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DENelson83 t1_ison9uc wrote

Be careful. Comcast has on at least one occasion cut a rival ISP's underground lines to put it out of business and forcibly take its customers.


aquanutz t1_isovcsb wrote

They absolutely fuck with lines. I'm in downtown Chicago and I finally had RCN added to my condo building (only 8 units) and half the folks here switched to RCN right away. About 8 months later I see a Comcast truck in the alley (only three condo buildings feed into this alley, it's quite small) and think to myself "god I hope they don't mess up my internet" and sure as shit, I go inside and my RCN line had been disconnected and their truck was gone. RCN was great about it and came out the next day but it was too much of a coincidence.


Correct_Influence450 t1_isp16ci wrote

Whoops, I accidentally let all the air out of this Comcast vehicles tires. My bad.


AngieTheQueen t1_ispoekk wrote

Oh darn, I spilled my graffiti all over the comcast truck windows! Interesting how the spill spells "fuck you" but hey, just a coincidence!


HopHunter420 t1_isqhonu wrote

Oops I accidentally left this candle burning in this Comcast truck. Whoopsie


tankerkiller125real t1_isqr1p8 wrote

I've gotten so fed up with ATTs bullshit that I've out right told their techs that if we lose internet I will call the cops, I do have their license plate, and they will pay for all the fiber repair costs.

So far we have yet to lose internet since, when they're out there. And according to the water company (right across the parking lot from us) ATT is by far the worst company when it comes to hitting shit underground too (or at least their contractors are).


ItalianDragon t1_isqxh2i wrote

>I've gotten so fed up with ATTs bullshit that I've out right told their techs that if we lose internet I will call the cops, I do have their license plate, and they will pay for all the fiber repair costs.

Not American (as my username suggests) but thqt's literally what my father said to the ISP that used to provide internet service to my grandparent's house.

There were problems constantly with service interruptions that'd never get fixed and so on and tech support was completely useless, constantly providing pointless "solutions". Eventually my father phoned the company and bluntly said "If a tech isn't there tomorrow morning, I'm calling the cops on you for failure to provide service".

Lo and behold, the very next day at 8 A.M. sharp, a tech was there to finally fix the problems.


dungone t1_isr5p5g wrote

If I understand correctly this is a more messed up situation. They were not even ATT customers, but ATT was damaging their internet cables.


ItalianDragon t1_isr86b9 wrote

That's pretty fucked up they did that honestly...


Psych0Freak t1_istogdo wrote

they didn’t get my internet back up for a fucking week because they “didn’t have any available agents” and refunded me 16 fucking dollars for my troubles…


Individual_Hearing_3 t1_isqicpq wrote

For some reason they had to put in a large order of valve stems because they kept losing them


BeefSupremeTA t1_issta99 wrote

Best not to run with a K Bar knife and clumsily trip directly into all 4 tires.


ElectroBot t1_isqs2u3 wrote

Maybe time to setup a camera with an integrated micro as card, set it for motion and get some charges for vandalism next time.


majoredinfinance t1_isqtcjk wrote

>I see a Comcast truck in the alley (only three condo buildings feed into this alley, it's quite small) and think to myself "god I hope they don't mess up my internet" and sure as shit, I go inside and my RCN line had been disconnected and their truck was gone. RCN was great about it and came out the next day but it was too much of a coincidence.

I can actually explain what goes on *most* of the time.

What happens is that Comcast sends a truck roll/tech to a location like an MDU (multi-dwelling unit) or apartment. The cable drop has multiple taps and sometimes is not labeled which line goes to which home. Many times, the cable is already plugged in and the tech is sometimes unable to figure out (even a toned line) which cable goes to which unit. To close out a job, the tech needs to label and tag the cable. Unfortunately, many technicians will label an incorrect line and close the job as it will take a long time, if not sometimes impossible, to locate the correct line. So when the customer leaves or moves, a tech comes and disconnects that line, which is most likely a neighbor. This is the most likely scenario that happens.


