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Mediacom Helps Keep Minnesota a Broadband Backwater
On Heels of Jacking up Prices For Consumers
by Karl Bode 09:18AM Wednesday Aug 15 2012
Mediacom has been ranked as the worst cable operator in the country by Consumer Reports, and recently built on that not-so-fine pedigree by announcing new usage limits and surcharges for their subscribers. In addition, Business Week is running a piece this week exploring how the cable company continues to make life difficult for towns and cities in Minnesota that are tired of being under-served by the cable operator, and have looked to federal funding to build better networks themselves. Lake County in particularly outlines how Mediacom refuses to adequately serve them, but refuses to allow them to serve themselves, either:
quote:
"We've been ridiculously underserved in this area for years," said Andy Fisher, who owns a Lake County bed-and-breakfast and a rural cross-country skiing lodge. The cable companies "are working in the interest of their profits. But if they're not going to serve this area, what are we going to do?"

After two years, the battle in Lake County grinds on, with Mediacom charging that county officials illegally inflated statistics, U.S. senators improperly meddled to keep the project alive and the U.S. Department of Agriculture neglected its duty. County officials, the senators and the USDA deny those claims, and an inspector general's investigation found them to have no merit. Yet the fight has moved from the rural shores of Lake Superior to a hearing room on Capitol Hill. It shows no signs of ending, even as Lake County begins to run fiber-optic cable.
Parts of Minnesota are in particular dire straights, given they're lucky if they have the choice of Mediacom -- or Frontier, another company that often appears to have barely any interest in the customers they serve. As for Mediacom's assault on community-driven broadband projects, that's a story we've seen play out time and time again hundreds of times over the last decade as the nation's uncompetitive broadband duopoly refuses to wire many users, but refuses to let anyone else do it either.

There is certainly room for debate among residents over whether a town or city should or shouldn't get into the broadband business. But it's more and more apparent that the companies that have failed utterly to delivery quality broadband -- creating these holes in the first place -- shouldn't have a leading role in the conversation.

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FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Do the feds really need a way to spend even MORE money?

looked to federal funding to build better networks themselves

Like the Federal Government doesn't spend money like drunken sailors already. Just what is needed - ANOTHER way for the government to run up the deficit.
--
»www.mittromney.com/s/repeal-and-···bamacare
»www.mittromney.com/issues/health-care

Alex J

@speakeasy.net

Re: Do the feds really need a way to spend even MORE money?

Trillions spent in several wars is ok though. God forbid we use that tax money to improve our own country.
Expand your moderator at work

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
because financing infrastructure upgrades is a bad idea, right?
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
Sorry but This is not useless spending, just as the american highway systems were not useless spending, the infrastructure needs to be built and the private companies are not doing a good job of it at the moment.

I'd be all for a non profit actually being built and funded to start buying the dark fiber every where and trying to link the countries smaller communities into a mesh at this point. And giving access to the network to other providers.

It's high time some one steps in and does something for the betterment of the nation and not just for the profit of the share holders.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"

Nightmare

@corpmailsvcs.com
So your saying that if the local government runs the broadband setup just like the cable provider, they CAN NOT make a profit??? If it came down to the cable companies low cap/overage fee (fear of getting a HUGE bill) or the local municipal slightly higher price internet but no cap, ill pay the municipal and maybe help LOWER the deficit. I always find it funny when some people (republicans) want to shrink government but if it was their job being "shrunk" they would be SO against it. Hipocrits

glyder

@centurytel.net

Re: Do the feds really need a way to spend even MORE money?

if the government were in charge of a desert they would claim a shortage of sand.and you know it.

NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:12
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC
said by Nightmare :

I always find it funny when some people (republicans) want to shrink government but if it was their job being "shrunk" they would be SO against it.

Those Damned-o-crats are pretty funny, too; and just as hypocritical.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

mmay149q
Premium
join:2009-03-05
Dallas, TX
kudos:48
said by FFH5:

looked to federal funding to build better networks themselves

Like the Federal Government doesn't spend money like drunken sailors already. Just what is needed - ANOTHER way for the government to run up the deficit.

Wow, I wish the real Mitt Romney would talk like this and be interested in auditing the Fed.

Matt
--
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein

glyder

@centurytel.net
of course,just so it's something i want......at least that's typical of americans.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

follow Kansas and Missouri

it's time to do it yourselves.. there are ways to get cheap financing to make it happen. the harder part is taking the state & local politicans out of the pockets of mediacom. if you can get 1 million signatures statewide for a 3rd party carrier, then it's time to push ahead and smack the incumbents upside the head..
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

1 recommendation

Re: follow Kansas and Missouri

unfortunatly, in 34 states now, it is illegal for municipalities or public entities to own or run broadband and TV network(well, not illegal, but draped in so much red tape, it may as well be). We just thwarted a law like that in MN here, and they(incumbents, of which charter and mediacom and frontier all say they have no hand in these bills, which is utter bullshit, and we all know it) are trying again. Seriously, there should be a federal law on the books that states if a county or city is under served(meaning a portion of homes cannot get service at all because the current incumbents wont run it, and those that do have terrible speeds) the city can wire itself. The incumbents are trying to drive profits into the pockets of their greedy investors, while a city is just trying to serve its citizens. I hope the public wins, but that is not always the case. Also, as much as the incumbents like to claim wireless as a replacement, its not. With even more ridiculous canada like low caps, and slow speeds in most places, as well as high overage charges, wireless broadband will never be a replacement for a landline based service. The problem, as you pointed out, is the purchased legislature in most states. Hell, if these companies spent a fraction of what they spent on lobbying last year on network upgrades, most of us would be on FTTH by now.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: follow Kansas and Missouri

said by Chubbysumo:

unfortunatly, in 34 states now, it is illegal for municipalities or public entities to own or run broadband and TV network(well, not illegal, but draped in so much red tape, it may as well be).

Which states are these? I asked the question the other day but never received a valid response.
said by Chubbysumo:

while a city is just trying to serve its citizens.

Uh huh
said by Chubbysumo:

Hell, if these companies spent a fraction of what they spent on lobbying last year on network upgrades, most of us would be on FTTH by now.

I doubt that a few million bucks spent on lobbying would have done much to deploy FTTH across the nation.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: follow Kansas and Missouri

said by openbox9:

]
I doubt that a few million bucks spent on lobbying would have done much to deploy FTTH across the nation.

You do realize, that verizon alone spent nearly 53 million just to pay their top lobbyist(that is 1 lobbyist, the next down got 23 mil), and they claim to have spent over 100 million on lobbying(not counting pay). AT&T is about the same, so, thats 300+ million dollars from 2 companies. Charter spent about 30 million in lobbying last year, and frontier, for as "little" as they are, spent over 50 million(again, not counting pay for the lobbyist firms and people). If these companies spent this money on upgrading their network instead of buying laws, we could have probably already have had FTTH 100% deployed in the USA, because over the course of 10 years, that is a lot of money spent on lobbying. Seriously, think about how much they actually spend on their networks(its all in their publicly filed taxes), not the inflated numbers they give, but raw investments(equip, materials, labor, installs, fiber and cable runs, and "3rd" party expenses), they spent about half as much lobbying as they did on their network.

As far as the states that have made broadband illegal, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, texas, utah, louisana, North carolina, virginia, florida, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, for the full list, see »www.muninetworks.org/communitymap. Uncheck all but the ones that highlights the "states with barriers" in red.

Many states dont have outright bans, but they cause the project to be draped in so much red tape that it will never survive, along with being assaulted by the incumbents from all sides with endless spending. Instead of wasting countless millions on lawyers, they could build out the local network of the place trying to wire themselves because the incumbent wouldnt, and shut everyone up, instead, they choose to try and shut these projects down, and no one benefits but lawyers and the incumbents.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: follow Kansas and Missouri

said by Chubbysumo:

If these companies spent this money on upgrading their network instead of buying laws, we could have probably already have had FTTH 100% deployed in the USA, because over the course of 10 years, that is a lot of money spent on lobbying.

Your numbers add up to $380M. Making huge assumptions and greatly simplifying the math, at 10 years, that's only $3.8B. How much did VZ spend on deploying its FiOS to only part of its footprint? It was a lot more than $3.8B.
said by Chubbysumo:

Seriously, think about how much they actually spend on their networks(its all in their publicly filed taxes), not the inflated numbers they give, but raw investments(equip, materials, labor, installs, fiber and cable runs, and "3rd" party expenses), they spent about half as much lobbying as they did on their network.

