A public fact finding hearing regarding Suddenlink’s television cable franchise agreement will be conducted at 4 p.m. Jan. 12.

The twice-cheduled hearing was postponed due to COVID-19.

Pike County Judge-Executive Ray Jones has also scheduled a special called meeting of the fiscal court to be held immediately following the hearing.

“The special court meeting will be to act on various items,” Jones said. “One of the issues we may reserve the right to act on is if there is a finding of a violation of the cable franchise agreement by Suddenlink.”

Jones said the court could impose fines or penalties under the agreement.

“This is a very complicated issue and the county has hired outside counsel because this is a very specialized issue,” Jones said. “It deals with FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regulations as well as Kentucky’s cable television franchise statues.”

The public hearing and court meeting will be held in the fiscal courtroom in the Pike County courthouse and will be open to the public but with precautions due to COVID.

“We will be limiting access to the crowd size in the courtroom,” Jones explained. “A Zoom link is being worked on as well.”

Judge Jones once again stressed only testimony regarding television cable service can be heard during the hearing.

“We cannot hear any testimony or any statements in this hearing regarding internet service,” Jones said. “Under federal law, local and state governments are preempted from regulating internet service.

“Hopefully, we can bring Suddenlink to the table and encourage them or in some way force them to improve their service,” Jones said.

Jones did admit that the number of complaints have dropped.

“But we’re still going to act on this,” Jones said. “This is something we’ve been trying to do.”

Jones urged anyone planning to attend the hearing to call his office at, (606) 432-6247, for additional details.

“We need to keep the comments short and bring documentation to back up your claim whether on a customer service issue or a billing issue, please bring that information with you,” Jones said. “This is not a personal attack against Suddenlink, this is a fact finding hearing.”

Jones said the fiscal court will then act based upon the facts that are produced at the hearing.

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