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Time Warner Cable Quotes Rural Ky. Resident $410/Mo + 5 Yr. Contract for Broadband

Phillip Dampier January 7, 2016 Cincinnati Bell, Consumer News, Data Caps, Public Policy & Gov't, Rural Broadband 8 Comments

green acresIf residents in rural Kentucky want Time Warner Cable to offer broadband service, they better be prepared to pay for it.

As Time Warner customers consider the company’s latest rate increases, which now include a $10 modem rental fee and an increasingly common $4.99 “Wi-Fi Fee” if you don’t use your own wireless router, there are other customers signing contracts for residential Internet service from Time Warner at prices as high as $410 a month.

Jack Prindle lives in the Big Bone community near Union, Ky., — close enough to Cincinnati to be a suburb, but rural enough to be bypassed for broadband. Two dozen of his neighbors live along a nine-tenths of a mile stretch of Big Bone Church Road, which isn’t exactly a priority for Time Warner Cable. The families have spent a decade trying to entice anyone to offer broadband Internet access. Insight Communications (Time Warner’s predecessor) and Cincinnati Bell have never shown much interest. Time Warner Cable, however, has been engaged in a type of cat and mouse game, offering service at ever-escalating prices only to change its mind at the last minute.

“Within the last year, I have signed contracts with Time Warner for Internet service starting at $300 a month, with a three-year contract, only to have them come back and raise it to $350 for five years, and then $410 a month with a commitment of five years,” Prindle wrote in the Community Recorder. “Then only to be told a month later they were not going to provide Internet. Others of the 24 have similar bizarre stories concerning Time Warner and Cincinnati Bell.”

“Prindle’s story is an example of what is wrong with rural broadband in the United States,” writes Cynthia Rawley, who shared the story with Stop the Cap! “Unchecked cable and phone companies get federal dollars and the benefit of a fake broadband map that has no relationship to reality, leaving many to believe there is no rural broadband problem to solve. But there is.”

Union, Ky.

Union, Ky.

Rawley points out the FCC’s official National Broadband Map shows the two dozen homes around Prindle are all provided 5-50Mbps broadband service by both Time Warner Cable and Cincinnati Bell, despite the fact neither offers any broadband service to anyone in the vicinity.

“Boone County Judge-executive Gary Moore wrote to inform the FCC of this error and failed to get a response,” Prindle noted. What bothers him even more is his tax dollars have paid to subsidize rural Internet service he cannot get at any price.

“Some basic research reveals that Time Warner has received millions of taxpayer dollars to provide broadband Internet in rural areas,” Prindle notes. “The commonwealth of Kentucky has given over $100 million to Internet providers alone to provide broadband Internet in rural areas alone. Opensecrets.org reports that Time Warner spent $4,950,000 in lobbying efforts of federal, state, and local governments in 2015. With this amount of money changing hands, the conspiracy theorists among us see a 20/20 episode coming.”

Prindle better have his rabbit ears ready to watch, because at the rate providers are not expanding rural broadband, he will have a long wait before being able to watch that 20/20 episode online.

Currently there are 8 comments on this Article:

  1. Dan says:

    It’s tough to budget for extending coax plant to just 1-2 houses a quarter mile down the road from the nearest drop cable. You’d need to amortize the construction expenses as monthly charges to make them affordable, on top of monthly service charges, and the cost per sale of having a sales rep chair-swivel between the finance dept. and engineering dept. I don’t see a muni broadband ISP wanting to bother with those type of cases, either.

    • iConoClast04 says:

      “It’s tough to budget for extending coax plant to just 1-2 houses a quarter mile down the road from the nearest drop cable. You’d need to amortize the construction expenses as monthly charges to make them affordable, on top of monthly service charges, and the cost per sale of having a sales rep chair-swivel between the finance dept. and engineering dept.”

      Did you miss the part where KY has paid $100 million in tax payer money to provide internet to rural areas?

      And this is the same story all over the country.

      All the big ISPs have received tax payer money to provide internet service to everyone at a speed classified as broadband but this hasn’t happened in a lot of areas in the US despite the ISPs already receiving tax payer money.

      • Paul Houle says:

        Also the ISP industry is insanely profitable, don’t let anybody fool you. They keep jacking up rates because investors want to see steadily increasing earnings. They can afford to take on a few less profitable customers with the money they are making hand over fist from the ones who are easy to serve.

        Anyway, I have yet to hear of a case where people have been quoted a crazy price and actually got the service. I think it is a bluff – 15 years ago people would hear that price and go away but now if you work at home, $23k for installation could be a “value based” price.

  2. JH says:

    Similar frustrating situation. I recently moved into a home that TWC stated was servicable (customer support). When we received our closing date, I called to transfer service and was told it would require going through our servicability dept. After 3 weeks I was informed it was a one time install cost of $23,000. No television, just internet service (15mbps down).
    Neighbor across the street has Time Warner, I am 1325ft from service pole.
    When I asked for an outline of the costs I was told they did not provide customers a cost breakdown as it could change.
    I am now using a direct wireless provider. I was a TWC customer since 2001. I didn’t even get a sorry for the inconvenience.

    LTE could provide comparible service, at a cost of $500 a month due to overage fees.

    There is no last mile service anymore. No one wants to maintain copper either. I am actually less rural than my previous home. I am no longer in a denser neighborhood.

    Heck I have verizon and att fiber access at my new home! Neither are looking to provide service. 56k and lte are the only options.

  3. MarkLex says:

    $410/ mo? Good Lord! I’m now in Lexington, with Windstream and TWC available. Originally from small town in Western NC called Brevard. They have broadband, which I find amazing! My dad actually lives on a hill with a huge field and a view of the mountains behind him and is just outside the city limits, yet he still has broadband. Reading this kind of thing makes me so angry, especially when you know it CAN be done based on other countries doing it..It’s 2016 now this should have been solved a long time ago, but no go…….same old same old.

  4. OutSmartEm says:

    People that live close to others with cable need to make friends with their neighbors. You can go Point-To-Point wireless to at least get Internet at your house. A company at UBNT.com specializes in point-to-point systems. You “rent” a room (just 2ft square) from your neighbor with cable and have your own Internet service added to their house. It’s your service, your bill, no liability on the homeowner that way. Use Point-to-Point to send Internet to your house from theirs. A NanoBeam® from Ubiquiti Networks (ubnt.com) will service 15+km distance and give a speed of 150Mb/sec. Ubiquiti Networks makes far more powerful systems if needed. Go to their site and click “Products” at the top of the page. See what you actually need and get a good price at eBay. These are very self-contained units that outperform any others in the world. This is not spam. I use these dishes myself to distribute WiFi Internet to cover a cattle ranch over 1,000 acres outside San Jose CA. They were VERY easy to set up and aim. Each dish uses about 9 watts of power. I use them and see where others posting here could benefit from using them too. The dishes I use are NanoBridge® M2 which have been discontinued but can still be bought on eBay. They have a range of about 26 miles, line of sight.

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