It’s time for AT&T to stop the legal foot-dragging and let C Spire roll out their high-speed network for the benefit of Mississippi.
In a competitive bidding process in 2017, the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services (ITS) selected C Spire as the high-speed voice and internet provider for state agencies and universities. C Spire’s eight-year contract would significantly modernize the state’s communications infrastructure. And C Spire said they could do it for $32.8 million less than AT&T.
After losing the bid, and with their decades-old monopoly threatened, AT&T began a protracted legal battle of appeals seeking to stop C Spire from getting the state business. At each step of the way, the company has been rebuffed, including an ITS administrative decision and several court rulings.
Finally, when the Mississippi Supreme Court last month unanimously affirmed a lower court’s decision in favor of C Spire, it appeared that the path was clear to proceed with the transition. But now, AT&T attorneys have asked for additional time to file a motion to have the state’s high court rehear the case.
During this roughly 28-month delay, the state has lost about $21.6 million as AT&T continues to pocket $770,000 per month.
Enough is enough.
Given the state high court’s unanimous verdict, there should be no reason for the justices to rehear the case. It’s time to move on and force AT&T’s stalling tactics to end.