Ameren sues Mediacom for $1 million over use of utility poles

Monday, November 28, 2011 | 5:34 p.m. CST; updated 9:20 p.m. CST, Monday, November 28, 2011

COLUMBIA — Ameren Missouri has filed a lawsuit against Mediacom for failing to pay Ameren nearly $1 million for use of its utility poles to hang telecommunications lines. 

A 2004 agreement between the companies gave Mediacom permission to hang cable TV lines on the poles for a fee paid to Ameren. If Mediacom changes those to telecommunications lines, Mediacom must inform Ameren within 30 days because the fee is greater for that type of line. The agreement also requires Mediacom to inform Ameren annually of all telecommunications attachments within 45 days of the new year.

In the lawsuit, filed with the Boone County Circuit Court on Oct. 14, Ameren said Mediacom has "thousands of attachments in Missouri that have become telecom attachments and has failed to pay Ameren almost one million dollars rightfully due Ameren." 

Ameren said Mediacom has continually failed to report or has under-reported the number of telecommunications lines hung on Ameren utility poles. Mediacom failed to pay for those lines, which have a "significantly higher" rate than the cable lines Mediacom claimed they were, according to the lawsuit. 

Ameren, which filed the lawsuit as under the name of its subsidiary, Union Electric, is asking for the $934,000 in unpaid fees, plus a $25 annual interest rate written into the agreement.

Ameren and Mediacom officials declined to comment for this article. 

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Richard Saunders November 29, 2011 | 4:57 p.m.

I wonder if they've been stiffing the City as well? While it would obviously be a different agreement, there's the pattern of behavior to consider.

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