Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

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jco
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:53 am

Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by jco »

Has anyone here had success in convincing an ISP to improve their service via a neighborhood initiative? If so, how did you go about doing it?

We have about 100 houses in our (not rural) neighborhood but our internet options are pretty poor. We have CenturyLink and TDS. CenturyLink has a very low top end speed (the best they offer is not even 40 mbps down). TDS is better on paper, but I've heard the service still slows to a crawl in the afternoon. A couple of satellite providers are available, but service is unreliable.

I contacted a satellite ISP that actually has good reviews in our area, and they're going to look whether they might be able to offer service here sooner rather than later.

Is it possible to convince an ISP like Comcast to come into our neighborhood? The neighborhood adjacent to us does have Comcast and I think the cable lines literally run across the front of our neighborhood to get to that neighborhood. Or is it possible to convince CenturyLink or TDS to improve the infrastructure via a neighborhood initiative?
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

just saw this article recently (it's not exactly what you're talking about but it shows how neighbors can work together to accomplish a goal, especially when they're ignored from the bigger companies):
https://www.inquirer.com/news/rural-bro ... 00705.html
https://technical.ly/philly/2020/07/07/ ... et-access/

there are pros and cons (read the entire article)
It's "Stay" the course, not Stray the Course. Buy and Hold works. You should really try it sometime. Get a plan: www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investment_policy_statement
Topic Author
jco
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:53 am

Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by jco »

Interesting articles. Thanks!
zlandar
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Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by zlandar »

You would need a large number of residents in your neighborhood willing to sign up with Comcast IMO. Comcast (or any other ISP) would have to lay the line and other equipment throughout the neighborhood. That's going to be a lot more work in a finished neighborhood with sidewalks and other utility lines already in place.
inverter
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:40 pm

Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by inverter »

Most ISPs have a "community" department that deals with real estate developers, apartment/condo buildings, etc. I'm wondering if you can get one of your sales reps interested in you?
Mudpuppy
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Location: Sunny California

Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by Mudpuppy »

I wish you luck. AT&T Fiber stops just short of my neighborhood, and I'd love to get them to continue to here, but most of my neighbors were fine with AT&T DSL or cable modems. Perhaps working from home will have convinced them otherwise.
ballons
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Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by ballons »

What did your city / county say when you asked about this during their meetings?

If your utilities are aerial and comcast still hasn't wired your area, you are not worth it to them at their normal residential rates. Good luck convincing your neighbors to jump on board paying more. 40Mbps is enough for most and they will balk at paying comcast $100+/month. If your area is a bunch of older/retirees than just give up.
Katietsu
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Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by Katietsu »

I have had a friend that did a lot of community organizer and lobbying. However, the only available service at the time (just 5 years ago) was 2 Mbps.

We have 200 Mbps speed for the last few months only because they threw it into a streaming deal for no cost. Before that, we had 50 Mbps. I was not willing to even pay $10 more a month for higher speed. And we have lots of devices, streaming for video, take music lessons online even before Covid, etc. From my perspective, I doubt you have a lot of neighbors who think your current service is a problem that they would be willing to spend much to solve.
shunkman
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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by shunkman »

I called the internet provider (Frontier) where we have a getaway cabin to complain about the very slow and unreliable internet service. The response I got was that we are in a high demand area. What? There's less than 6,000 residents in the entire county.
mkc
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Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:59 pm

Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by mkc »

Convincing an ISP to improve service (or come into an area) will typically involve showing it makes financial sense to do so.

If this means replacing or bringing in "last mile" connectivity, if the residents are not willing to pay the cost, then grants will be needed to pay for it.

Most grants are dependent on the FCC maps as to whether "real" broadband exists in an area. "Real", by FCC standards on the map, means at least 1 address in a census block is advertised to have 25 Mbps down/ 3 Mpbs up.

Note the "advertised to have". That allows "speeds up to" to qualify.

Note the census block. That's often an entire zip code in an area.

So if 1 address in a zip code has "up to 25 Mbps/3Mbps" advertised to it, the FCC considers the entire zip code to have high speed broadband and an ISP will find it nearly (but not totally) impossible to qualify for a grant to improve the "last mile" infrastructure or bring in a new service.

Have been going through this for nearly 2 years now in TN. There are some areas where all the residents agreed to pay for fiber infrastructure to be brought in. For our 1/4 mile long road of 9 homes, the cost would be $100K according to the local provider and that's with their main fiber trunk line running right past our street.
abracadabra11
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Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by abracadabra11 »

I'm not sure that you have any real chance given the consolidation and intentional segmentation that occurred in the cable market. This article discusses some of the background, but is focused on more than just cable:

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2020/2/18 ... eerleading
Dominic
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Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by Dominic »

Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T all have fixed wireless Internet options. Speeds aren't going to hit high-quality wired Internet speeds, but these options might be more affordable and faster than satellite at the least.

Convince enough neighbors to go for LTE home Internet service, and maybe your local wired ISPs will understand the need to upgrade their networks in your town. 5G could make it impossible for those companies to compete with the big 3 wireless carriers depending on how widely it gets deployed.
Mudpuppy wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:47 pm I wish you luck. AT&T Fiber stops just short of my neighborhood, and I'd love to get them to continue to here, but most of my neighbors were fine with AT&T DSL or cable modems. Perhaps working from home will have convinced them otherwise.
AT&T fiber isn't absurdly expensive to build out. The fiber cables go to the node, and they use a short DSL loop from there (modern DSL can push hundreds of megabits per second, but only over short distances). So there's hope for expansion.
boglerdude
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Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by boglerdude »

Broadband should be a utility like water.

And try finding some allies on Nextdoor.com
123
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Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by 123 »

In most cases the city (assuming you in a city proper) authorizes and set conditions for utilities to operate. You should first address your concerns to your local city council. The city dictates the performance requirements for most utilities. They may have a seperate commission that deals with utility performance.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
Cactuscoug
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Re: Convincing ISPs to improve neighborhood service

Post by Cactuscoug »

You may be able to "persuade" the ISP to improve neighborhood service, by "convincing" it that better service is a good business move.

(Sorry -- my pet peeve)
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