PISCATAWAY, NJ – While it’s been about a week since Tropical Storm Isaias blew through Piscataway, bringing down trees and power lines and causing thousands of dollars in property damage, some residents are still trying to clean up and get back to their daily routines.
But for many who have since had electric restored to their homes, this may not include being able to watch TV or go online, as reports continue of issues with Optimum, the only provider of cable services in Piscataway.
“This council and administration have been inundated with calls, emails, and letters with regard to the poor performance of Optimum, formerly Cablevision,” said Council President, Gabrielle Cahill during Tuesday’s council meeting. “I have seen our Chief of Staff, Dana Korbman forwarding all of those complaints to the Board of Public Utilities.”
Cahill explained that the township does not regulate the performance of cable TV providers but residents can also contact the Board of Public Utilities to file complaints directly.
One resident, Krishan Patel asked about if officials could increase competition by bringing in other cable providers to Piscataway besides Optimum.
“Cancellation really doesn’t work. I cannot go anywhere else, so I’m stuck with Optimum,” said Patel about his service.
Bernard Ray agreed. “I wish that there was more competition, not only to bring prices down, but for competition in general,” he said. “It’s kind of tough just having one cable company on this side of town. I know you can go to satellite systems, but I prefer having the underground cables. If there’s any way to get Verizon, even if it’s just for competition, and it may be better service, that would be great.”
“Unfortunately, the only competitor out there that is able to provide secondary service beyond Comcast or Optimum is Verizon FIOS,” said township attorney, Raj Goomer. However, “they choose where they want to expand. We can’t force them to expand.”
“We can do our best to work with the Board of Public Utilities to have them either open up the market or incentivize other people to enter the market, but unfortunately, we don’t have that power as a municipality,” said Goomer.
Residents who continue to have issues with their Optimum services, including cable TV, internet, and phone can file a complaint with the Board of Public Utilities’ Cable TV Assistance Line by calling 1-800-624-0331. Online, visit https://www.state.nj.us/bpu/assistance/complaints/.
To reach Dana Korbman in the mayor's office, call 732-562-2300 or email email@example.com.
Piscataway residents can also fill out the Optimum Customer Service Referral Form: https://bit.ly/Piscataway2020. Altice USA will take the entries and escalate the service needs to Customer Care and management.
Residents may also file their cable complaints by writing to:
Office of Cable Television & Telecommunications
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
P.O. Box 350
Trenton, NJ 08625-0350
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