A weird story coming out of Ars Technica this past week involves a Washington state man and the lengths to which he went to get Comcast internet at his house. Jonathan Rowny moved to Washington and thought he could get Comcast internet. Unbeknownst to him, their address checker was wrong. It said he could get service but then he was told no.
Insert Benny Hill music and a huge song & dance routine. Rowny went down the rabbit hole of what needed to be done. It started with a $19k estimate from Comcast to run lines to his house. Then he decided to pay someone to do the bulk of the work since the majority of the digging was on his own property. You think that would be enough, right? Think again. Jon Brodkin has more of this insanity.
At this point, the delay seemed to be purely bureaucratic—Comcast wouldn’t send anyone because their records incorrectly showed the work hadn’t been completed.Ars Technica
“Staring at this connection box in my yard that I paid $10,000 for and not being able to get Internet still—I think that was the most frustrating part,” Rowny said. At one point, Rowny saw an Xfinity technician at a Home Depot parking lot. “I almost wanted to just bribe him. he was on his phone or I probably would have done it,” he said.
It took Rowny tracking down the VP of Comcast on LinkedIn and personally messaging him to finally get Comcast to do their job. What a nightmare. And this cost him ten grand! Like… who has that kind of money, time, or determination to do something like that?
It’s crazy to think this situation actually took place, but it did. Even worse, this is for what is an essential service these days, but is still 100% in the hands of private companies that we know can’t be trusted.
Cable companies and ISPs are the worst. They exist to extract profits from their customers, stifle competition by monopolizing towns, and lobby hard when community internet is floated. I find it deplorable that in 2022, especially after a pandemic where everyone was working remote and kids were remotely learning, we still have not reclassified internet service as a utility. Until that time comes, get ready to fight these fights. Because Comcast, like Altice, Verizon, Spectrum, and the rest, couldn’t care less about you. And they’re quite open about it.