During her State of the City address this week, Mayor Emily Larson, decided it was appropriate to call out a longtime local business and large employer, Spectrum (Charter), for “holding the community hostage” during the pandemic.
Larson said “Spectrum even raised prices in a pandemic – and this community, held hostage, had no choice but to pay or go without access. This is unacceptable. Personally, I feel it’s immoral.”
INFERRED FROM MAYOR LARSON’S STATEMENTS
And this year’s Immoral Company Award goes to…. Spectrum!
Merriam-Webster says immoral “connotes the intent of evilness or wrongdoing” bringing to mind Mr. Burns from the Simpson’s tapping his fingers together with an evil grin. Our guess is that CenturyLink, Mediacom, and several other area internet providers were a bit relieved that the Mayor completely ignored their existence.
In one breath, the Mayor called one of the area’s big employers the devil, and in the next invited their competition to come to town, waving a million dollars of COVID money that could certainly be better spent. Since the Mayor failed to mention the other internet choices in town: DSL, satellite, fiber, and wireless all currently available in Duluth, it’s easy to assume she wants another cable internet provider. Why, when the trend in entertainment is streaming, would anyone want to pump a million dollars into a service provider with one foot in the grave. FORTUNE Magazine reported last year that 5G technology “the superfast successor to today’s wireless networks” will likely create an uncertain future for home broadband providers and the cable/telecom companies that provide wired internet. People are already paying for smartphone service, why would they add an additional cable/broadband bill when they can just add hotspots or internet service to their phone package?
Emily’s record on creating a business-friendly Duluth is dismal. One only needs to stroll through downtown to see the devastation her leadership has had. Calling out a company in the State of the City is just the fly on the turd of Duluth’s attitude toward businesses and likely not a convincing way to invite more businesses to town.
Spectrum responded to Emily’s comments, saying “We offer a low-cost broadband service to eligible families and seniors for just $17.99/month and it has been available in Duluth for four years.” Spectrum, throughout their locations, has also provided broadband service to 450,000 students, teachers, and families at no cost for 60-days during the pandemic.
Also in the address, the Mayor announced the city developing a phone app for citizens to submit complaints, presumably so they don’t tie up the city’s office phones. We imagine it will get plenty of use.
What’s your State of Duluth report?
We’d love to share what our readers think should have been included in the Mayor’s address. Use the form on this page to submit your thoughts.