2020-21 fiscal year audit to be conducted by Carr, Riggs and Ingram LLC.

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