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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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  • The basics... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kjuib ( 584451 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @06:49PM (#46018861) Homepage Journal


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

      by aaronmd ( 314035 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @06:54PM (#46018917)

      Comcast in our area was willing to run the line to an office if we paid for the cost of running the line. At the time they needed a new distribution hub with it so the cost was $60k+. 2 years later they changed their tune and did it for free in return for a 2 or 3 year business class internet contract.

      Chances are good you'd need a hub in your subdivision so it isn't like running a single cable and daisychaining the houses will work. If you can get commitments from enough of the neighbors however, you may be able to get somewhere with the company. 10 homes wanting $100/mo cable+internet adds up to $1200/mo and $14,400/yr. That might get them interested. 5 of you wanting $40/mo Internet only isn't likely to get them interested.

      • by Cryacin ( 657549 )
        1. Order 1 metric ton of gravy.
        2. Pour said gravy onto train
        3. Make phone call to cable company
        4. Profit?
        • Re:The basics... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by pepty ( 1976012 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @08:10PM (#46019621)
          How it works in my city:

          1. City allows utilities to charge a fee to underground telecom and power cables.

          2. Utilities collect the fee for decades without actually burying any cable.

          3. Fees stopped, utilities allowed to keep what they collected.

          4. Folks with ocean views pay to bury stuff on their own

          Fast forward a few years...

          1. City allows utilities to charge a fee to underground telecom, internet, and power cables.

          2. Utilities collect the fee, promise to have everything buried by 2067 ...

          • MB, CA?

            To the OP, you can't bury lines; all you can do is bury a duct bank and give a pull string for the telco. Unfortunately, they will require dedicated pathways, so you can't have competing providers in the same conduit or boxes. If they aren't even amenable to that, provide your own network and build an "association clubhouse [lowes.com]" at the main street. Get the fastest service (or two) to that point, and distribute out on the network.

            • How about they go the easy route, and just let the companies set up poles and run the wires that way?

              What's the big deal? Most areas I know of have utility poles.

              • In TFS, it says that the subdivision covenants require that all utilities be buried. Depending on the exact wording of the covenants, it may be possible for the HOA to change them or that they may expire at some point. IIRC, the covenants that cover the development I live expire in something like 2018 (house built in 2002), so at least some are time limited.

                The reality is that it really, REALLY depends on where the poster lives. Some states and/or municipalities have seriously reigned in the power of HOAs a

          • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *

            In California, part of the resistance comes from the fact that buried cable is subject to property tax, while overhead line is not. (Or so I was told by an engineer at the power company, when I was investigating costs to bring in utilities.)

    • Re:The basics... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Frobnicator ( 565869 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @06:58PM (#46018951) Journal

      Very much true. Money.

      Also, if you are paying for it yourself, why go with cable? Normally the cable companies just go in with an underground torpedo (yes, just like in the ocean, a big projectile that rockets through the ground) and shoot the thing toward the destination. They occasionally hit water lines, power lines, and other infrastructure. Then they hunt for it on the other end and hook things up.

      If you are serious about doing it, avoid cable. Hook up the neighborhood with fiber to each home. It isn't that much more expensive if you are going to tear up the streets anyway, and is far more valuable in the long run. You will still need someone to hook up the neighborhood to the grid, but once the fiber is in place, connecting the neighborhood's hub to a CO is pretty easy.

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

        by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @08:41PM (#46019853) Homepage
        Look up "directional boring" and "plowing" and forget that torpedo idea. With directional boring you can have the bore hole come out right where you want it. With plowing there's no need to "look" for the cable (or pipe or whatever) - it's there.

        Contractors are required by law to have all underground utilities located before they start. Hitting a water line or gas line can cost them a bunch of time and money. They're a lot more careful nowadays, though sometimes the utility companies miss on their locations.
      • Normally the cable companies just go in with an underground torpedo (yes, just like in the ocean, a big projectile that rockets through the ground) and shoot the thing toward the destination.