myyummyass t1_ispdkkb wrote

A lot of this is also because different service providers don’t run their lines where they’re supposed to. Especially in a city like that where everyone’s on top of each other, if techs are trying to work on something and another provider put lines in their way they will just cut them.

edit: not sure why i was downvoted. never mind my 16 years of experience working in this industry lol


FruityWelsh t1_isq3ybh wrote

No labeling or testing also has it happen. The amount of cable I've cut because no one knew it was there is pretty absurd for how little I was doing any work related to it. It's normally a deadline as well, but you have to go around asking people to make sure you didn't ruin someone's service.


trail_mix24 t1_iss9sqo wrote

I was a house tech for fiber, but usually I'd ask the customer if they cared that I cut a coax so I could reuse the hole to go inside. Only once did they say no, as they wanted to use it to distribute signal through the house. That time was coincidentally the time I hit an electrical wire with my drill bit. Flames shooting out the wall are not very pleasant, even if it is just brief. Luckily the breaker tripped before a house fire started.


willworkforicecream t1_isoo34k wrote

I'm at least 50% willing to chalk this up to Comcast's general incompetence with the bonus side effect of being malicious.


Shamewizard1995 t1_isoto79 wrote

Their workers cut a marked cable and the owner came out, explained the situation and markings to them, and started repairs. While he was repairing it, those Comcast workers cut 8 more marked cables across his network


kalasea2001 t1_isoqmk8 wrote

Once, maybe. But there's a rich history of monopoly cable companies sabotaging their 'competitors'


The420shortbus t1_isowpei wrote

I used to work for Time Warner(before it was Spectrum) and I can't tell you how many calls I got from a competitor in our area(Cincinnati Bell at the time) saying our techs cut their lines. It's insane how often this occurs.


dungone t1_isr61bs wrote

Never attribute to incompetence that which is adequately explained by greed.


dcoli t1_isqxfhn wrote

A Spectrum guy told me they and Verizon FiOS do this to each other all the time. Usually there on legitimate business, but accidents do happen ...


dungone t1_isr59se wrote

What stops Comcast lines from being cut under mysterious circumstances sometime after that?


DENelson83 t1_isrdcee wrote


They will do it if they think it is profitable.


chrisdh79 OP t1_isog8ag wrote

From the article: Sasha Zbrozek lives in Los Altos Hills, California, which he describes as "a wealthy Silicon Valley town," in a house about five miles from Google's headquarters. But after moving in December 2019, Zbrozek says he learned that Comcast never wired his house—despite previously telling him it could offer Internet service at the address.

Today, Zbrozek is on the board of a co-op ISP called Los Altos Hills Community Fiber (LAHCF), which provides multi-gigabit fiber Internet to dozens of homes and has a plan to serve hundreds more. Town residents were able to form the ISP with the help of Next Level Networks, which isn't a traditional consumer broadband provider but a company that builds and manages networks for local groups.

Zbrozek's experience with Comcast led to him getting involved with LAHCF and organizing an expansion that brought 10Gbps symmetrical fiber to his house and others on nearby roads. Zbrozek described his experience to Ars in a phone interview and in emails.

"Before I bought my home, I checked with Comcast—by phone—to see if service was available at the address. They said yes. After moving in, I called to buy service. The technician came out and left a note saying that service was not available," he told us.


HuntingGreyFace t1_isojnzo wrote

false advertising?


who knows?

Lawyers don't ever work for us peasants


LigerXT5 t1_isp62fo wrote

This is a rise going on, Suddelink/Optimum (same company, owned by Altice), ATT, and a few others are caught in this. People looking to move, told there's service, move in, and find out there isn't. I've witnessed this a few times on the edges of my town. Some are lucky to even get 3-6Mbs on a 12Mb plan with ATT.

Theory till practiced enough: What I'd suggest is before signing paperwork for buying a house, have an ISP tech visit and confirm there is service, and confirmed speeds to be expected. If all goes well, schedule a followup to install, after all the paperwork is done. This sounds like the most simple and legal option.

