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City administrator Jeff O'Neill said that the city has no intention of abandoning FiberNet's 1,700 customers, including about 130 businesses. "This system isn't going anywhere," he said. "We're not going out of business." Despite the problems, he said the city has one of the fastest Internet systems in the country that has driven down prices and improved services by providing competition.The article also notes that prior to the City-owned network, the telephone company (TDS) provided very poor DSL service that was harming area businesses with slow and very unreliabile phone and broadband services. Without FiberNet Monticello, we don't know how many businesses would have been forced to relocate to be competitive in the digital economy. We decided to dig a little deeper to get a sense of what Monticello has received for its investment and difficulty. We previously examined the prices charged by Charter cable in town and found that households taking that deal were saving $1000/year. We also noted that Charter was almost certainly engaging in predatory pricing. After talking with other networks, we would guess that Charter is losing between $30 and $50 (conservatively) per subscriber per month.
According to the friend, Glenda Dillashaw, a Charter representative told her that Spain would need to find his cable box or be charged $212 for its loss.Fortunately, when Spain followed up with Charter after receiving another bill, the representative told him not to worry about it, suggesting that either Charter has an ambiguous policy to deal with it or Spain found a customer support person who's heart had not yet been crushed by soul-numbing job of being a customer support representative for a massive cable company. At least one other company has a formal policy in place for these situations:
Bright House Networks, whose service area includes hard-hit Pratt City, also expects its customers to file claims under homeowners' or renters' insurance to pay for lost or destroyed cable boxes. "That's how we normally handle it," spokesman Robert L. Smith said.Fascinatingly, an article in Michigan claims Comcast does not have a policy in place for these situations. Following recent tornados in Michigan, Comcast customers who lost their homes were given the option of paying a cancellation fee or paying a reduced "vacation" rate for a service they could not use.
Katherine Pfeiffer and Kathy Crawford soon found that residents were being told that they would be responsible for damaged or lost cable boxes and modems. Initially residents were told their accounts with Comcast would be put on “vacation” status, where a monthly fee of between $15 and $20 would be charged.Comcast is supposedly "working on a solution" for these people. The hubris of this massive companies is unreal. People who are waiting to hear if their home is repairable or has to be destroyed should not be confronted by the cable company with exorbitant fees.
Comcast has once again distinguished itself as an extraordinary company - not only do Americans trust it less than any other company on the list, it occupies the two bottom positions. Big shocker that communities want better local service with their own networks.
Accoding to the 2011 Temkin Trust Ratings, which looks at the level of trust that consumers have in 143 large U.S. companies in a total of 12 industries, only eight companies earned "very strong" ratings while 26 earned "very weak" ratings.Comcast was the worst. But it is in the company we would expect - Time Warner Cable and Charter are close to the bottom also.
Sixty-four percent of 450 randomly chosen Chelan County registered voters who were part of phone survey in August said they favor taking the grant and completing the buildout, even if it means their electric bills will go up by as much as 3 percent — about $1.50 more on a $50 per month power bill.On November 9, PUD Commissioners approved the rate increase. Chelan's service providers currently offer connections of 6Mbps/384kbps or 12 Mbps/384kbps.
It’s a great day for Opelika. It’s a great day for our future. It’s a terrible day for Charter,”One gets the sense that the Mayor took some umbrage at Charter's tactics to prevent the community from building its own network. The day before the election, Stop the Cap! ran a fantastic article about Charter's manufactured opposition to the community network. Phillip Dampier investigated the background and claims of prominent opponents, including Jack Mazzola, who might as well have written some of the articles in the local paper about the Smart-Grid project for how often he was quoted by the reporter (who often failed to offer a countering view from anyone in support of the network).
Jack Mazzola claims to be a member of Concerned Citizens of Opelika and has become a de facto spokesman in the local press. He claims he is “30 years old and have been a resident of Opelika for almost two years.” During that time, he evidently forgot to update his active Facebook page, which lists his current city of residence as Atlanta, Georgia. Suspicious readers of the local newspaper did some research of their own and claim Mr. Mazzola has no history of real estate or motor vehicle taxes paid to Lee County, which includes Opelika.Any community considering a referendum on this issue should read this Stop the Cap! post and learn from it because massive cable companies like Charter all use the same tactics in community after community.
“Shall the City of Opelika, Alabama, be authorized to acquire, establish, purchase, construct, maintain, lease and operate a cable television system for the purpose of furnishing cable service to subscribers?” That’s what the ballot will read in Opelika on Aug. 10. And the answer: absolutely yes.Unless, of course, you are a massive company like Charter that already offers services. If you are Charter, you might make absurd claims that cable is somehow more reliable than fiber. The Charter Government Relations Director apparently suffers from what we might call the make-ity-up disease.