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Windstream Tells Its DSL Customer in South Carolina to Consider Satellite Internet Instead

windstream

On the outside looking in.

Windstream’s DSL service in parts of Inman, S.C. is so bad, the company has recommended some DSL customers consider signing up for a competitor’s satellite-based Internet service instead.

In a remarkable response to a complaint filed with the Federal Communications Commission by a Windstream customer, Mollie Chewning, an executive customer relations representative for Windstream, suggested no broadband upgrades were likely before 2016 and beyond a $10 monthly discount for a year, customers in Inman will just have to live with DSL speeds that are often less than 1Mbps or consider switching to satellite-delivered Internet from another company.

“Windstream acknowledges some Iman [sic], SC have been experiencing high-speed Internet issues,” Chewning wrote Sharon Bowers, the department division chief of the FCC’s Consumer Information Bureau. “This is a result of the tremendous growth in Internet usage over the past few years as well as the challenging economics of serving rural and remote areas with broadband. Unfortunately, our records indicate Mr. [redacted] service address will likely not benefit from any of our scheduled upgrades in 2015. It is possible some upgrades may be explored in 2016 could assist some customers in Inman via Connect America funding, but Windstream is still finalizing upgrade plans for next year.”

Speed test results

Speed test results

James Corley, the victim of Windstream’s poor-performing DSL, launched a blog to get Windstream moving on upgrades or entice area cable operator Charter Communications to wire his neighborhood for service.

Inman, S.C.

Inman, S.C.

“I am a resident of a small subdivision […] and for nearly a decade, we have been forced to rely on Windstream Communications’ disgraceful DSL internet and telephone services,” Corley writes. “The company’s representatives have been promising us for years that we would be upgraded to faster speeds but the promised upgrades have repeatedly failed to materialize and even though I cannot say for sure where Windstream’s priorities lie, it certainly isn’t with their customers.”

Corley is not asking for much. He’s subscribed to a basic 3Mbps service plan. Windstream does not come close to delivering even those speeds, however, with speed test results showing performance ranging usually below 1Mbps all the way down to 40kbps — less than dial-up.

“Given existing high-speed Internet issues, Mr. [redacted] will receive a $10 discount, which will appear on his account monthly through July 2016,” Chewning wrote. “If Mr. [redacted] finds this information unacceptable, he may want to explore alternate service options such as Internet via satellite.”

Corley has elected to pursue Charter Communications instead. It can offer considerably faster speeds than Windstream or satellite providers at a much lower cost. But Charter has thus far refused to wire Corley’s neighborhood for free. Charter wants at least $7,000 to extend service to the subdivision, after which it will start construction and deliver service within 45 days. Charter has no problem spending $55 billion to acquire Time Warner Cable but is unwilling to spend $7,000 to attract most, if not all 16 residents on the customer’s street.

Windstream appears to be more interested waiting for telephone ratepayers across the country to subsidize incremental improvements in its slow speed DSL service through the Connect America Fund, which has a poor record subsidizing cable operators to bring far superior broadband service to customers like those in Inman.

Until the Windstream customer and his neighbors manage to scrape together $7,000, or Charter extends service at no charge in the name of good public relations, residents of Inman (and beyond) are stuck with Windstream broadband that does not come close to broadband.windstream-fcc-response-1

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  • joe: We know it wont be the Rochester area, LOL!!!! We are stuck with Frontier....
  • Richard Tanguay: I do not think I will be upgrading to a converter box or such for this next upgrade. Perhaps it's time for all of us to do the same and just rely on p...
  • Josh: You had a tech come to your house because of trouble with the app? Did you think he'd whip out a laptop and start writing new software code in your l...
  • EJ: Matt M broadband and DSL are expensive due to a lack of competition not by typical market forces. The real cost of broadband and DSL are basically the...
  • Todd: Would be nice to see them do something on the upload side....
  • Matt M: In a way, being stuck with DSL is a good thing when you consider how much more expensive broadband will get....
  • Paul Houle: Some notes. Bill Clinton was a member of the DLC when he ran for president. This book https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blinded_by_the_Right talks abo...
  • BobInIllinois: Funny how(in the top photo) that Al Gore stood by...... Al Gore became rich by selling the Current TV channel network to Al-Jazeera for $500 Million....
  • D.Stu: Is this a joke? " the FCC’s role is effectively reduced to a complaint letter-forwarder" ??? Where? Where does it say anything like that? "designed...
  • David: This is the most unreliable app I have ever used. Had tech here twice same solution from both of them. " well just unplug it and reboot. " I'm not ki...
  • elaine sullivan: This is so disappointing. I can not afford cable tv and we lost 8 channels today. There were several more removed earlier. PBS and local 4,5,7,9 are l...
  • elaine sullivan: This is so disappointing. I can not afford cable tv and we lost 8 channels today. There were several more removed earlier. PBS and local 4,5,7,9 are l...

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