Spokane, Wash. -- Internet Ventures Inc. said last week
that its affiliate was unceremoniously dumped from its contract to serve Eastern
Washington University, and it has filed suit against the institution and the local cable
The Internet-service provider's affiliate, Internet
On-Ramp, was serving about 40 percent of EWU's dormitory rooms with free Internet
Kevin Graese, vice president of Davis Communications, the
cable operator in Cheney, Wash., described EWU as a beta-site testing IVI's service,
which does business in the area as PeRKInet.
Internet On-Ramp signed a deal with the university in July
1997 to provide the service. For three years, PeRKInet would be available for
students' free use in 900 dorm rooms. According to IVI's suit, the university
was free to bow out of the deal within the first year for "unsatisfactory
service," but only after written notification.
A spokeswoman for EWU said officials have not seen the
lawsuit, and she could not comment specifically. She added, however, that university
officials believe they have complied with the terms of the contract.
Graese, too, declined to comment until advised by
attorneys. But the defendants told local reporters that PeRKInet was dropped for technical
and service issues.
Davis and the university have since become affiliates of
competitor ISP Channel.
IVI filed its suit in Superior Court for the state of
Washington in Spokane. The suit is for breach of contract and business disparagement --
the latter charge related to published comments by university officials about the quality
of the service.