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N.C. housing development's Internet fees spur Shentel suit

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG -- Edinburg-based telecommunications company Shentel is suing a Connecticut company in U.S. District Court for about $100,000 for allegedly not paying for Internet service at student apartments in North Carolina.

Shentel Converged Services Inc. filed the lawsuit against CH 17 LLC on Friday, according to online court records.

Five years ago, Shentel merged with NTC, which had a 10-year agreement with Greater Greensboro Investment Properties (GGIP), to provide Internet services to River Walk, which has 223 units housing students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, according to the complaint.

Residents were to pay a $25 activation fee and $34.95 monthly fee per unit directly to NTC, it says. In May 2008, Shentel and GGIP agreed that the property group would pay Shentel $13.50 per bedroom per month for Internet services.

CH 17 bought River Walk in November 2010, according to the suit. It says the new owner was aware of the service agreement.

"Shentel has continued to comply with all material terms of the Services Agreement and has satisfied any and all conditions precedent to enforcement of the Services Agreement," the suit says.

With the complex having 682 bedrooms, CH 17 should be paying Shentel $9,207 every month for Internet service, according to the suit.

The bulk rate price is much less than what retail Internet prices are, it says.

CH 17 hasn't made its monthly payments since last May, and also owes a $138 late fee from last April, the complaint says. It now owes Shentel about $98,700, it says.

"CH 17 knows that Shentel continues to provide all 682 bedrooms at River Walk with Internet services, has consciously accepted the benefit of Shentel providing Internet services to River Walk, but has inequitably and unjustly refused to pay Shentel for these services since May 2011," the suit says.

Additionally, CH 17 hasn't paid $1,724 it owes Shentel for installing 13 static IP addresses in June, it says.

Shentel is asking for a jury trial.

An attorney representing CH 17 didn't immediately return a request for comment Monday afternoon.

1 Comment

Dear Shentel,

Boo Hoo! Why don't you treat your big dollar clients like you do your small residential clients? If they don't or didn't pay 30 days after their bill was due, you simply shut the service down. Problem solved. Your exposure at that point was simply $10K+- instead of the 100K+- that you now allege is owed to you. I am sure if the service was terminated, the management company would have had an internet mutiny on their hands with the student body.

I think there is more to this story than what Shentel alleges.

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