A judge ordered the town of Hookerton to allow NfinityLink Communications to use its electricity to run equipment supplying internet.
The rule comes after a week’s worth of back and forth between the two entities.
This all stems from a discovery earlier in May. Town leaders say that’s when a routine inspection showed items on the water tower’s tank that could result in more severe financial penalties.
The town says they reached out to NfinityLink Communications to send someone out to the site to see what had changed. A series of email communication given to Nine On Your Side show that communication stopped when a representative for NfinityLink Communications asked the town for pictures of what had changed. Based on the email’s given to nine on your side the communication stops there.
Jeremy Rich is the CEO of NfinityLink Communications.
Rich said, “On Thursday, we received notification that our site in Hookerton had gone down. We had not received any communication that the town was going to turn the power off.”
Rich said when the town cut power on June 14th, the company’s Hookerton customers were left without internet.
Rich claimed the town cut power to NfinityLinks dish and antennas sitting on top of the water tower.
“We have persons with disabilities who utilize it for communication with family friends and 911 purposes,” said Rich.
It’s that concern prompting the company to take legal action.
On Wednesday, a judge ordered a temporary restraining order forcing the town to turn the power back on.
Leaders in the town of Hookerton declined our request for an interview.
The town’s mayor spoke with Nine On Your Side in our original report Monday.
During that interview Mayor Bobby Taylor said, “We went out and I told the maintenance guy to go out there and cut off everything we had on that tank, not knowing he had anything hooked up to it.”
Taylor said when they turned the power off he had no idea NfinityLink service would go with it.
Taylor said, “Evidently he had been stealing power from the town all the time and we didn’t know it.”
Rich said the company is using the tower’s power because it was agreed to in the original contract from 2005.
“The agreement was that the town would provide space on the tower and the power for the equipment and in exchange, we made available service to the town hall and the fire department,” said Rich.
For Rich, something is not adding up. When asked if he thinks the town turned the power off on purpose he said, “Yes.”