TARBORO — Years of frustration over the lack of customer service — real or perceived — from Suddenlink has led Tarboro town staff members to seek out an alternative.
And Monday night, members of the town council heard a presentation from Jeremy Rich, president and CEO of Snow Hill-based InfinityLink Communications, on how his 7-year-old company could provide voice, cable and internet service to the community.
“We would build a system throughout the town and offer internet at 10 times faster than anything available today in the community,” Rich said.
Rich told council members that Infinity provides both residential and business services and that the company’s goal is a same-day response to service calls received before 1 p.m. and a next-day response to calls received after 1 p.m.
Council members enthusiastically authorized Town Manager Troy Lewis to proceed with negotiations with InfinityLink.
“We would be offering access for pole attachments and access to right-of-way,” Lewis said.
Rich said his company proposes to provide advanced fiber-optic lines to homes and businesses capable of internet speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second as well as voice and cable television services throughout the town.
Rich fielded a number of questions from council members, including one from Mayor Pro Tem Othar Woodard as to whether or not his company would stand by its product.
“With our company, you’re going to get three things … We’re going to be local … We’re going to do everything we can to give you the best service possible, and I guarantee you will get what you’re paying for,” Rich said.
Responding to a question about rates, Rich said his company would be competitive. A handout provided to council members and the Telegram quoted rates of $70 for 400 Mbps and $80 for 1 gig internet service — both less than Suddenlink charges for 400 Mbps that tested at 52.8 Mbps download and 16.0 Mbps upload at 11:15 p.m. Monday on the Speedtest app.
Suddenlink currently charges $98.49 for 400 Mbps internet service after a recent $20 monthly increase.
Rich told council members that it is his company’s intent to open a local office where customers could conduct business transactions and interact with company representatives.
“We’re going to be local, so we’re going to take care of business,” he said. “We’re going to see you on the street and in the store and we want you to be happy.”
Following his presentation and the authorization for Lewis to proceed, Rich told the Telegram that he was aware of the discontent with Suddenlink.
“I’ve seen the comments on Facebook,” he said.
Rich told council members it would take about two years to build out the system.
InfinityLink currently serves what Rich described as “most of Greene County plus underserved parts of Lenoir and Pitt counties.” He also told the council that his company has recently begun providing service to the Global Transpark at Kinston.
Tarboro becomes the second municipality to open the door for competition in light of Suddenlink’s continuing issues, which include increasing rates, extended service outages and a lack of response.
In January, the Greenville City Council gave Indiana-based Metro Fibernet LLC approval to install a $35 million to $40 million fiber-optic network that will provide voice, video and internet services to businesses and residents in about 90 percent of the community.
Rich said InfinityLink would serve the entirety of the town’s jurisdiction.