        Say whaaaat?!!! You're just fucking with us, right? I've never heard of such a thing, and the amount of energy to file a projectile underground and maintain enough moment to push dirt aside would be tremendous! Are you sure you're not just talking about typical horizontal boring machines? Back when I had to work with ca

    • Covenants are there to restrict what you can do with land you... long-term lease from the neighborhood association under the guise of land ownership.

      If you don't like the restrictions... don't like on snooty restricted land. If you're not rich enough to just bring your own fiber in underground, why are you living in wannabe snootyville?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Covenants are there to restrict what you can do with land you... long-term lease from the neighborhood association under the guise of land ownership.

        If you don't like the restrictions... don't like on snooty restricted land. If you're not rich enough to just bring your own fiber in underground, why are you living in wannabe snootyville?

        Because, 95% of all homes built in my area come with deed restrictions and an HOA with Nazis on the board. The other 5% are more expensive or located a LONG way from work.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        If you don't like the restrictions... don't like on snooty restricted land.

        Or bear the cost of the restrictions, buy paying the extra cost to compensate the company for burial.

        The other thing one can do is ignore the restrictions, and build out what they want. Make certain that nobody will complain, or take adverse action, because if they do -- it will be expensive.

        If you are in violation long enough, with nobody complaining --- an estoppel then applies.

        It may also be possible to fight the restri

        • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

          Learn the laws if you state too. In many states you have rights to "enjoy your property" lots of thoes HOA agreements don't exactly get a solid legal review before they are enacted. I know people that have successful challenged various provisions in court and had them found to be I unenforceable, be careful with that through there are hefty attorney fees to be encountered there, and if you do prevail against the HOA you might not get invited to the next block party

      • by TheSeatOfMyPants ( 2645007 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @08:38PM (#46019825) Journal

        In many areas, HOA-controlled neighborhoods are all that have been built for quite a while now... My home is in one of the very last traditional neighborhoods built in my suburb/city; all of the homes built here after ~1980 are either apartments, condos, or HOA-controlled houses on tiny plots of land. :-(

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

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:42PM (#46019399)


      This, and access requirements. The article says "our subdivision covenants require all utilities to be underground, " that's not a normal subdivision, it's controlled by an HOA and they control access from the edge of the development to the individual lots. It's basically the same thing as a trailer park except each person who owns a plot has an ownership stake/voice in the HOA- there isn't public right-of-way like there is in a non-covenant development.

      When these types of developments are originally being built, the contractor will generally offer the local ISP's/telco's the chance to come run their lines while the trenches are open. In most cases local companies which already service the area will even come out drop their copper into the trenches for free, which is most likely how the DSL got there, but in some cases they HOA or original developer has to pay them. (Especially if you want fiber instead of copper).

      So the first part of the answer is- you're going to have to work with the HOA no matter what. The ISP is not likely to pay to open trench and/or push conduit without being paid to do so, and HOA's can be extremely difficult to deal with at times depending on the membership. The HOA probably wants the ISP to pay to run the lines and landscape it afterwards, and the ISP probably wants the HOA to do it themselves or pay them to do it.

      The best route to go is consult with the HOA and if there's support for it, have the HOA itself approach the ISP's Construction Manager, possible speak with someone who works on Business accounts. Once they understand the HOA is on board, they will be more willing to prepare an actual Quote to get services run.

      But it's also possible the HOA worked out an exclusive deal with the existing DSL provider, where they won't allow anyone else to run lines in exchange for the ISP 'freeing out' the construction/build-out fees.

      Good Luck!

      Side Note- this is one of the reasons why I really hate HOA's and would never buy property in a covenant development.

      • Re:The basics... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Zebai ( 979227 ) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @12:30AM (#46021403)

        I work for a cable company and sat near the Commercial Dev agents for several years it was not uncommon for them to negotiate deals to lay new construction. Many communities opted for bulk agreements as part of the deal that required some basic level of service for all members for a number of years resulting in the cable company willing to cover a larger portion of the construction cost, sometimes all of it.

