Home » Comcast/Xfinity »Consumer News »Public Policy & Gov't »Rural Broadband » Currently Reading:

Comcast: Rural Broadband Must Make Good Business Sense Or You Won’t Get It

Phillip Dampier April 8, 2019 Comcast/Xfinity, Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Rural Broadband 3 Comments

If your home or business is more than 150 feet from the nearest Comcast cable, the company will think twice before providing you with service.

Pat Ulrich and her 50 neighbors in a rural subdivision in Arkansas have waited more than 15 years for Comcast or AT&T to extend broadband service to no avail, not unless they are willing to pay an installation fee of almost $50,000.

“When we evaluate prospective new build opportunities, we take into account such factors as distance from where our nearest network exists, costs associated with a proposed build-out, and number of homes and businesses that could be served. … This subdivision is many miles from our nearest plant.” Alex Horwitz, vice president of public relations for Comcast, told Arkansas Business. A nearby neighbor of Ulrich was quoted $46,000, mostly to install over 6,400 feet of fiber optic cable to connect the subdivision to Comcast’s network.

Pulaski County, Ark.

AT&T is no help either, because the homes are too far away from the phone company’s central switching office to deliver adequate internet service.

The FCC’s Connect America Fund (CAF) and other broadband funding initiatives normally might offer Ulrich and her neighbors some help, except for the fact the FCC’s broadband availability maps falsely claim the subdivision is already getting broadband service, which disqualifies it from receiving broadband expansion subsidy funding.

“We built a house in 2004 and never imagined it would take this long to get reliable broadband service,” Ulrich said.

Comcast and other cable operators did, however. Unlike phone companies that are mandated to provide basic telephone service to any customer seeking it, cable companies are allowed to choose the areas they service, typically based on population density and the costs associated with providing service. For Comcast, service extensions must meet the company’s return on investment test, and Ulrich’s subdivision failed. Horowitz claimed extending service would require Comcast to route a fiber extension through an area that “is almost all rock.”

Comcast is investing in some buildouts in its service area, but mostly to serve business parks. For residential areas, the company wants to limit the amount of cable it must install to reach a prospective customer to under 150 feet. If service is not available on your street, chances are the company will quote an installation fee running into the thousands of dollars.

Unfortunately for Ulrich, even if she managed to have the FCC correct their broadband availability map, Horwitz said Comcast has not bid for any of the FCC’s CAF projects in Arkansas.

Currently there are 3 comments on this Article:

  1. Bob says:

    Verizon bid in the CAF 2 auction (rather than accepting usf funds for expansion) and is using winnings to expand FIOS to locations that were too expensive to reach.

    This FCC map shows huge areas of Virginia getting gigabit, along with West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Western MA, some very small areas in RI and eastern MA.

    https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/caf2-auction903-results/

    This pdf shows winning bids by area. I was seriously surprised Verizon is expanding fiber using this especially in RI.

    https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-126A2.pdf

  2. L. Nova says:

    And these already profitable ISPs wonder why cities and towns are fed up with sub-par internet service have decided to wire themselves instead of waiting for something g that will never come.

  3. Doug says:

    The residents of these subdivisions need to get in touch with realtors to determine what value would be added to their homes if they live in a cable/fiber served subdivision.

    If the cost to wire the subdivision s $100,000, and there are 20 homes, is the value of each home increased by at least $5,000? If the answer is, “Yes”, then pay…







Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • Phillip Dampier: The business case that delights Wall Street is the extra $10 Verizon is charging customers who want to access 5G service. If you look at what is real ...
  • Phillip Dampier: From listening to Vestberg on the quarterly results conference call, he is, as he always is, excessively vague. I took from him that dynamic spectrum ...
  • Paul Houle: Nuts. Customers don't care if Verizon beats South Korea by a few days. I don't think it makes a difference in their earnings this quarter, or the n...
  • Matt Mosher: I'm in the 80,000 Hughes net crew as well. I had Hughes back in 2004-2008 so I am more than aware of their garbage and what a joke it was that this fi...
  • Ed: On the money that was just bragging rights. Later this year when 5G home equipment is released and in Q1 2020 when they roll out dynamic spectrum sha...
  • TJ: I called on 4/22/19 to cancel services because my bill was too high. They sent me to the cancellation department and the guy just said ok the service ...
  • Michelle D Loewy: No internet service at the home all day Tuesday and still none today. No reason given just that the Western North Carolina area is down. Has anything ...
  • william carter: got my spectrum bill yesterday. It went up $16 per month. I called CS and they said my 1 yr promotion is gone on my internet and i have to pay full ...
  • New Yorker: Sold a penny puppet-show to appease us (We The People) and then sold out for millions/billions. F**k this country already....
  • Dorairaj Isaac: I would like to return the products for a refund...
  • EJ: I hope they are ready to do this all over again when Charter does basically nothing again. Hopefully they will use this extension to come up with a Pl...
  • Phillip Dampier: Public Comments: http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/Comments/PublicComments.aspx?MatterCaseNo=15-M-0388...

Your Account: