ALBANY The man who was once poised to challenge Mediacom's status as the lone provider of cable T.V. service in Albany has been arrested and charged with stealing high-speed Internet and T.V. service from the company, police officials say.
Kraig Beahn, CEO of L2Networks, was released on a $10,000 bond from the Dougherty County Jail Thursday, jail officials say. He was charged with one felony count of theft of Services.
Capt. James Sexton, of the Dougherty County Police Department, says that a warrant was made against Beahn after a representative from Mediacom told police on Dec. 15 that someone had tampered with a cable box on a pole on the 600 block of McCollum Drive.
"The officer went out there and met with a Mediacom representative who reported theft of cable phone service and high speed Internet service," Sexton said. "Mediacom said that L2 had tapped into a Mediacom outlet and had to wired it to a modem and to a box that converts the signal to a fiberoptic line, and the fiber line was providing service to a (nearby) business on McCollum that was serviced by L2."
"We began to look into that, and my detective determined that it was in fact the case, that all of that had been installed without Mediacom's consent or knowledge, and I believe it also showed that the modem belonged to Mediacom and was intended for residential service," Sexton said.
Beahn and L2Networks were granted a franchise agreement to provide high-speed Internet access and Video-Over-Internet Service by the Albany City Commission in 2010. That agreement came after Beahn and the Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission partnered to explore providing a residential alternative to Mediacom.
Currently, L2Networks provides phone service for the city of Albany -- something that may or may not continue in light of Beahn's arrest, City Manager James Taylor said.
"We're aware of it, we're making some contingency plans should this adversely affect his ability to provide our service," Taylor said.