    • by mrmeval ( 662166 )

      Option 1) Use your vast political machine to convince congress to once again smash the HOA's in the mouth and allow it.
      Option 2) You kill enough people in your community they vote to allow it
      a)or vote to pay for the underground wires
      b) or the remaining bleaters all leave and you ARE the
      HOA and you can do what you want.
      Option 3) You destroy the local telecom and plunder all of it's accounts of cold hard cash, lau

    • Re:The basics... (Score:4, Informative)

      by icebike ( 68054 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:55PM (#46019511)

      It depends on who owns the underground infrastructure.

      In many places who ever did the subdivision originally, deeded all of that underground wire or piping to the city, or to the home owners association (if there is one) or to who ever they contracted for putting tin the original DSL. (AT&T apparently). If those owners won't allow use of the in ground infrastructure for a new purpose, you have to build new parallel plumbing.

      In that event, the cost of permitting, call before you dig, trenching, tunneling under driveways, etc can be so expensive they would never get payback, and the risk of destroying everything already in the ground is significant Everything from street lamp wiring, gardens, sprinkler systems, water pipes, etc.

      I've seen it done, but there usually has to be a city wide project to get this to happen. Enough work to make it worth employing a professional crew and providing months of work.

      You might have better luck getting all 22 homeowners to go on on a private conduit installation, with a bigger than needed conduit (or maybe just armored fiber) to each premises, all terminating at some common (and accessible) location. You'd have to pay for the trenching and materials, but it isn't that expensive, especially if you cover the liability aspects.

      All it takes is one hold-out to prevent a complete plan.

    • Money

      Actually, they want a certain number of base subscribers in your neighborhood to "pre-order", then they'll charge you the ridiculous amount of money to run the lines in your neighborhood, then they profit off the service and the nickel and diming they'll do to you on boxes, converters and DVRs.

  • by gameboyhippo ( 827141 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @06:50PM (#46018863) Journal

    Unless the municipality requires them to, they won't. Time Warner in Kansas City is required to support all of KC. Other ISPs that came in later (AT&T, Google, etc...) don't have such a requirement.

    • 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.

      • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
        Nearly my entire city has everything underground, including power. I find it strange to have anything above ground.
  • I don't. (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by kheldan ( 1460303 )
    If things keep going in the direction they've been going lately, pretty soon there won't be a reason to have internet access anymore.
  • It's simple: assure an ISP that any "competing" ISP that follows them will not offer prices, services, or data restrictions substantially better than theirs; et voila, cable and/or fiber.

    Cartels and de facto monopolies are what seems to get them building these days.

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @06:53PM (#46018891)
    You've got a 22 home sub, and everyone wants better Internet run. Change the covenants, if that's what it takes, sounds like you have the support. It sounds like there's already coax - it's not clear why a cable ISP couldn't run high speed service over that, or why you think they would need new cable.
  • Pay them. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RealGene ( 1025017 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @06:53PM (#46018905)
    Really, it's the only way. Pay them to do the work. It will cost you at least $3-5K per household.
    The only alternative is to go to your locality's cable commission, and find out if/when the cable provider's license is up for renewal. Make 100% coverage a non-negotiable requirement for renewal.
  • by JonahsDad ( 1332091 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @06:57PM (#46018939)
    You could get your subdivision covenants changed to not require all utilities to be underground. Worth weighing the costs of each approach (both monetary and non-monetary).
    • I don't think they'd be willing to drop poles in your little neighborhood just to pick up a dozen or two new customers...

      Have any companies expressed a willingness to serve your neighborhood with above ground services?

    • Covenants can be very difficult to change. In developments, the local government is usually a party to the covenant and must agree, and sometimes pass bylaws, to changing it. The covenant was probably places on the development to keep its rural flavor. Since there is an alternative, burying the cable, I doubt the covenant would be dropped. If it was changeable by the residents it would be a bylaw and not a covenant. There are ways to remove covenants [wikipedia.org] but they are not easy.

