AT&T Clash with Montgomery and Rankin Landowners

AT&T Clash with Montgomery and Rankin LandownersLandowners in Montgomery and Rankin counties are up in arms with AT&T over its laying of fiber optic cables which they allege was not properly done.

They claim that At&t, through its subcontractors, has proceeded to lay cables on their lands without their prior consent. The landowners fear that they will be blamed responsible for any damages that the cables experience which is why they are crying for justice.

One of the aggrieved landowners Tom Austin said AT&T has clearly shown greed in the move they took. “It’s a huge example of corporate greed and corporate arrogance,” he told The Clarion-Ledger in an interview. Already, there are two federal lawsuits filed in relation to the matter and it will be difficult for the company to run away from liability.

One of the lawsuits allege that workers drove an already depressed elderly woman in Florence to commit suicide by lying that she had signed an easement that would have allowed crews on her property. All this mess is as a result of the push by AT&T to increase broadband internet accessibility deep into rural areas.

In a brief press statement, the company defended its move. “Our policy is to comply with the law regarding placement of our network facilities.” Sue Burns is another landowner who is faced with a similar predicament with the cables eating into about 100 feet of her land. “There may be a push for internet service to be provided to everyone, but back behind where they put it on my property, there’s no one living there,” she said.

“We’re a working farm, working to earn money to pay taxes, and we have had a liability imposed on us. We have no recourse — nothing.” According to Chancery Court records, AT&T has filed only one easement since 2012 in Montgomery County with the landowner getting $5,000.

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