Theory 2: Home owners looking to sell need to start listing what ISPs are confirmed, by the ISPs themselves, when listing to sell. That way the home owner is still not in troubled mix, and the legal issues go to the ISPs who can't keep their coverage maps accurate.


DENelson83 t1_ispkug7 wrote

The problem is actually having the ISP tech visit before closing on the house. Most large ISPs will not do this.


MelodyMyst t1_ispm4aq wrote

You. An always just look around yourself. It’s not too difficult to see if there is a cable from the pole. If it’s underground there is a box nearby. Ask the neighbors.

There are lots of things you can do in your own.


DENelson83 t1_isrbgyu wrote

None of those will actually allow you to determine if a piece of property is wired up or not. If the lines are underground, you obviously will not be able to see them.

Maybe what needs to be done is a call to 8-1-1.


MelodyMyst t1_isrfams wrote

That’s not even remotely true.


CaptainKenway1693 t1_isrz7np wrote

It certainly is for my home. My next door neighbour had Frontier and my property didn't. When asked why I couldn't receive service I was informed that they were at capacity. When Frontier finally decided to run new cable in the area I was able to get cable ran to my home. But my place and my neighbours place are both connected to the same box, so nothing is visually different from before.


ihohjlknk t1_isql6qo wrote

This is what i think about when i read these stories. How can a home buyer possibly confirm that the house is hooked up to an ISP? You can't take a customer service agent's word at face value.


LigerXT5 t1_isqlyhw wrote

The only solid answer is finding out what the current owner is using, and the speed test results, as well as the package they are signed up for.


TK421sSupervisor t1_isrhm2y wrote

Put it in to the purchase agreement? Everything is negotiable. If the seller misrepresents this, they’re on the hook no?


PM_ME_C_CODE t1_isqle7n wrote

>What I'd suggest is before signing paperwork for buying a house, have an ISP tech visit and confirm there is service

And get it in writing. That way if even after the tech says "yes we can" and they can't, you can sue.

A home is a massive investment. CYA.


getdafuq t1_isqkgb9 wrote

It’s typical. They’ll say they service your area, and you give them your address, and they’ll say “yes, we service your area.”

What they mean is they service someone in your area.

To find out if they actually service your house, you have to book the appointment first.


tristanjones t1_ispsmhw wrote

CenturyLink did this to me. They all love pulling this crap


Shavethatmonkey t1_isoodsr wrote

"Rich guy in rich town starts own ISP for wealthy residents" isn't as heartwarming.


insta-kip t1_isophd5 wrote

But it’s a co-op isp. So generally speaking a not-for-profit internet available to all residents, rich and poor. You usually end up getting better speeds for a whole lot less money.


Lamacorn t1_isoqp5o wrote

Too be fair, everyone in Los Altos hills is rich.

Houses sell for millions and the rare rental is $8k+

That being said, co-ops are cool and fuck the major ISP’s.


chibi-totoro t1_ispezwx wrote

The article says they all paid $12000 per house with $155 a month ongoing maintenance fee.

It's not $210k but its not something the poors can participate in.


insta-kip t1_ispnzzu wrote

Looks like I should have read the whole article. Yeah $155 a month is a bit high. I wonder if more users are added if that would lower the maintenance costs?


AfricanNorwegian t1_isqbge1 wrote

$155 a month is not bad considering it’s 10gbit/s

I’m currently paying $130 for 1gbit/s

It’s really only the installation fee that’s the main barrier.


ExcerptsAndCitations t1_isq7ron wrote

I live in Flyover Country USA, just outside a small town of ~30k. With the 2009 Broadband Act money, trunk fiber was installed along my property line in 2018, and I was able to get the local fiber ISP to connect me. The nearest vault was about 1/8th mile away from my front yard.

For the low, low Homie Hookup price of $7,000 in trenching and dirt work out of my own pocket and $135/month for the next three years, I was able to get 50 Mbps internet.

The alternative was dialup from CenturyLink.