  • by fred911 ( 83970 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:01PM (#46018975)

    Are there no wimax solutions available? Wouldn't a hspa+ / LTe / 4g solution be much more cost efficient?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2014 @08:00PM (#46019543)

      No, just no. I had Clearwire for a while in downtown Seattle. While the speed was great since it was nearly 50 times faster than CenturyLink (formerly Qwest) DSL, it was actually slower in practice because of the horrific latency and packet loss. I know it's hard to believe, but the typical Seattle less than 1 Mbps DSL line was more pleasant to use than the Clearwire connection that was fifty times faster on paper. Wired is just that much better than wireless.

  • It's expensive (Score:4, Informative)

    by NoKaOi ( 1415755 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:01PM (#46018983)

    It's really expensive to bury lines, something like 10x the cost of above ground lines in some cases. The only way you're gonna get them to do it is if your neighborhood ponies up the money. The other alternative is to change the C&Rs to allow above ground, and even then they'll only do it if they're gonna make more money than what it costs.

    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.

    Well, if you want it badly enough, then that may be pretty much what you have to do (or at least bear the cost of it). You're dealing with a for-profit company, not a charity, so from a business perspective why would they spend the money when they have no hope of making enough to cover it in the foreseeable future?

    • Step 1 Don't stop just short of burying the cable yourselves.

      Step 2 Offer a substantial bribe (hot pizza & a cold pop, your wife's promiscuous sister's affections, whatever...you may ho for hbo) to the serviceman who arrives at your domicile after a request for service

      Step 3 After winning the technician's heart, convince him that you and yours are worthy of the hookup.

  • Move somewhere without these types of covenants and this type of association. Sounds a little bit like you're getting what you deserve or you didn't do the research before moving in.

    Ham radio operators have been dealing with this since I was licensed in 1991 and probably much earlier. Move somewhere, they forbid you from erecting an antenna, and you can't set up your station, public service or otherwise.

  • by atari2600a ( 1892574 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:06PM (#46019021)
    I 'accidentally' 'broke' the existing POTS lines!
  • Perhaps you have been too quick to dismiss DSL. I assume that currently your DSLAM is not very close to the neighborhood and therefore AT&T can only offer the slower DSL speeds. Perhaps you can convince AT&T to install a fiber fed DSLAM near the border of your neighborhood. If there is fiber in the area this can be done without digging up your neighborhood. With current DSL technology (VDSL2) they could offer much higher speeds (up to 100 Mbit down, but more likely 20-40 Mbit). This can be done over
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by linear a ( 584575 )
      DSL capability depends on distance to the nearest (hub/station/whatever). We tried that but were barely in DSL range (15,000 feet or so as the cable goes). It ran at 768 kbps max and was pretty bad. If you're closer the speeds etc gets better, if you're close enough to the closest station you can (I heard) get 25 mbps.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jsm300 ( 669719 )
        RIght. That nearest hub/station/whatever is called a DSLAM. A DSLAM can be installed near or in your neighborhood and fed by fiber. I have a fiber fed DSLAM in my neighborhood and I subscribe to a 40 Mbit VDSL2 service. I'm less than 1000 feet from the DSLAM, as are most of the people in our neighborhood. The generic "DSL" covers a wide range of service. The fact is that many people can only get 1.5 Mbit (or even only 256 Kbit) service, so they assume that (or 5-7 Mbit, which is the next tier typically avai
  • 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.

    • by Tridus ( 79566 )

      Great answer. If you can show up with fifteen homes willing to sign up, they are a lot more inclined to take you seriously.

  • 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: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.

