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Getting Your ISP To Help You Get Online

Listener Rick in Christiana, Tennessee just needs his ISP to extend a cable from the house next door... but there's trouble

Lineman changing transformer

Rick shared his situation: “We bought a house on a 6-acre property. Kinda country, but 4 miles from the main city. 4 houses to the left and 5 houses to the right, all have high speed Internet access. But the cable was never run to our house. I called all the Internet providers and was told that AT&T owns the rights to the cable. When I talk to them to have the cable run, I don’t get anywhere. They can’t give me an answer or tell me why. I’m hoping with your resources, that you can come through and give me some ideas on how I can get the high speed Internet access run to my house. Love your show. Thank you very much for being there and helping me and others.”

Convincing AT&T or anyone else to lay the cable will be a chore and expect that if you do manage to reach someone willing to help you get it done, that they may charge you for at least part of the work which, believe it or not, can be in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.

We ran into a similar problem at our previous offices, in our case the cable reached across the street from us, but didn’t cross the road, three years after they initially promised to extend the cable to our side they still hadn’t.

We ran into a similar problem at our previous offices

You can try to find and reach out to whatever regional office controls either your county or your town if you’re at all incorporated and ask them to work with you, you may get luckier that way than if you speak to a random person somewhere in the world that happened to pick up the phone.

The truth is that if cable reaches everyone around you, it can reach you inexpensively, they just have to make that last bit of effort, make sure they know you’re willing to sign a multiyear contract if you are and they should be happy with that.

The temporary solution

Now, since this may take far longer than it reasonably should, you could temporarily try to set up a WiFi network from a neighbor’s house and a repeater in your house to have a useful connection, but obviously this depends on the goodwill of your neighbors and it’s not a permanent solution.

The practical solution

Another way to go about it, if you’re looking for a practical solution may be to just call the local news and tell them your story. Your situation with internet all around you is pretty ridiculous and it should make for a decent news story that will pain AT&T in a bad light and they may rectify the situation just for the PR.

Rick is not alone!

A story came out of Wisconsin just a few mothns ago about a homeowner who built on a lot outside of the city, in a new development. He checked with the cable company and the phone company, and both told him he could have service at that address.

So he bought the lot and built the house. When he called up to order cable, he was told there was no service to his address and–get this–if he wanted to pay for the fiber connection to his neighborhood, the cost would be $117,000. And they weren’t kidding!

If he wanted to pay for the fiber connection to his neighborhood, the cost would be $117,000. And they weren’t kidding!

He called the phone company, who had promised him 24 megabit per second DSL and discovered the fastest speed he could get was 3 megabits per second. (That’s a common issue with DSL like AT&T U-verse. They promise a speed and can’t get anywhere close to it because you’re too far from the central office.)

This homeowner complained to everyone who would listen, all the way to the state government. Bottom line? He’s stuck. Cable and phone companies are not required to provide accurate information, nor are they compelled to live up to their promises. You can read the whole story on Ars Technica.

That won’t solve your problem, but it will bring to light that this is a problem everywhere and the homeowner is the one left holding the short end of the stick. Cable and phone companies are great, right up until they’re not, and then they’re awful.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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