I'm throwing the flag on that one. That's simply not accurate.
said by Chubbysumo:

As far as the states that have made broadband illegal, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, texas, utah, louisana, North carolina, virginia, florida, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, for the full list, see »www.muninetworks.org/communitymap. Uncheck all but the ones that highlights the "states with barriers" in red.

Ok, I clicked on all of the states in that map. Nevada looks to prohibit relatively populated municipalities from selling services to the general public. Nebraska does appear a little onerous. Texas appears to limit municipalities from obtaining the necessary certificates/licenses. The "hurdles" that I see from some of the other states are things like feasibility studies, holding referendums to determine if the majority of citizens actually want to spend the money, and asking private industry to deploy infrastructure before doing it themselves. Sounds requirements IMHO, given the fiscal challenges that some of the states and municipalities face across our nation.

Thank you for providing the link and actually trying to answer my question instead of simply perpetuating inaccurate headlines.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: follow Kansas and Missouri

well, in the short term, it may not be much to spend, but with how much verizon claims to have spent on their FiOS buildout, all the money spent on lobbying over the past 10 to 15 years(and years into the future) could be spent and could have been spent on connecting lots of people with FTTH. Blame investors for that one, because all they care about is how many % of RoI that they can get.

The problem not only lies within the laws, but, you have to consider all the legal assaults that the current incumbents put out to try and stop them. Im sure lake county has met all the "requirements", except the current incumbent(frontier) has decided to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers instead of spending that on their slow crappy network to please the people. Instead of letting it go on, or invest in their own(frontiers) network to compete with the community initiave, they have hired lawyers and thrown dozens of lawsuits to try and outright stop the project. So, answer me this: If Frontier will not invest in the network, and the community decides to do it themselves, meets all the requirements, and has the laws on the books on their side, WHY DOES FRONTIER CONTIUNE TO WASTE OUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS by continuing their legal assault? If they arent going to invest, why should they have an interest in fighting the project? I dont believe that any incumbent who has forsaken an area has any right to file legal roadblocks to stop a community from picking up the slack where they wouldnt, but that is exactly what incumbents do.

So, look at it as a whole package. The incumbent buys a law, maybe a law that is not an outright ban, but they get one. Then, they stop investing in a communitys broadband and infrastructure starts to get worse or fail, yet the incumbent wont repair and replace it. The community as a whole decides to jump thru all the hoops to get their own broadband system going, they(the community) follows all the rules, laws, and comes up with private/public funding. The incumbent, fearing competition from better services, instead of trying to upgrade their own network to compete, instead launches a legal assault to drain the funds by forcing them(the community) to pay for lawyers, and thus, puts the project in the red before its off the ground. Then, they(the incumbent) puts out misleading adverts saying the project is bad, and that it will fail, and that its already losing money(which strokes the public fear button), and then the community effort dies from a combination of public fear mongering and legal assaults from the incumbents who refused to wire the community in the first place. Please tell me you feel that this is wrong. I dont think an incumbent has any right to file any objections to a community run project unless they can show they are investing to improve. It just comes down to greed. The investors fear the loss of an easy profit, and a really high profit margin. I say down with the stock market, and down with CEOs who earn many millions per year to basically do next to nothing but puppet out their boards decisions.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: follow Kansas and Missouri

As an investor in VZ, ROI is obviously a big deal. But not all of us are so shortsighted that we're only looking to the next Q. After all, investing is about future earnings, so we definitely want to keep working towards that goal.

As for spending money on lobbyists instead of deploying fiber. Unless made illegal (why isn't lobbying at least capped? blame Congress ), companies will spend money on lobbying Congress. That expense is already allocated. If it didn't go toward lobbying, I doubt that it would be spent on deploying infrastructure. If anything, it would probably be returned to the shareholders.

said by Chubbysumo:

The problem not only lies within the laws, but, you have to consider all the legal assaults that the current incumbents put out to try and stop them.

I tried making this point the other day in a different discussion, but don't you think that actually having laws in play stipulating what municipalities can and can't do for deploying broadband infrastructure that incumbent lawsuits might be mitigated? After all, as long as the municipalities are following the laws, on what legitimate grounds do incumbents have to file suit?

said by Chubbysumo:

So, answer me this: If Frontier will not invest in the network, and the community decides to do it themselves, meets all the requirements, and has the laws on the books on their side, WHY DOES FRONTIER CONTIUNE TO WASTE OUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS by continuing their legal assault?

