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In the open letter I read on www.malibutimes.com, written by Fred Lutz (Charter’s Vice President), he used the word “redundant” to describe the repairs to “a” primary fiber optic cable, which implies there are more than one That in itself got me a little peeved because after the last fire in October, we were advised that Malibu has only one feed, and that it comes through Malibu Canyon. Which is it, Mr. Lutz? Malibu Canyon did not burn during this fire, so how is it that these repairs are redundant? Questioning my understanding of the word, I looked up ‘redundant’ in my Dictionary, and some of the definitions are “excessive, being in excess, useless, superfluous.” I happen to think that our constantly increasing cable bills are excessive.

I cut my cable bill to the bone awhile back, got it down to $30.50 per month, and it is now around $37.50 per month, including user fees, subscription fees, taxes. I just know it sneaks up, little by little. Most Malibu residents pay a lot more than I do. How much can we expect to pay now for these ‘redundant’ repairs to feeds that were not, to the best of my knowledge, in the path of this recent fire. The letter also stated that Edison first has to repair/replace power poles to which Charter’s feed was attached. It has been suggested that Edison put the power lines underground. I submit that suggestion to Charter, as well. I understand ‘the bottom line,’ shareholders, investors and such, but what about the integrity, or lack thereof, with which one conducts business? Personally, I think I’d be just a little ashamed of myself.

What about the community you serve, left without timely information while in extreme crisis? Kudos to The Malibu Times staff for supplying this, for without them we’d be completely uninformed.

Methinks Malibu might do well to consider revoking Charter’s “charter.” Although, paraphrasing the words of a friend-of-a-friend in the communications industry, “in a couple of years, every communications company will supply all the same services for comparable fees, and everything will be jake. But until then, you just have to decide which company you want to be screwed by.”

J. Michaels