The West Virginia Public Service Commission offices in Charleston. Photo by Lucas Manfield

West Virginia utility regulators have given ClearFiber, a Morgantown-based internet service provider, 60 days to respond as they seek to revoke a key regulatory approval held by the company.

As Mountain State Spotlight reported in an investigation published last month, ClearFiber has racked up allegations of property damage, overcharging customers and unpaid bills

On the same day that the investigation was published, staff from the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s Utilities Division recommended revoking the company’s certificate of convenience and necessity, a document previously required to install fiber along state-owned roads. They say that the company failed to file required annual reports for the last three years, attempts to contact it via phone were unsuccessful and records at the Secretary of State’s Office show the company is not in compliance.

On Wednesday, ClearFiber, which is formally known as DBI Networks LLC, responded in the case for the first time and requested an extension of 90 days to properly respond. 

“We are requesting to stay/hold this petition, in revoking DBI Networks LLC certificate until we retain council [sic] for this matter in helping resolve as a whole. We are requesting an extension of 90 days, of which communication can start immediately from DBI Networks upon the granted extension,” the company’s management wrote.

Page 1 of ClearFiber PSC filing 7-26
Contributed to DocumentCloud by Duncan Slade (Mountain State Spotlight) • View document or read text

The next day, the PSC granted the company a 60-day extension to file its response to the allegations in the case.

In these proceedings, ClearFiber’s management must demonstrate that adequate service has been provided and is currently being provided by the company, as required by state regulations

Chad Henson was the company’s sole owner when it obtained the certificate, but the company’s request for an extension in the PSC case was simply signed by DBI Networks LLC Management.

Mountain State Spotlight spoke with dozens of Morgantown-area residents who said ClearFiber overcharged them. But the allegations against Henson went beyond billing problems. His companies have also been accused of property damage and not paying their bills.

Ellie Heffernan is the community watchdog reporter for Mountain State Spotlight.