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  • Writer's pictureStaff @ LPR

State Rep. Mike Johnson Takes Suddenlink To Task, Delivers Results for CENLA

Central Louisiana residents have long been grappling with internet service issues, but State Representative Mike Johnson has been on a mission to bring about improvements. In a recent interview, Representative Johnson discussed the progress made in collaboration with Suddenlink, addressing both infrastructure upgrades and customer service concerns.

Representative Johnson's efforts began in 2019 when he reached out to Suddenlink's corporate representatives in Little Rock, Dallas, and New York. The primary focus was on expanding broadband service into underserved areas of his district that lacked internet access altogether. However, the scope broadened to ensure that existing customers also receive reliable and high-quality service.

The state representative, along with support from the police jury and Cleco, successfully convinced Suddenlink to upgrade its services and equipment in specific areas, such as Colleen, Buckeye, and Deville. The upgrade project, which commenced earlier in the summer, is set to be completed next month.

While these infrastructure improvements are welcome news for the affected communities, Representative Johnson's primary concern lies in ensuring that subscribers receive the internet service they pay for and deserve. He emphasized the importance of efficient customer service and resolving issues promptly, as internet access has become a crucial utility in the modern world, impacting education, healthcare, and communication.

During a committee hearing, Suddenlink officials faced questioning from legislators who expressed widespread dissatisfaction with the company's performance. The CEO was directly informed that the company's state license and Parish Charters could be at risk if the service and customer treatment did not improve.

The hearing led to an upcoming meeting with the CEO in Lake Charles, where Representative Johnson plans to convey the legislators' concerns and call for better corporate citizenship to the state and its residents. The hope is that the CEO's visit to the harder-hit Calcasieu Parish will underscore the urgency of delivering improved service.

Beyond the immediate improvements, Representative Johnson is open to exploring options, including potential legislation to regulate internet service under the Public Service Commission. While he generally favors avoiding excessive regulations, he acknowledges that Suddenlink's monopoly in Central Louisiana necessitates oversight to protect consumers. He and other legislators are prepared to support legislation if necessary, though they are giving the company a chance to rectify its issues.

Representative Johnson's commitment to resolving the internet service problems in Central Louisiana has garnered support from fellow legislators and local entities, including Cleco and the police jury. Together, they seek to ensure that all residents have access to reliable internet connectivity, making it an essential service that citizens can rely on without hesitation.

As the community awaits further developments, Representative Johnson's dedication to improving internet services remains steadfast. Residents are encouraged to stay informed about progress through his Facebook page and other official channels. With a united effort, the state representative and his colleagues aim to build a brighter digital future for Central Louisiana.

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