May 26--SAN BERNARDINO -- The county is seeking a report from Frontier representatives on how the telecommunications company is improving widespread problems and also reviewing whether there may be an alternative provider for specific services within the county.
"If we can identify alternatives, we can bring that to the board," San Bernardino County CEO Greg Devereaux said during Tuesday's supervisors meeting.
The struggles following the transition after Frontier's buyout of Verizon's voice, video, data and FiOS network were broached as supervisors approved assigning a previous three-year deal with Verizon to Frontier.
But the 4-0 vote to simply switch the name on the contract came with the amendment that Frontier must report back to the county on how it has committed to improving issues resulting from the takeover.
"It's not been a smooth transition," 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood said. "I'm not certain why we've agreed to allow them to continue at the service levels we're receiving in the 1st (District)."
Fourth District Supervisor Curt Hagman and 5th District Supervisor Josie Gonzales said they've both heard woes from constituents in their districts, with Gonzales saying problems weren't isolated to the High Desert.
Here, customers have reported an alarm system failing to connect calls to a security company during a burglary and expressed concerns about seniors who depend on landlines for medical alert systems.
Frontier has vowed to continue focus on customer issues, pointing to the massive scale of the transition when acknowledging that problems would undoubtedly need to be worked out. Last week, the company said it expected to move through and resolve its April complaint backlog over a 10-day period.
The three-year deal, not to exceed $6 million, runs through March 21, 2019, and Devereaux noted contracts such as these have cancellation clauses.
The county's Information Services Department maintains the county's digital microwave network, transporting data and voice services for the county, according to a Tuesday staff report. However, while most county offices are connected to this network, telephone companies are necessary to provide call connectivity to non-county offices and to county locations not served by the microwave network.
Shea Johnson may be reached at 760-955-5368 or SJohnson@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DP_Shea.
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