New Orleans reaches $6M settlement agreement with CenturyLink over non-payment of fees

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NEW ORLEANS – On Friday, Mayor Cantrell announced that the City of New Orleans has agreed to a $6 million settlement with CenturyLink, over non-payment of franchise fees owed by the company and its subsidiaries.

“This agreement is a win for the residents of Orleans Parish. We look forward to working with CenturyLink and other businesses who wish to enter into and honor good-faith agreements with the City. This could be a tremendous first step for both parties,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “I want to thank City Attorney Sunni LeBeouf and Utilities Director Jonathan Rhodes for their due diligence in ensuring that companies honor their obligations to our residents and to our City.”

Over the past decade, CenturyLink and its subsidiaries had failed to pay their franchise fees while at the same time continuing to operate and earn significant revenue from use of the City’s public rights-of-way.

The suit, filed June 3 in Civil District Court for Orleans Parish, alleged Breach of Contract, violations of the Wireline Telecommunications Franchise Act, Unjust Enrichment and requested that the Court order the removal of CenturyLink’s property from City rights-of-way.

The settlement reflects payment for unpaid franchise fees, and CenturyLink will now proceed with a franchise application regarding future use of the City’s rights-of-way.

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