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Open Band: A case of corporate chuzpah

   Copy of my Oct. 12, 2012 Letter to the Editor of Leesburg Today.

Dear Editor: The absurd $50M legal action against the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors by OpenBand is one that should come as no surprise to anyone! Instead accepting the fact that the majority of its 4,200 subscribers (myself included) are disgusted with its dismal service and move toward settling their legitimate gripes, OpenBand turns around and files its massive lawsuit.

It then further shows its corporate chutzpah by singling out two of the most distinguished members of the Board of Supervisors, namely Ralph Buona and Shawn Williams, with language that only serves to malign, discredit and insult these two upstanding public servants, who went "over and beyond the call of duty” in their efforts to assist in resolving the long-standing disputes between the HOAs and OpenBand.

And talk about the "pot calling the kettle black,"' OpenBand has the gall to refer to the board's “egregious actions as amounting to extortion." "Egregious"—the very word that describes its 65 year agreement, and "extortion"—what its subscriber’s feel they do each month when they must pay for the substandard services they receive.

Just how ethical was the deal that MC Dean and Van Metre struck that created the OpenBand monster? In my view, (and the FCC’s based on its just announced brief), the anti-competitive manner in which these two entities conducted themselves in this effort fell well outside the scope of the “acceptable procurement practices” that any reputable corporation would employ.

I must laugh at Ben Young’s (director of government operations for MC Dean) statement that OpenBand would have preferred “to devote its resources toward service upgrades for customers.” This subscriber would be happy if OpenBand would just devote its resources toward maintaining an acceptable level of the servicers it currently provides!

I still continue to place service calls to OpenBand about its dismal CATV performance, and what amazes me is the nature of my complaints oftentimes are unique to OpenBand. For example: Last week’s service call dealt with the inability of one (not both) of my two cable boxes to air the audio for channel 429, and mind you, the issue had nothing to do with the cable box itself nor my TV set. How strange is that?

Plus the on-going issue of certain stations airing with voice and picture out of sync; similar to watching a foreign film like “Godzilla” where the Japanese actors’ lip movements never coincide with the English audio one hears. Difference is, in that case I can chuckle, but when watching the nightly news it’s extremely irritating!

In closing, it is my sincere hope that OpenBand’s latest legal maneuver quickly backfires in their corporate face and that the Board of Supervisors, and especially, Messrs. Buona and Williams are exonerated, while the legal efforts launched by Lansdowne on the Potomac HOA and Southern Walk HOA, are successful, so that all of OpenBand ‘s subscribers can finally be free to select the CATV provider of their own choice as they celebrate the breaking of the chains that now link them to their abysmal provider.

John Mileo, Lansdowne