    • by borcharc ( 56372 ) *

      Find someone who can get 50mb+ cable/dsl that is near your subdivision and put up a mesh network connecting the homes with that site. Get a VPS that is geographically near you or in the normal path for your internet traffic with sufficient ip addresses that you tunnel back to your subdivision. Instant ISP, the cable/dsl guys will just see tons of VPN traffic and never know....

  • by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:16PM (#46019125)

    Our Telcom told me they would put fiber up to me if I paid for it. A mile and a half. I put in 12 pair phone underground wire laid on top of the ground inside 1" black plastic water line 25 years ago and it has lasted well. This was back before DSL when we had 14Kbaud modems or so - ripping faster than the old 300baud modems which were definitely better than throwing rocks or smoke signals. :)

    I'm trying to get them to just let me run the fiber through my existing 1" water line pipes which has plenty of bandwidth. :)

  • In this day and age there is no excuse to not have done your research before hand.

    Any time you plan to move somewhere (whether renting or buying but especially if you're buying a home) find out what is available for internet at that address.

    In NZ we're rolling out fibre to the premises over most of the country but there are lots of places that get screwed and will probably never get it, so RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH.

    Property that can't get decent internet should be worth less because it will forever be less

  • 1 Consider getting enough neighbors to split the cost (depends on what the cost is of course). 2 Wait until somebody else pays to get it closer to your area. 3 Get them to give a credit (50% in my case) for future service of the money paid to bring the cable in. Have them agree that's transferable to subsequent owners if the cost is high enough to bother with. 4 Look at alternatives - satelite internet (slow and VERY laggy but otherwise usable, can't do online gaming though). - cell phone data plan (low d
    • by pepty ( 1976012 )
      1 Consider getting enough neighbors to split the cost (depends on what the cost is of course). I think that could be really tricky if the group doesn't include all of the homes under the HOA.
  • Economics. Burying is going to cost a lot. The ISPs would have to borrow money now to pay the diggers, and hope that they can recoup the cost in the long run. The up-front cost is like $2000 per city lot. The ISPs are unlikely to foot the bill, even though interest rates are at record lows.

  • As long as the local electricity is provided by a Coop you should be able to get it. You might have to get all your neighbors to sign up as well but you get a Gig fiber connection to your house( called an ONT ) and you pay for whatever bandwidth they decide to sell. Usually 10, 25, 50 and 100 megabit business service. It works really good.

    You say your electricity comes from a local monopoly like Consumers Energy, well I guess you will have to wait 2 decades and they might have it, they are just a little

  • by aklinux ( 1318095 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:22PM (#46019185) Homepage
    Put together a Home Owners Association and collect dues. Use the money collected to pay for moving the utilities underground. Or, you may be able to get your city to bond the project. This would mean higher property taxes, at least in your area.

    With a 22 home subdivision, there is no way it is going to pay for the utility Companies to do this on their own.
  • Look- you and your neighbors could dig that trench in about 1 day (each person digging their own 2' deep, 1' wide trench.

    You could then buy the line for under $500 bucks.

    So then it's just a question of getting comcast to hook to it.

  • You don't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:25PM (#46019221)

    I work for a phone company. The only way to do it is pay for it yourself. Which is actually an option. We get businesses that will move into an area and want larger data-pipes and they just end up paying to have the cable laid. I think though, that after you get the estimates on the costs, you'll quickly realize why they have no desire to upgrade your trunking. It's upwards of a million dollars a mile... then take the number of people in your neighborhood, multiply that times what you pay per month, then divide the cost of laying the cable by that, and I bet you're looking at 40yrs before it pays itself off. By then there will be a new technology that you'll be bitching at them for not installing.

    • I've heard that $1M/mile number thrown around, but in the context of putting all utilities underground. Most of that cost is for the electric lines that probably have to be put in deeper with a backhoe. When they put in the FiOS lines in our neighborhood, they used the same equipment that they would use to put in a sprinkler system. The conduit is probably two feet down. Probably the most expensive part was repaving where they had to cut through sidewalks and driveways.

