Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Centurylink, Part II

I'm late posting today because I was winded from yesterday. What did I do yesterday? I wrote a letter to Centurylink, explaining to them that I was canceling my subscription to their services. In addition, I informed them of my complaint to the FCC and that I would not be making any payments to them for any services or a cancellation fee until the FCC makes a final determination in the case I opened with them.

I also cc'd the Mayor of West Valley City, Mike Winder. Winder is an ardent supporter of community broadband. He helped make West Valley City one of the UTOPIA cities here in the Wassatch Front. UTOPIA is a community broadband project to build a world-class internet infrastructure that is sold to consumers using the open access model pioneered in Japan. It's working Sumo Networks is selling a 100mbs connection for $45 a month. Sweet.

And I cc'd a copy of the letter to the FCC so that they can add it to my file. The remedies I am seeking are simple. First, because the service was so terrible, nearly unusable, I'm asking that the cancellation fees be waived. As an option, I'm suggesting that Centurylink build a fiber connection to my home that will compete on equal footing with Comcast and eventually Utopia.

All of this was done with snail mail on paper. I'm so glad that I don't have to deal with a typewriter anymore. But stamps, return receipts and licking some envelopes were additional costs that I had to shoulder. To make all this happen, I had to hop in my car, drive to the post office, FedEx Kinkos for copies and then to the Centurylink Store to return my modem.

See, Centurylink is offering a maximum of 5mbs and they guarantee only 4mbs. That's barely enough to get anything done and includes reacquainting myself with the World Wide Wait. The service they offered was not steady and all repair attempts failed utterly. If they want to pursue a $200 cancellation fee, they're going to have to contend with a public relations problem, too.

For now, I'm going to stick with Comcast. I have my own modem so I won't have to pay an extra $7 a month for it. The modem has mesmerizing, very pretty blue and green lights on it, too, so I know when it's running and when it's not. It's running at about 50mbs for the moment and that is just fine.

If Centurylink wants my business, they're going to have to build a steady and fast connection that can keep up with the competition. Until then, I can bide my time until Utopia comes to my house.
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