People who don't work in telecom or outside plant construction have no idea what it really costs to install infrastructure.


gargoso t1_isrzdwd wrote

It is indeed a lot of work to lay cables in the ground in a big country but it still does not make sense to be that expensive compared to other big countries or countries with small population.


iNyander t1_isotmu7 wrote

But it is heartwarming to tell Comcast to get fucked when they think they can make easy money off someone just because they are in a wealthy zip code.


BoricPenguin t1_isop7q0 wrote

I really hope the US fixes it's internet problem, like big ISPs are shit companies you have to deal with in many cases like in my area there's ONLY Comcast and somehow Comcast has exclusively for my fucking town meaning others ones cannot legally compete with them in my town....

And is the service good? Actually it's pretty good, my town is in the middle of nowhere basically and I have pretty good speeds so I am pretty happy but only in the last few years! It used to be pure shit and would just stop working for some reason and just a ton of other bad stuff.

This is the problem I had to deal with a bad internet for years until they fixed their shit! And there's no other company! You're just fucked!

The US needs restrictions and more forced standards for these ISPs to follow so even if there's only one it has to meet a specific restriction. Those restrictions and standards should be set pretty high because frankly it's not a hard service to deliver.

Internet is a must in today's world but the US just let's these companies do what ever like it's some niche market.


Agreeable-Meat1 t1_ispg2qy wrote

Fun fact, 17 states have laws on the books preventing municipal governments from offering broadband services to residents. There are actually a few small cities that offer full on home internet through the city government. It's definitely an interesting way to attract residents.


tankerkiller125real t1_isqrnv8 wrote

Ohio tried to pass a law like that, the problem is that they tried to do it too late. Cities who already had it, and cities already in the planning/deployment phase shut it down hard.


Ok-Flatworm9115 t1_isrhna9 wrote

Ohio in northeast area is bad. Time Warner and the other one divide the areas up. You only have one option which is total bullshit. Can’t get the other company even if it’s across the street


tankerkiller125real t1_issc4qz wrote

I'm one of the lucky ones that has both spectrum and ATT as an option... Reality is though that only Spectrum is good... ATT wants the same money for 5x slower speeds.


shortybobert t1_isrsdq6 wrote

I'd still rather pay Comcast than plug my devices directly into the government


DENelson83 t1_ispkhki wrote

But it won't, because it's just way too profitable to not fix it.


Maleficent-Twist-308 t1_isprds2 wrote

What’s worse is these mega corps don’t even have to provide to your house to make money. The big boys own the Tier 1 backbone lines so even if you don’t have them, you likely are still paying a company who is paying them for use of the Tier 1 backbone they own. Most Tier 3 providers pay for use on Tier 1 backbone upstream from their service area.


tankerkiller125real t1_isqs1k8 wrote

What I love is that the school districts in my county got so fed up with the big ISPs that they built their own data center, ran hundreds of miles of fiber, and managed to get Google, Level 3 and other major companies to peer inside their data center. They actually have enough peered bandwidth (without Comcast, Spectrum or ATT) that every district could have 50Gbs internet if they wanted.


HopHunter420 t1_isqi134 wrote

Far as I can tell the whole telecoms situation in the US, both in the earth and in the air, is a sad joke.


gargoso t1_isrz5w6 wrote

Large companies in USA have to much power.


cookiebasket2 t1_iss54z7 wrote

ISPs spend more money in trying to keep down home grown internet than they do on improving their service. Compete and provide a better service at a reasonable rate and it'll stop other companies from coming in and taking all your dissatisfied customers.


ElvisDumbledore t1_isohjat wrote

I LOVE that people do this (because FUCK comcast), but I'm guessing the startup cost for an ISP is more than $210,000. I'm betting $210,000 is for the entire neighborhood and could have been split with the other people using the ISP.


Ares1935 t1_isonx0e wrote

And then theres the upkeep and service. If the fiber gets cut, I'm guessing a repair crew won't arrive in 1 hour.


LigerXT5 t1_isp6dys wrote

Good large networks, either internal or external, has redundancy. Either it's automated, or someone flips a switch to light up another line or route to keep things flowing, even if in a slower fashion, till the main line is repaired.


