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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Convince an ISP To Bury Cable In Your Neighborhood? 324

EmagGeek writes "I live in a semi-rural micropolitan area that generally has good access choices for high speed Internet. However, there are holes in the coverage in our area, and I live in one of them. There is infrastructure nearby, but because our subdivision covenants require all utilities to be underground, telecoms won't even consider upgrading to modern technology. The result is that we're all stuck with legacy DSL (which AT&T has happily re-branded as U-Verse even though it isn't) as our only choice for wireline access. There is a competing cable company in the area, also with infrastructure nearby, but similarly they are reluctant to even discuss burying new cable in our 22-home subdivision. Has anyone been in this same predicament and been able to convince a nearby ISP to run new lines? If so, how did you do it? Our neighborhood association could really use some pointers on this because we hit a new brick wall with every new approach we try — stopping just short of burying our own cable and hoping they'll at least be willing to run a line to the pole at the end of the street and drop it into our box."
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Convince an ISP To Bury Cable In Your Neighborhood?

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  • by ceide2000 ( 234155 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:06PM (#46019031) Homepage

    There are two options HOAs can access high speed Internet or other telecom services.

    Option 1: Poll your neighbors and determine who will sign up for what services if they where available. Write down their contact info, what services they want and take it to a local telco office. Tell them you want to speak with a business sales rep. Tell them your need and provide a copy of the document. They should be able to justify the build-out based on the number of signed service agreements. The standard ROI is two years. So your neighbors will have to be okay with the services they receive for at least two years. This has been numerous times with multiple carriers. So if you get push back from the sales rep speak to their manager. Trust me, they want to make the sale!

    Option 2: Install it yourself then contact the provider for bulk services. In bulk arraignments the savings is sufficient to payoff the build-out within 18-24 months if you farmed out the build and maintenance. ROI is much less if you do it yourself. I have some MDU properties with 100/50Mbps service out to each apartment.

  • Go wireless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pcjunky ( 517872 ) <walterp@cyberstreet.com> on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:07PM (#46019041) Homepage

    Use WISP technology. And before you say our covenant won't allow antennas....

    http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-reception-devices-rule [fcc.gov]

  • Re:City laws (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crow ( 16139 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:29PM (#46019259) Homepage Journal


    I don't know about the details in Kansas City, but in Massachusetts, when Verizon was doing the FiOS roll-out, the typical franchise agreement with each town required that they offer service to every resident within five years of the initial agreement. This typically meant that those with above-ground utilities got it in the first year, and everyone else had to wait until the fourth or fifth year.

    You need to talk to your elected officials in town. Find out when the license is up for renewal. It may be a ten-year deal with the town (that's not unusual). Push hard to have the town require universal access to all residents within a reasonable time as a condition on any license renewal.

    The simple fact is that, taken as a whole, most towns with a mix of above and below-ground utilities still result in a profit for cable companies when they have to install service to all neighborhoods. Below-ground utilities alone are still profitable, but the payback is longer, so they prefer to invest in infrastructure elsewhere.

  • Re:Go wireless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:53PM (#46019497) Journal

    Yep. Members of my HOA were harassed by the board of directors back when minidishes started popping up. We invoked the 1996 telecommunication act and dared them to take us to court. They dropped the issue.

    WISP will get you the mesh, but you still need a big pipe to the internet. If the neighborhood is close enough to an area that does have broadband, maybe you can work something out with them. Set up a LLC and become your own ISP.

  • Re:The basics... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SpectreBlofeld ( 886224 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @11:34PM (#46021055)

    Did this once! 2003 or so. Had a workplace with a bitchin' high-speed internet backbone situated at the bottom of a mountain ridge about a mile away from where I lived. My roommate and I we were poor 20-year-olds and wanted fast internet without the cost. We climbed the foothills of the mountain and affixed an antenna on the mountainside using highly directional antennas to give us free high-speed internet at home. We used fancy stuff like spotting scopes and lasers to help us align the two antennas. The antenna on the house was lashed to the fireplace with aluminum bands.

    It was a lot of fun to set up, but it didn't work very well. No matter how we tried to stabilize the setup, weather fucked with us. High winds caused things to wobble, which meant packet loss, and slowdowns. And when it would go down completely, one of us would have to - with an exasperated sigh - get in the car and drive a mile away and climb a hillside and check out the setup while the other person climbed on the roof... while communicating to each other with walkie-talkies because it was 2003 and we were poor. We eventually ended up springing for some DSL provider, I don't even remember which.

    All that said... I cherish the memories.

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