Time Warner Cable Countersues AT&T

Time Warner Cable countersued AT&T in Texas Wednesday, alleging that the telco’s technicians committed exactly the same kind of network sabotage that AT&T sued the cable operator over last month.

AT&T’s Dec. 8 lawsuit against Time Warner’s San Antonio division alleged that the cable operator engaged in “a methodical invasion” of AT&T’s facilities while installing voice service at apartments and other multiple-dwelling units in and around the city.

In its countersuit, filed in a district court in Bexar County, Texas, Time Warner denied the telco’s allegations. The MSO is seeking to have AT&T’s complaint dismissed and said that in the course of switching cable customers to AT&T’s U-verse TV or Homezone TV services, “AT&T has engaged in conduct indistinguishable from that of which it accuses Time Warner Cable.”

Time Warner is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive monetary damages, claiming that AT&T’s actions caused “substantial damage to its physical plant, disrupted service to Time Warner Cable’s customers and threatened public safety” by disconnecting the cable company’s ground wires.

According to Time Warner’s suit, the companies initiated talks about resolving the dispute amicably before AT&T filed its lawsuit “without prior warning.”

AT&T, asked to respond, said in a prepared statement: “We’ve addressed a handful of reports from the cable company. Where we confirmed that it may be related to our work, we fixed it. However, that pales in comparison to Time Warner’s willful, wanton and systematic destruction of our facilities.”