I'm not educated enough regarding this situation, but I'll assume that Frontier believes that the municipality isn't following the law and/or satisfying the requirements.

said by Chubbysumo:

If they arent going to invest, why should they have an interest in fighting the project? I dont believe that any incumbent who has forsaken an area has any right to file legal roadblocks to stop a community from picking up the slack where they wouldnt, but that is exactly what incumbents do.

I agree with you so long as the laws are followed and all requirements satisfied by the municipalities.

said by Chubbysumo:

Please tell me you feel that this is wrong.

As you've portrayed the scenario, yes, I "feel" that it's wrong.

said by Chubbysumo:

I say down with the stock market, and down with CEOs who earn many millions per year to basically do next to nothing but puppet out their boards decisions.

Sigh, not this again. Equity and debt markets are very much needed. Businesses and consumers rely on them every day. Our economy wouldn't exist without the ability to source capital. I'll grant you that executive compensation is grossly out of whack in some situations and the boards of directors need to wake up and figure out how to hire and compensate talent based on performance, not simply promising fat checks for showing up to work.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net
Your comment "it is illegal for municipalities or public entities to own or run broadband and TV network(well, not illegal, but draped in so much red tape, it may as well be)." is exactly what is wrong here. Some very short-sighted at best legislation. It shouldn't be a situation where so much red tape make sit impossible to server the needs of the public. Imagine how bad this country would be if the Federal Interstates had to deal with the red tape of today's political environment.
I guess we will end up needing an environmental impact study done so government can collectively "scratch it's ass" and do nothing but leech off the public.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: follow Kansas and Missouri

said by Twaddle :

Some very short-sighted at best legislation.

Its actually not short sighted legislation at all, its legislation and laws that were written by current incumbent lawyers very carefully, to create a competition-less market place. Sure, those communities that aren't outright banned from doing them can, but they may(and some laws are written exactly like this) have to hold a referrendum every time they need to do something, and anything(including telling the contractor or guy he can sneeze). seriously, these laws were written in a manner that only purchased, incumbent protection laws can be. The other problem lies in the current incumbents unlimited spending on smearing and mudslinging any project that gets off the ground or tries too. I remember seeing the ads here when charter tried to stop a few communities from wiring themselves, and they were filled with outright lies, but the communities dont have the money to fight it, and those that are not informed believe whatever comes out of the TV.

from CA

@charter.com
You can thank ALEC and the States Policy Network think tanks for pushing these laws that create the monopolies for just a few companies. Telecomm has been a major area for ALEC for years.

buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
Agreed.....

Now Im all for the incumbents making there own decisions and servicing areas they deem fit, However when THEY FLAT OUT decide not to wire a neighborhood/township/city and BOLDLY to someones face say NO ( cough... ATT & Verizon) and then try to stop an individual and there community for taking the matters into there own hands Weather the area decides to fund it out of there pocket, there taxes, federal grants, loans, or putting themselves on the street corner for favors should not be the issue.

The issue is the Incumbents will NOT do it for you so you MUST do it yourself. Im sure most of us were brought up believing in the quote ..." If someone won't dig that hole for you you had better dig it yourself" well thats exactly what these situation are. We claim to be a country of equality well services should be included in that statement as well. Either serve us all EQUALLY or don't run crying to uncle sam that someones stepping into your territory simply because there willing to do what you would not. There should be a Federal law that slaps the incumbents upside the head whenever they run to local/state legislators to try and stop a city, town, neighborhood from deploying there own broadband (now this is if) the incumbent won't service it or in the way the community,township, neighborhood, city would.
mrapollinax

join:2012-06-01

Other MN counties are creating their own broadband

»www.co.carver.mn.us/departments/···ndex.asp

89 mile fiber ring connecting all schools, municipalities and libraries. There is also an "Open Access" clause for service to be resold to residents on the ring (33 miles of branching laterals are planned). Lake County is in the far northeastern corner of the state 4-5 hours away from Minneapolis. Sad to see that Lake County cannot do what Carver county is doing. If Chattanooga is a good example of what can happen the potential for any city/county to do something similar would be a huge boost.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

