The rooftop of a luxury condo high-rise marks the center of a vicious legal battle for cable and Internet supremacy in downtown Miami, according to a lawsuit recently filed in Broward County Circuit Court.
Winter Haven, Florida-based ITCSAT Corp. is suing the Marquis Miami Condominium Association, a competitor cable and Internet provider named Broadwave, and its affiliate Broadwave II, for breach of contract, tortious interference and civil conspiracy.
The 103-page complaint alleges that Marquis Miami condo board President Allan Schwartz and Broadwave founder Jordan Smith, both of whom are also defendants, teamed up to sabotage ITCSAT’s 2019 contract to provide high-speed cable and Internet service in the 63-story building at 1100 Biscayne Boulevard near downtown Miami.
Two other pending lawsuits were filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court last year involving the same two Internet service providers and Marquis Miami. And Broadwave, which is based in Key West, is suing ITCSAT in Miami federal court.
Broadwave, which had been hired as a subcontractor to ITCSAT, was allegedly misusing antennas it installed on the roof of Marquis Miami to provide a backup wireless connection to the building, the lawsuit states. Specifically, Internet connectivity that was supposed to be exclusively for Marquis Miami residents, commercial tenants and condo association allegedly was also being sold by Broadwave to customers in other buildings in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the lawsuit alleges.
When ITCSAT discovered Broadwave’s “illicit and lucrative” side business, Schwartz and Smith sought to have ITCSAT terminated as Marquis Miami’s cable and Internet service provider, according to the complaint.
Jonathan Pollard, the attorney for Broadwave and Smith, said the lawsuit is without merit. “It is absurd for ITCSAT to suggest that it had a protectable relationship with the Marquis Miami when ITCSAT is now suing them, too,” Pollard said in an emailed statement. “My clients’ actions were fully consistent with their legal and contractual rights. Broadwave will beat them in court and in the marketplace.”
A man who answered a publicly listed cell phone number registered to Schwartz told The Real Deal that the condo board president was out of the country until next week. Attorneys for the Marquis Miami Condominium Association and ITCSAT declined comment.
According to the complaint, ITCSAT brought in Broadwave to install the antennas and use them to connect to antennas on other buildings powered by ITCSAT in the event that the hardwire cable lines went down. The lawsuit alleges that Jordan recognized that having access to the rooftop of one of downtown Miami’s tallest buildings provided him with the ability to reach customers throughout Miami-Dade and Broward, and at the same time undermine ITCSAT’s status as the Marquis Miami’s Internet service provider.
The complaint claims that Smith enticed Schwartz into convincing the condo board to fire ITCSAT by offering to provide the association with “virtually free services” in exchange for continued access to the rooftop.
“Schwartz jumped at the opportunity, as the financial savings that he would enjoy as a resident and owner of multiple units at the Marquis Tower would be significant,” the lawsuit states.