The Laramie City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night against renewing a 10-year franchise agreement with Charter Communications after the two parties were unable to agree on setting up annual meetings to address concerns about service.

The City of Laramie and Charter will instead go forward on a month-to-month agreement continuing to allow Charter access to Laramie’s right-of-way for the infrastructure Charter needs to provide services to the City and Albany County.

“Primarily I think that decision was made because we seem to be at an impasse at some of the language the Council would like to include in the franchise ordinance that Charter is unwilling to accept,” says Assistant City Manager David Derragon.

“We’ve been having that discussion for a number of months, and it just didn’t seem like we were going to be able to resolve it at the meeting,” says Derragon.

Derragon says the Council would like to set up annual meetings with Charter to address any issues or concerns with service so the two parties could come to an amicable agreement on any problems that may arise. The meetings would allow the City to better advocate on behalf of Laramie citizens.

Derragon says Charter is unwilling to allow that language in the agreement.

“Mostly, I think they have franchise agreements in so many locations, they would like them to be similar in all of those locations,” says Derragon.

Derragon says he has received complaints from Laramie residents about problems with Charter’s service, especially recent internet service outages.

“It seems to be a consistent problem,” says Derragon.

“It was interesting last night – some of the representatives of Charter said they were having some equipment problems, [but] the equipment has been replaced, everything should be working well now,” says Derragon. “Yet there were some people at the meeting that said their problems were continuing.”

“So there’s varying opinions on whether the issues have been resolved or not,” says Derragon.

Derragon says he plans to hear back from Charter and decide a course of action. As of Wednesday morning, Derragon had not been contacted by Charter representatives.

Charter representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

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