Article Courtesy of Channel
By Louis Bolden
Published December 21, 2019
ZELLWOOD – Residents say fuzzy pictures, bad audio came with cable service
chosen by HOA. Hundreds of people in an Orange County neighborhood say their
cable TV service has pixelated pictures and distorted audio during primetime
Residents in Zellwood Station, a community in northwest Orange County for
people ages 55 and older, say their homeowners association signed a
multi-year contract with OpticalTel, complicating the situation.
Dennis Hites, who lives in the community, says they all have the same
"You can't watch and the sound becomes distorted and off track," Hites said.
His neighbor, Judy Brodsky, agreed.
“Its just awful, just awful,” Brodsky said.
Three years ago, the Zellwood Station Homeowners Association notified
residents that OpticalTel would be the service provider for the entire
The company started construction in the community and, a couple of months
ago, started hooking up homes.
“Basically, it started the day they hooked it up,” Hites said.
Residents believe the company’s infrastructure can’t handle the number of
homes in the community.
“The more people that turn their television on, the worse the pixelation
becomes,” Hites said.
John Goller, who also lives in the community, agreed.
“It’s totally unwatchable from seven (o’clock) in the evening until 11 at
night,” Goller said.
All of the residents are in their late 70s and early 80s and say TV is a big
part of their day.
They also say they have complained to the company but have not gotten
“They basically said, ‘Well, we’re working on it. We’re working on it.’”
News 6 contacted the company and got a letter from their public relations
team blaming "antiquated infrastructure" from the previous cable provider.
“Circumstances outside of our control, including but not limited to, road
work prevalent in Central Florida, as well as third party approvals, have
impacted the final completion,” the letter, signed OpticalTel Public
Relations Team, read.
Elizabeth Lanham-Patrie, an attorney representing the HOA, also responded to
News 6 and disputed that excuse.
“The timelines within the agreement were not contingent upon third-party
approvals,” Lanham-Patrie wrote in the letter.
“OpticalTel contracted to run an all new fiber optic system throughout
Zellwood Station, therefore, there was no reliance upon the older system,”
The letter also shows that on Nov. 18, the association sent OpticalTel a
letter demanding that they suspend further installation to other residences
until OpticalTel fixed the service issue.
The association signed a multiyear year contract with the company.
OpticalTel started construction a year after the agreement was signed and
later missed deadlines to fix the problem, according to Lanham-Patrie.
"The delay was not expected and not consistent with terms of the agreement."