Sleazy at Best

How in the hell did this country get into this situation, where punk-ass cable outfits can get away with this. I guess it's just another one of those "spend enough money" situations. The very people/organizations that are entrusted to protect the people end up whoring themselves out instead to deep pockets.
IF a cable outfit can't won't serve a customer base and if the public "chooses" to take action then so be it. Who gives a rats ass what statistics are used. Something is wrong with the statistics when the public seriously considers a public broadband-Give me a break. Nothing but a bunch of paid thugs(called lawyers) making life miserable for the public. It's time America took back this country and returned it to the people. God I know it sounds so damned socialist but so be it.
I'm tired of The War Machine and the Corporate extortionists holding us hostage and draining our wallets. anyone else feel the same way- Sounds like a bunch of people in Minnesota do!
Rolla

join:2012-08-03

Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

Folks should really do some fact checking about this project before they extoll its virtues. It was the brain child of Tim Nulty from National Public Broadband. You may remember him as the head of the failed Burlington Telecom project in Vermont. Burlington remains in a huge financial mess as a result.

Lake County is home to about 11,000 people and has about 5,200 households. More than half of these households already can get broadband service from the local phone and cable company. Is it 100 Meg service, no, but it is not dial up either. Nulty and his team knew that Lake County did not qualify for stimulus funding on its own, so they lumped a bunch of St. Louis County homes into their application in order to quality.

The key here is that St. Louis County and its citizens don't have any responsibility when it comes to paying back the RUS loan.
So Lake County and its 11,000 citizens and 5,200 household are completely on the hook for $56.5 loan and another $3.5 million in general fund expenditures for this project. That is roughly $5,500 per person or $11,500 per household. They are spending way too much money on this project and setting the Lake County taxpayers up for financial disaster.

To put this in perspective, I believe the Burlington Telecom project was supposed to cost $34 million. They ended up spending an additional $17 million from the general fund to keep it going. Burlington has nearly 4 times as many people and more than 3 times as many households as Lake County. Burlington spends less money and has more people and it failed miserably. How do you think Lake County will end up?
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

1 recommendation

Re: Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

said by Rolla:

Folks should really do some fact checking about this project before they extoll its virtues. It was the brain child of Tim Nulty from National Public Broadband. You may remember him as the head of the failed Burlington Telecom project in Vermont. Burlington remains in a huge financial mess as a result.

Lake County is home to about 11,000 people and has about 5,200 households. More than half of these households already can get broadband service from the local phone and cable company. Is it 100 Meg service, no, but it is not dial up either. Nulty and his team knew that Lake County did not qualify for stimulus funding on its own, so they lumped a bunch of St. Louis County homes into their application in order to quality.

The key here is that St. Louis County and its citizens don't have any responsibility when it comes to paying back the RUS loan.
So Lake County and its 11,000 citizens and 5,200 household are completely on the hook for $56.5 loan and another $3.5 million in general fund expenditures for this project. That is roughly $5,500 per person or $11,500 per household. They are spending way too much money on this project and setting the Lake County taxpayers up for financial disaster.

To put this in perspective, I believe the Burlington Telecom project was supposed to cost $34 million. They ended up spending an additional $17 million from the general fund to keep it going. Burlington has nearly 4 times as many people and more than 3 times as many households as Lake County. Burlington spends less money and has more people and it failed miserably. How do you think Lake County will end up?

The burlington project failed because it got assaulted by lawyers to, and to keep it going, they(the city) had to dip into the general fund to pay lawyers to beat back the lawyers from the incumbent telecos. Also, what you can get in lake county is 1mbps down and 128k up most of the time, from frontier or centurylink, and you cant always get that. Both incumbents have forsaken the area, and are not spending on repairs or upgrades, thus, the community decided to wire itself. Hell, even local phone service is starting to fail because the incumbents refuse to replace copper wires that are too old and rotting, yet, the incumbents would spend millions on a law suit to stop this project from moving forward. If they spent even half of what they are paying the lawyers, there would be no problem in lake county.

If the telecos and incumbents arent doing it(upgrading and repairs), why do they fight so hard and waste money on lawyers to prevent the locals from doing it? They choose to spend on lawyers rather than increase speeds and services. Something is wrong when you see that happening.

Rogue Wolf
Mourns the Loss of lilhurricane

join:2003-08-12
Troy, NY

Re: Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

said by Chubbysumo:

If the telecos and incumbents arent doing it(upgrading and repairs), why do they fight so hard and waste money on lawyers to prevent the locals from doing it? They choose to spend on lawyers rather than increase speeds and services. Something is wrong when you see that happening.

