Suburban Early Adopters Locked Into 75 Year Contract With ISP

Boy, that fiber-optic cable sounded like a great idea back in 2000! Now one suburban community is stuck with the contract they signed to have state-of-the art fiber optic internet and cable installed in their neighborhood… a contract that can last 75 years if their ISP continues to renew it. From the Washington Post:

Erika Hodell-Cotti, who lives on Sunstone Court, says she cannot work from home because her Internet connection frequently fizzles out. The teenagers who live next door play online Xbox games at friends’ houses where speeds are faster. Dozens of neighbors have installed satellite dishes on their roofs and backyard decks, fed up with cable channels that sometimes dissolve into snowy static.

Whoops! Residents pay their ISP “OpenBand” a not-insignificant $149 a month for these services as part of their homeowner’s association fees. Ah, the perils of early adoption. —MEGHANN MARCO


In Suburbs, Locked Into a High-Tech Lure
[Washington Post]
(Photo: Editor B)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. easy2panic says:

    Just find out a way to make the ISP lose money on your contract and exploit it. Such could be like calling out a service worker once a week (or more) and ask the stupidist questions or something. Then point to them how much money they are losing by keeping you in that contract and tell them it is not going to get any better, it might get worse, so just drop me please.

    Well, Good luck.

  2. royal72 says:

    there must be some “quality of service” statements in the contract… hey meghann or ben, what are some other avenues that neighborhood can look into for a resolution, perhaps the fcc (do they apply)?

  3. Bay State Darren says:

    First of all, this is a “They should’ve read the paperwork before signing.” situation. However, a 75-year contract is really exploitation, especially if no other plan is available. There is absolutely no rationale for OpenBand except “Let’s really screw our customers!”

  4. PhilK says:

    I’m guessing Van Metre didn’t really care about getting any Service Level Agreement from OpenBand, since they figured they were getting 8-12% anyway. The Homeowners should look for things in their contracts that will allow them to dissolve the HOA and replace it with elected community members.

  5. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    *gulp* I just bought a house out there. Guess I’m doomed to bad service!

  6. mac-phisto says:

    HA! HA! the could probably buy the entire fiber infrastructure in their neighborhood for less than $150 today.

  7. juri squared says:

    Hey, that’s Aero Estates!

    Got nothing, just kind of amused to see a picture of something five minutes from my house on Consumerist.

  8. notlazyjustdontcare says:

    If you pay for an internet connection and it is not fit to be used as an internet connection, it has violated its warranty of merchantability, right? In some states, that warranty cannot be signed away in a contract.