AT&T filed a lawsuit in a Texas county court against Time Warner Cable’s San Antonio division, alleging that the cable operator engaged in “a methodical invasion of facilities owned, operated and controlled by AT&T Texas” at apartments and other multiple-dwelling units in and around the city.
As part of installing voice service, Time Warner “caused damage to physical plant” owned by AT&T, according to the lawsuit, “solely to gain competitive advantage and commercial benefit.” The telco estimated that Time Warner provides services to 120,000 or more units at MDUs in San Antonio.
Time Warner declined to comment on the lawsuit.
AT&T alleged that Time Warner field technicians cut or disconnected wires and jumpers inside the telco's building terminals.
In some cases, according to the suit, AT&T was unaware of the damage until it received a call from a customer complaining about problems with the network. Time Warner's actions have "degraded the quality and integrity" of the AT&T network, which, as a result, has caused "general confusion and dissatisfaction with AT&T Texas' service," AT&T claimed.
"AT&T is being deprived of the benefits it derives from many years of developing its network and its end-user customer relationships," the company said in its lawsuit.
AT&T is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Spokesman Brad Mays said the company is still assessing the extent of the damage it claims Time Warner caused. But, he added, “based on reasonable assumptions and what we’ve seen to date, we believe the total amount of damage is likely to run into the millions.”
AT&T filed the lawsuit in the 288th Civil District Court in Bexar County, Texas.
AT&T’s current corporate headquarters are in San Antonio, where the telco first launched its U-verse TV service in June.