It's because the telcos and cablecos are terrified that successful muni projects will spread, and that cities that ARE profitable to them will realize that it's cheaper to "do it yourself" than to continue to pay the comfortable monopolies/duopolies that operate there.

Litigation is easier than innovation!
--
I may have been born yesterday, but I've spent all afternoon downtown.
Rolla

join:2012-08-03

Re: Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

I don't think there has been any litigation related to the Lake County project.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

oh really now? did you even read the article that this was about? it clearly states that Mediacom is suing Lake County for this or that, and then making (later proven false) claims just to bury the project in losses before it even gets off the ground.
»m.startribune.com/business/?id=166061226
»www.muninetworks.org/tags-281
»minnesota.publicradio.org/collec···an.shtml

time and time again, over every little thing, Mediacom pays lawyers hundreds of thousands of dollars rather than invest it in the network that prompted the locals to build their own. Mediacom could have probably fixed all the problems with their Lake County network, and upgraded everyones service for the money they are dumping into litigation.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

nuclear option..

there's always the nucelar option.. move!
when the local municipality sees people moving out and their local & state tax revenue decline they'll have themselves and their incumben monoplies to thank for it..

would you buy a $200k house that didn't have plumbing or any chance of getting clean fresh water? how about electricity?
well, broadband.. more specifically, next gen broadband at a cheap/reasonable price is going to affect the value of that $200k house.. if no broadband, deduct $20 - $50k right off the top, regardless of what the housing market does. That's how much you'll be gouged for a lifetime (or 10years) of broadband service from incumbents. Always important to factor these things in when you decide to live someplace, along with demographics, crime rate, schools, diversity (or segregation, by race/ethnicity) preference, political makeup of community/neighboring communities.

You don't have to move to the northeast or west coast to get decent broadband at a fair price, but it's more likley that's going to happen in major poulation centers. In the northeast, you could move to geographies where at least 5/10 USA cable companies do business, and 2/4 major telcos.
tanzam75

join:2012-07-19

Re: nuclear option..

said by tmc8080:

would you buy a $200k house that didn't have plumbing or any chance of getting clean fresh water? how about electricity?

I've seen $500k houses that were totally off-the-grid. (Granted, with $300k land value, because they were on the ocean.) By that, I mean septic tanks, well water, and propane-fired generators.

But yes, if you want Internet badly enough, you should indeed treat it as a capital improvement. If you want to buy a house that has a bad roof, then it's only logical that you get a quote to replace the roof, and then deduct that amount from your bid. Similarly if you see a house with bad Internet, for whatever reason.
Rolla

join:2012-08-03
The real question in Lake County is would you pay $11k so you the guy 30 miles up the road in St. Louis County can have internet? Best deal in the history of the world if you live in St. Louis County. All paid for by the unwitting generosity of the Lake County taxpayer.

yolo2die

join:2001-04-21
Mountain Iron, MN

Northeast MN does have something on the way...

I am just not sure how far off it is to being utilized and whether it will benefit only schools or if at some point it will have more uses.

Give it a read

»www.nesc.k12.mn.us/node/512

I must say that being stuck with Mediacom as the only choice does suck!
JTR

join:2012-05-19
Carbondale, IL
Reviews:
·Mediacom

I actually like Mediacom...

Well, sure, I'd love faster broadband. But in my area, with Frontier and Mediacom being my only choices, I'm very happy with Mediacom because they're faster and cheaper than Frontier advertises and delivers. I mean, come on, $120/month for phone + 7/0.7 (actually 6.5/0.7) from Frontier, or $65/mo (contract, normal price is a little lower than Frontier afaik) for phone + 20/2 (actually 28/2.8, then 22/2.2 when speedboost runs out)... It's a no-brainer.

We did have some problems the first few months, including a dead modem and lines issues, but with our second major outage they sent out a tech who completely fixed our issues (they were caused by a bad trap on the line). Since then, zero issues. I don't even have bandwidth caps until I upgrade/downgrade service, due to being a pre-August customer. In short, after 5 years of Frontier/Verizon, I moved to Mediacom — and I love it.

(I still wish they'd increase the speeds a bit across the board like Verizon and Comcast have been doing, but it's a minor gripe)
noisefloor

join:2010-05-09

Mediacom Helps Keep Minnesota a Broadband Backwater

I'm glad I live on comcast plant on the outer-edges of the metro suburbs.