DOVER (WJER) (October 6, 2022) – City officials say they welcome competition among Internet providers expanding their services into the city. However, the process to build their networks has created some headaches.
Interim Mayor Shane Gunnoe says the city has fielded complaints from residents about Omni Fiber and Frontier.
“We’ve received a number of calls about things where they’ve hit underground utilities,” he said. “We’ve expressed frustration with them a couple of times now.”
Gunnoe says company officials have been accommodating, and he anticipates better service and communication in the future.
However, he says there’s not much the city can do to regulate them.
“Because they are a public utility in the state of Ohio working in the utility right of way, we’re fairly limited in what we can and can’t do,” Gunnoe said.
Councilman Bob Mueller is still fuming about one of the biggest mistakes by Omni contractors. They hit a gas line on the north end of Dover at the beginning of September, causing a fire that injured a worker.
“That night they went back to work and finished the installation, and that’s what I’m troubled by,” Mueller said. “It was the same crew. They should not have been allowed to touch anything in Dover once they blew up the gas line.”
Gunnoe says Omni has made some changes.
“They just restarted their underground work late last week after that incident where they hit the gas line, with a new contractor. They require an engineer to be on site. They’re not allowed to drill without the foreman observing all the work. The group that’s doing it now has about 120 years of combined experience.”
Mueller says he’s communicating with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to see if further action should be taken.