  • Utilities companies are cheapskates. In Australia, and I'm sure it's probably similar in America, the power companies here are still reluctant to bury power cables that arc, ignite bush fires and then kill people.

    I'm not saying what you are trying to achieve is impossible, but however you attempt to achieve it you are up for a lot of hard work.

  • Franchises such as cable providers are required to pull lines to all people is a territory. In exchange for being the only cable company, the cable company is typically required to provide services to everyone regardless of the cost. Google to find out the complaint department for your state franchise authority and place a complaint. I did this is the past and was quickly provided with cable access, even though they had to pull additional lines to reach me.
    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      Franchises such as cable providers are required to pull lines to all people is a territory. In exchange for being the only cable company, the cable company is typically required to provide services to everyone regardless of the cost.

      The HOA's burial requirement nullifies this by eliminating the public right of way from inside their development. A covenant development falls outside the franchise, and in general: the HOA will have to make a deal with the utility, and pay the utility for the installation o

  • Have you considered getting all the residents together to beat up the HOA or whoever it is that controls the shortsighted covenants, in order to get them to make an exception for cable?

  • We got a petition, so they would know how much money they could earn, thus know the investment would pay off. Took a year, we got underground cable. Persistence and organization won the day. This was just over 10 years ago with Time Warner and we all lived on 4 acre lots. 40+ of us.

  • it's the only way they bother. Either the gov't pays for it and gives it away free for a private company to monetize, or the gov't requires the private company to pay for it in exchange for the revenue. Either way it pretty much boils down to the gov't paying for it.

    I'm not complaining. I'm in favor of infrastructure investment. Just don't expect them to bother if it's their money on the line and they're not promised a tonne of long term profits (and a bail out if those profits never materialize). The k
  • by twistofsin ( 718250 ) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:45PM (#46019429)
    And can't get shit beyond "1.5" at my house. It wasn't even half that speed when I tried it.
  • Easy, show them the capital expendature will increase reveneu enough that the margin between the operating costs and the reveneu by enough to make back the capital expendature or thereabouts (smallish sunk costs are ok) within a year or two.
  • by ewieling ( 90662 ) <user@devnuPARISll.net minus city> on Monday January 20, 2014 @08:25PM (#46019733)
    The only way AT&T will upgrade your service is if they think someone else will install better/faster/cheaper/service. Make them think that and your problem is solved.
  • You are part of an HOA. I'm assuming that some/many/most others in the HOA also want better services. Raise HOA rates a bit, have the HOA run the wires and provide the service.

  • A ways back when I was still living with my parents, a neighbor moved in & was getting really excited about trying to get cable (TV) into the neighborhood. A main line passed by our street with a dozen houses on it. Not sure what all he did, but ended up getting the cable company to agree to put it in. The deal was he had to get a certain number of houses (half maybe) to cough up a couple hundred bucks & agree to some relatively normal 1 or 2 year commitment. He did & we ended up getting cable a little while later. A few years after I moved out the cable company ended up getting bought out & offering Internet access (don't remember if it was in that order, it was a good number of years ago). Basically you have to make it worth their while. Find out what their current rates are & see if you can get a significant number of your neighbors to promise to commit to a 1 or 2 year plan if the company will put in the new cable plant. That might get their attention. The cost of cable/wire is pretty cheap to the cost of labor & right of way issues. You might want to try & get fibre rather than coax put in.
  • by smutt ( 35184 ) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @12:31AM (#46021407)

    You guys are going to have to do this yourself as no ISP will take an interest in your small neighborhood.

    You might want to try reading this case study.
    http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/p... [harvard.edu]

    It covers the hurdles a small rural town went through in order to build their own municipal network.

  • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @01:59AM (#46021867) Homepage

    Create a community that owns the fiber and puts it down. Offer access to the ISPs to the dark fibers and tell them that here you have the fibers, now just connect us at this central point.

    Just make the correct contracts and it should work out. That strategy has been used elsewhere in the world.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein