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Alderman: Phone company is redlining

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att-uverse-090909.gifAn alderman says AT&T is redlining parts of Evanston by not extending its new U-Verse video and Internet service to certain parts of town.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said the section of her ward east of Ridge Avenue and south of Oakton Street has been completely excluded from the service.

“Everybody in town ought to have access to this service,” Rainey said, but “it’s come to my attention through complaints that all neighborhoods are not being treated equally.”

Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, said parts of her ward can’t get the service either.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said he’d invited representatives of AT&T to come to Tuesday’s Rules Committee meeting where the issue was discussed.


att-uverse-090909.gifAn alderman says AT&T is redlining parts of Evanston by not extending its new U-Verse video and Internet service to certain parts of town.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said the section of her ward east of Ridge Avenue and south of Oakton Street has been completely excluded from the service.

“Everybody in town ought to have access to this service,” Rainey said, but “it’s come to my attention through complaints that all neighborhoods are not being treated equally.”

Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, said parts of her ward can’t get the service either.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said he’d invited representatives of AT&T to come to Tuesday’s Rules Committee meeting where the issue was discussed.

Bobkiewicz said the At&T employees refused to attend and said that under the state-wide franchise for the service the company is allowed to offer its services in any way it chooses.

Bobkiewicz said they also refused to share information about where in Evanston the service is now available, saying that was proprietary information.

“It’s an economic decision by AT&T to redline certain portions of this town, huge portions,” Rainey said.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, said he’d been reading the over 120-page long state statute governing the AT&T service. “They haven’t lived up to their end of the bargain, Wilson said, adding that there are provisions in the statute to prevent discrimination in offering the service.

The aldermen asked city staff to contact area lawmakers and the state attorney general’s office in an effort to address the issue.

Do U have U-verse?

We’re curious about where U-verse service is available in Evanston. If you’ve got it, send us a news tip with your address. Or post a comment on this story. And let us know whether you’re happy with the service. If you’ve tried to get it and been turned down — let us know that, too.

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