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Internet/Cable TV Nightmares & Opportunities Meeting/Discussion

“Internet/Cable TV Nightmares & Opportunities” Meeting/Discussion SAVE THE DATE!

“Broadstripe & City Franchise Underserves Neighbors”

Monday, March 7, 2011 7:00p – 8:30pm

Beacon Lutheran Church, 1720 Forest Street South 98144, Beacon Hill neighborhood 

The group called UPTUN (Upgrading Technology for Underserved Neighbors) announces their next meeting in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

UPTUN will address technology improvements for underserved neighborhoods in Seattle, with several noted technology leaders as panelists: Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council; Bill Schrier, Chief Technology Officer, City of Seattle; and Henry W. McGee, Jr., Seattle University School of Law.

Neighbors in underserved neighborhoods* are urged to attend as well as members of the public. Citizens can submit concerns and ideas about improving cable and internet during the meeting and also, on the group’s web page www.uptun.org.

*Underserved neighborhoods include the Central District, Beacon Hill, Leschi, parts of Capitol Hill, Queen Anne and Pioneer Square.  For more information, contact jameshing@yahoo.com, 206-322-8613 or visit  www.uptun.org.

0 thoughts on “Internet/Cable TV Nightmares & Opportunities Meeting/Discussion

  1. I have just cancelled Broadstripe after 3 years of so called service. I had the full bundle with then and the monthly bill was close to $190. For that I was unable to watch most channels in HD (i’ll admit I am a HDTV snob), I don’t watch tv much but when I wanted to watch a NFL game or 60 minutes it was very frustrating to not be able to watch it in HD. The internet connection was good when it worked, however it frequently was not able to handle the bandwidth of watching movies on Netflix. I am switching to Qwest VDSL2 which promises 40mbps, and getting an antenna for Free to air HDTV, which will save me over $100 a month. Thanks for nothing Broadstripe! Oh yeah and when I called in to complain it was an exercise in futlity, I may have got a tiny credit for the day I wanted to watch, but this was the case over 90% of the time I wanted to watch it.

  2. A couple weeks ago I noticed around 5 different Quest trucks up and around 12 & 13th and Jefferson running new fiberoptic cable lines. I’m hoping some competition might finally be making its way into the surrounding neighborhoods!

  3. Darren,

    Thanks for your feedback – your experience is VERY important to the meeting on March 7th I hope you might consider coming because our city technology leaders need to hear this. Time and time again Darren’s story is similar to many other local area residents so I hope UPTUN is our chance to voice this directly and to get changes made.

    Don’t forget any Seattle citizen experiencing problems can contact City of Seattle, Tony Perez, Office of Technology Director, 206-386-0070, tony.perez@seattle.gov and complain – Tony won’t believe us until he gets more and more calls – as they say the squeaky wheel gets the grease so CALL Tony and attend the UPTUN meeting.

  4. Very doubtful Mike – what we have heard previously from the city is “anyone” can come into the area to provide service but if you read the franchise agreement there are issues to making any change swiftly. There is NO fiber to the homes yet something we ALL would love to have – think speed and more of it! But it’s very expensive.

    We do know that the city did put in fiber but this is more for their use i.e. hospitals, fire houses, gov’t buildings etc. That could be related to what you saw.

    Broadstripe believes the best thing any consumer can do is call them with their issues as many of the problems is related to old infrastructure by that they mean literally the wire from your home to the pole needs replacement or fixing which is a first step to improved service.

    Heartburn from poor service by Broadstripe? Don’t be silent. Call Broadstripe (800) 829-CABL (2225) They should be Open 8-7 M-F, 8-5 Sat
    (always call if you have a problem – they log these calls) OR call the
    Senior Vice President, Mid-Atlantic region John Bjorn – 206-926-2929. He has committed to taking our calls and fixing the problems.

  5. Qwest has been incrementally upgrading their service with fiber to the node. In the middle of last year, our place went from only being eligible to receive 1.5 mbps internet access to up to 40 mbps. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they were doing similar upgrades in other neighborhoods.

    Fiber to home would be fantastic, but in the meantime Qwest is providing an alternative to Broadstripe for some people, assuming you can use a dish or antenna for TV. Our service isn’t perfect, but it’s better than it was a year ago and better than dealing with Broadstripe (based on what I’ve heard).

    The crux with Qwest is that, like with all DSL, service depends on proximity to the node. The neighborhood is a real patchwork of speed availability, and some times the guy across the street from you may be able to get much faster service than you. That said, it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye out on what’s available.

  6. I haven’t tried Broadstripe. I did find that Quest’s internet speed couldn’t touch Comcast’s. I have comcast now, and with 2 teens playing xbox online on 2 different computers, and me streaming netflix on my laptop, we have no lag. Leaps and bounds better than quest.