Ares1935 t1_ispe184 wrote

You think this network has redundancy?


LigerXT5 t1_ispgj79 wrote

Granted I never said it was good or bad, just stating a standard and proper large network, either it be in a large building or external, should have redundancies.

If a fiber line is cut, internet can continue flowing through other means until repair can make it out, either that is under an hour, or the next day. Out here in rural NW Oklahoma, if a line is damaged, and it's been raining heavily or snow/ice build up, you're lucky to get someone out there within an hour just to see the cause.


ZRhoREDD t1_isos4p9 wrote

Monopoly ISPs need to go.


SparkStormrider t1_ispgaap wrote

I used to work for a co-op, and they truly care about bringing the best offering they can to their customers (and potential customers). So many times, did the big players tried to screw us one way or the other vs make their own service offerings better. We were offering faster speeds for cheaper prices, not to mention better customer service. I know I sound like an ad right now, but man it was almost like day and night difference between the co-op and the big players. The big players are trying their best to get rid of the Universal Service Fund which the co-ops are able to pull money from to improve and maintain their services for the purpose of squeezing the smaller companies out. Greedy jerks.


FruityWelsh t1_isq5byj wrote

All of my CO-OP experiences have been better. Grocery store Co-op? Better prices and more options of things I actually wanted. Why? Because they ask and have a way for people to ask about getting certain things. Coffee store coop same thing. Electric Co-op, payment system and website was bad, complained about it, and they made changes.

It's crazy what a group can do when you don't have to keep sending things up a massive chain to make changes, and how much people care about their stores and their communities when given the chance.


tankerkiller125real t1_isqsehb wrote

I wish we had way more of them.


SparkStormrider t1_issmmf4 wrote

I'm with you, and personally I think part of it is lack of knowledge, at least around here where I live it is. Once I do let people know about what a co-op is they are immediately on the hunt for one. Sadly, where I live there aren't any close by, but that won't stop me for encouraging others to go with a co-op before one of the big companies


Woodhow t1_isop948 wrote

Check ot B4RN in the UK. Community non-profit can work. We helped dig our internet and now get 1Gb fibre both ways.


jthomas9999 t1_isozrsp wrote

To be fair, the $210,000 probably includes upgrading the area that was dug up. We are a Comcast partner and had a client looking to install in Oakland CA. The Comcast quote was something like $250,000. Our rep explained that right now, the area to be dug up was empty fields. In order to get the permit for the install, Oakland insisted that when done, Comcast had to upgrade the landscaping. Needless to say, the install didn’t happen.


ExcerptsAndCitations t1_isq8199 wrote

Even when they don't have to upgrade the landscaping, underground trenching and installation costs about $60k-$100k per mile in the US, and probably more in California. If you have to directional bore, you're looking at $400k per mile to start. If you have to go through bedrock, you're better off cancelling the entire project.


chesbyiii t1_ispo7ke wrote

Are CUDs a Vermont-only thing? I assumed they were other places, too.


FruityWelsh t1_isq5hw5 wrote

Oh that's really cool


chesbyiii t1_issmxeg wrote

Indeed! I think it's going to be a little pricier, but it's a price I'll pay for service/support from local people. I believe they're racing against national players to complete the network and sign people up.


BuckyDuster t1_isqho7a wrote

If you can’t join them, beat them


minus_minus t1_isrhr65 wrote

I’m a little less sympathetic to participants in exurban sprawl. The town mandates one acre minimum lot size, one dwelling per lot, and no above ground utilities. The median home price there is in the millions. Literally luxury problems.


Qisfakeyoustupidfuck t1_isrnc8i wrote

Funny how the dollar amount keeps increasing as the months go by when this was first announced…


Jaerin t1_isqlkb2 wrote

Libertarian fed up that someone else isn't willing to pay for the infrastructure that he wants so he builds it himself.


LongjumpingMonitor32 t1_isrmz3x wrote

Comcast took no issue finding the money to purchase SkyTV to add to their portfolio but also wanted to get rich off a man who wanted to have internet installed by charging $210k. Fk'em!