OUR VIEW: County commission should have waited to complain about MidcoWe aren’t here to get between two Internet/cable TV providers who are vying for customers in Mitchell. The rivalry between Midcontinent Communications and Mitchell Telecom is evidently strong enough that we are wary of adding fuel to the competitive sparks that fly between these two good local businesses.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
We aren’t here to get between two Internet/cable TV providers who are vying for customers in Mitchell. The rivalry between Midcontinent Communications and Mitchell Telecom is evidently strong enough that we are wary of adding fuel to the competitive sparks that fly between these two good local businesses.
One is smarting, however, after being chastised by the Davison County Commission during a recent meeting at the courthouse. Commissioners, during their regularly scheduled meeting, discussed Midco’s service and outlined some Internet outages that evidently have occurred at the courthouse and the Davison County Sheriff’s Office this year.
Governmental entities are very reliant upon Internet service, commissioners were told, and the outages were not only inconvenient to workers but also frustrating to customers. Meanwhile, the county’s computer support service comes from Tech Solutions, which like Mitchell Telecom is a subsidiary of Santel Communications. A representative from Tech Solutions was in attendance at the meeting and discussed the merits of Mitchell Telecom’s services and offered them to the commission.
We can understand the frustration expressed by the commissioners and the county employees who spoke that day. Internet service is so vital to nearly all businesses, including this newspaper.
For the sake of disclosure, we must note The Daily Republic pays for services from both Mitchell Telecom and Midcontinent Communications. Both companies also advertise in The Daily Republic.
But our concern today isn’t about the rivalry between these two businesses, nor is it with their services. For the record, we have no complaints about either provider.
We do feel it was unfair for commissioners to air such damning complaints against Midco without a Midco representative in attendance to dispute the claims or provide explanations for grievances.
Since it’s all public information — and because local residents deserve to know what our elected leaders spend their time on — it is our policy to report the happenings at these meetings. The problem in this case was that the next commission meeting wasn’t for a week; thus, Midco had to wait a full seven days before it could fully respond in that very public setting.
Meanwhile, the controversy spent a week brewing in the pot of public opinion.
Midco claims the outages were an honest mistake and that the company has addressed the problem. It also noted that portions of the service it was providing to the county are free of charge, as part of the company’s franchise provider agreement with the city of Mitchell.
We do not claim to know the ins and outs of the Internet-providing business, nor do we endorse the service of Midco over Mitchell Telecom or vice versa. We don’t know if Midco truly wronged the county or if it was a simple problem that has since been remedied.
We do know that the commissioners had complaints and that’s their prerogative. But this was an issue that could have waited until Midco had representatives in attendance.