  7. The problem is not everyone can get Qwest. The city of Seattle has performed digital red-lining where a large portion of the city is solely seeing Broadstripe as a provider and the City is not willing to do anything to make a change – in fact how they measure Broadstripes performance has nothing to do with the real performance metrics they should be measured on that you and I as customers would expect – so they keep them around with sub-par services & poor customer response.

    The question of the day – Why not open it all up to competition? Why can’t at least TWO providers be in each area – the competition will drive pricing and quality to the customers benefit.

  8. We have DSL through Qwest and are unusual in not watching much TV and have not invested in cable or Direct. During one of the snow storms we had a problem with Qwest that at that moment we thought was related to the weather. It was related to an equipment change, not snow. While we are generally pleased with our speed and service which is connected to the new fiber optic, during these four days Qwest was not transparent about the situation. Once the service person arrived it became much more apparent, was fixed at no charge, and we have been pleased. Nonetheless, it would have been a better time if when our service went down if we had been told more truth.

  9. I could not wait to drop Broadstripe. I had numerous problems with them and was as crazy as it seems was dreaming of comcast in the cd. I have directv which is much better with many hd channels and good customer service. Only downside is slow internet with Clear(former clearwire). At least clear is cheap. I have more hd channels and more channels in general with directv and it is cheaper than Broadstripe expanded basic. I love it. I think it is sad that Broadstripe has a monopoly in the cd because their service and product sucks.

  10. If I am not mistaken— and this may have changed….the reason Comcast isn’t available in your area is that they didn’t agree to serve the entire “neighborhood”. The city carved up the entire city service area into different zones. Each zone was assigned a semi-monopoly provider (Comcast or Broadstripe). The other company can compete to offer service but they have to offer service to the entire zone. This was meant to prevent cherry-picking of only the higher income areas. They designed the zones to include both high-income and low-income streets. If Comcast doesn’t want to serve the entire zone (because overall they don’t think it’s worth it), they won’t apply to compete with Broadstripe for that zone. It works in reverse for Broadstripe serving Comcast’s areas too.

    As for fiber-to-the-home, you’re not likely to see it. It’s prohibitively expensive. More likely you’ll see fiber-to-the-curb or fiber-to-the-node. I.E, fiber up to a close point in your area, then copper facilities or coax to your house. That’s more than enough bandwidth for most homes and more cost-effective.

    Qwest/Century Link DSL is distance-limited by how far away you are from their central office. You need to know where your local C.O. There is a helpful FAQ about DSL and distance here: http://www.dslreports.com/faq/4676

    Cable company high-speed internet doesn’t have this problem, because it’s provisioned a different way, and it’s over coax.

  11. And that very well may be just one part of the issue – when did the city draw those franchise semi-monopolistic boundaries? How often should they be changed? Several areas of Seattle have seen allot of gentrification the once poorest of the poor Central District is no longer – better yet why not allow full on competition? Is that 2 providers for each area? Or is there a way to open up the whole city?

    For ever one comment here complaining about Broadstripe there are numerous others who have not yet written, yet have come to our previous meetings or have voiced their grievance through other community groups.

  12. It was the citizens chance to meet with the Mayor and City Department Staff directly and having access to high-speed internet became a discussion topic! Check out the Mayor’s blog maybe you have a comment or two about the lack of high speed quality internet you care to voice directly to him via is blob? UPTUN the group hosting meetings to challenge city officials to get us better internet service will be carrying your message to city leaders but we need your help, your voice if we are to make a change.
    http://mayormcginn.seattle.gov/meeting-the-community-in-beac

  13. Listen to Ross Reynolds discuss the issues with broadband service with Sebastian Kohlmeier, a member of Upgrading Technology for Underserved Neighbors, which advocates for broadband equality.

    http://kuow.org/program.php?id=22716

    Not–So–High–Speed Broadband: Residents in Seattle’s Central District and Beacon Hill neighborhoods are fed up with the lousy broadband services they’re stuck with. These areas have limited choices in high–speed Internet. Citizens are trying to get the city to listen to their concerns.

  14. Is there is digital divide in Seattle? Watch a special Public Exposure with Tracy Bier of Upping Technology for Underserved Neighbors (UPTUN) discuss how technology differences is a new form of redlining. Monday, February 28 at 6:00 PM, and Tuesday, March 1 at 3:00 PM, cable channels 77/23 in most of King County. Or watch it online at http://www.facebook.com/l/0c8e2K7YMHkMKJL08B1mmUs1onQ/www.sc.”

    Feel free to let people know about the show.
    SCANtv – Your Community On TV
    http://www.scantv.org
    SCANtv – Your Community On TV

  15. Hi there! I wanted to say I have DISH Network as my TV provider and I am really happy with their service! I get the lowest all-digital nationwide! Not to mention unlike Comcast I get HD Free for Life as a qualified customer. As a DISH employee I can tell you that DISH is rated #1 in Customer Satisfaction among all cable and satellite TV providers. You should check out DishNetwork.com for more info.