Congressman Collins Meets with Windstream CEO in Gainesville

May 9, 2016
Press Release


WASHINGTON– Today, Congressman Collins met with Windstream CEO Tony Thomas in the Congressman’s Gainesville office. At the meeting, the Congressman and Mr. Thomas discussed the ongoing issues with Windstream service in Northeast Georgia. Congressman Collins issued the following statement after the meeting:

“I have consistently heard from my constituents about the problems they have with Windstream, and I want to make sure Windstream hears them too. Despite numerous efforts to prompt Windstream to address the service issues faced by northeast Georgians, the company has not addressed these issues. I have repeatedly requested answers and demanded better service from Windstream, but thus far have not seen meaningful improvements. In light of the overwhelming number of complaints, I’m glad that Mr. Thomas agreed to come to Gainesville today to talk with me about how Windstream can improve service for their customers here in northeast Georgia.”

“Windstream has received federal money under the Connect America Fund and substantial federal tax breaks, and I am committed to holding them accountable to taxpayers and their customers. In today’s meeting, I asked Mr. Thomas to provide me with a breakdown of how Windstream has used the money from the Connect America Fund and whether they are on track to meet the benchmarks required by receipt of those funds. Additionally, I asked for specific information on how Windstream has invested federal funds in northeast Georgia, and what improvements have been made as a result. I also requested specific information about Windstream’s operations at peak hours and infrastructure improvements.”

“Today was a step in the right direction. Mr. Thomas has promised to hire an additional 40 employees to serve customers in northeast Georgia. However, Windstream employees were never the issue.  At today’s meeting, Mr. Thomas suggested the infrastructure and network has improved in recent years. It is now Mr. Thomas and Windstream’s job to prove to my constituents that their service will meet the needs of the community.”

“Ever since I took office and began working on this issue, I have heard many stories from frustrated customers, and Mr. Thomas needs to hear those stories for himself. I have asked Mr. Thomas to come back to northeast Georgia sometime in the near future for a Town Hall meeting, but he has told me that for the time being, Windstream will focus their efforts on improving their infrastructure. I hope Mr. Thomas will accept my invitation to engage with his customers directly in this way, and see that Windstream needs to provide real solutions for those who live in areas affected by poor service and extremely slow internet speeds. To better hold them accountable, Windstream has agreed to meet regularly with my office to discuss the progress of infrastructure improvements.”