Cole Marshall bought an empty lot and built himself a home on it. As Ars Technica reported, Cole was assured by Charter Cable that they could service his new home with high-speed internet. Another internet company, Frontier Communication, promised Mr. Marshall that they could provide him with 24 Mbps download speeds. As it turned out, neither of the companies would make good on their promises.
High-speed internet was a necessary amenity for Marshall who works as a web developer from home. Before he bought the lot, he checked to see if internet was available at the address. Marshall checked with Charter online and by phone and was assured that their service was available at the lot. To be extra sure, Marshall even checked Charter's availability at neighboring homes and had the same result.
"Cable was always available everywhere I lived, and I never thought moving just a little bit out of the city would mean I'd get hardly anything,"While his house was being constructed, Cole noticed something troubling; his neighbors had satellite dishes on their roofs. He checked with one neighbor who didn't have a satellite internet connection, but had a 3 Mbps DSL connection instead. High-speed internet is generally considered to be a connection with 25 Mbps or greater connection.
Cole said that his neighbor led him to believe that he was on a slower connection to save money, not because that was all that was available. Mr. Marshall called Frontier and they told him that they could give him 24 Mbps at his lot.
Once his house was finished being built, Cole called Charter Cable to set up service. He was then told that Charter could not service his address at all. The company told him that his house fell outside of outside of their network area.
Marshall was so set on getting high-speed internet to his new home that he spoke with a Charter construction coordinator. The construction coordinator said that they could extend their network to reach Mr. Marshall's home, but that he'd have to front the cost.
If Cole wanted Charter to expand their network for him, it'd cost him $117,000 up front. Obviously, that price is pretty outrageous for the average person. Marshall understandably opted to go a different route.
After being devastated at the fact that he wouldn't be able to get a cable internet connection to his new home, Cole called Frontier for their 24 Mbps DSL service. Like a nightmare, Frontier also had bad news for the weary homeowner. Frontier could give him 3Mbps, but not the 24 Mbps like promised.
"Our connection to the central office in this area actually makes a weird loop around the outside of the city before reaching the homes on our road, adding miles of unnecessary line which would work for phone service but makes their Internet service almost unusable,"
The difference between 24 Mbps and 3 Mbps is a sizable one. On the slower connection, things like video streaming, gaming, and just every day browsing are much slower. For someone that relies on the internet for work, the difference is even more noticeable.
Cole is using the Frontier 3 Mbps connection and is less than happy with the service. He actually pays for two DSL lines; one for his computer, the other for the living room where he says he gets "grainy" Netflix streaming.
[Photo by Michael Bocchieri / Getty Images]