June 15, 2024


Your Partner in The Digital Era

Couple purchased property in Seattle, then figured out Comcast Internet would charge $27,000

Couple bought home in Seattle, then learned Comcast Internet would cost $27,000

Aurich Lawson | Getty Pictures

When Zachary Cohn and his wife acquired a household in the Northgate community of Seattle, Washington, they did not hope any difficulties acquiring property World-wide-web company. It was only immediately after closing on the property in July 2019 that they figured out the negative information. “All 6 neighbors I share a property line with are wired for Comcast, but our dwelling in no way was,” Cohn explained to Ars.

Comcast’s predecessor corporation experienced wired up the neighborhood with cable many years earlier and the ISP presents large-velocity broadband to the abutting properties. But the cable Tv and World-wide-web support supplier never prolonged a line to the dwelling bought by Cohn and his spouse, Lauryl Zenobi.

Cohn put in lots of months seeking to get solutions from Comcast on how he and Zenobi could get Net provider. Ultimately, he contacted his Metropolis Councillor’s workplace, which was equipped to get a genuine response from Comcast.

Comcast in the end explained it would demand installing 181 feet of underground cable to hook up the house and that the pair would have to fork out Comcast over $27,000 to make that occur. Cohn and Zenobi did not fork out the $27,000, and they’ve been relying on a 4G hotspot ever considering that.

“I was just flabbergasted”

“I was just flabbergasted that a residence like this, in an space like this, could perhaps have never been wired for World-wide-web,” Cohn explained in a mobile phone job interview. Mainly because the home is “in the center of Seattle, it didn’t even dawn on me that that was feasible,” he claimed, incorporating that the lack of World wide web service would be “much more easy to understand if I was two miles from my nearest neighbor.”

The Seattle Kraken hockey team’s $80 million exercise facility is in the exact Northgate neighborhood, about a 50 percent-mile from the house. There is certainly a big bus station in the space, a light-weight rail station that a short while ago opened close by, and an elementary faculty inside about a 90-next stroll, Cohn stated, noting that the property is “perfectly in just the Seattle town restrictions.”

The home, built in 1964, is also about 10 miles from the two T-Cellular Park, where the Seattle Mariners enjoy, and Lumen Discipline, the Seattle Seahawks stadium named after CenturyLink’s Lumen brand name. T-Mobile would not supply its new property Web service at the home. CenturyLink gives Net company at Cohn’s address—but only its historic DSL with download speeds of up to 3Mbps and upload speeds up to 500kbps. Cable and fiber just usually are not out there at the house.

Not our initially Comcast horror story

We’ve penned about other persons who purchased properties without the need of recognizing there was no property Internet provider, but people stories frequently took put in small towns or rural spots. In some scenarios, Comcast’s website and shopper provider employees falsely advised house potential buyers that service was out there thanks to errors in the firm’s availability database.

Zachary Cohn and Lauryl Zenobi.
Enlarge / Zachary Cohn and Lauryl Zenobi.

Zachary Cohn

Comcast availability information was not a difficulty in this case, as Cohn claimed he did not feel to look at that there was a Comcast relationship ahead of closing on the Seattle house. “Honestly, I didn’t even assume to search. What residence in the center of Seattle wouldn’t be wired for realistic Internet?” Cohn mentioned.

Cohn contacted Ars immediately after reading through 1 of our past Comcast horror stories, hoping to get the word out to other folks that an Web connection is no promise even in densely populated cities—and even when all your neighbors have company.

Authorities broadband packages typically focus on “connecting neighborhoods in specific underserved communities, which I feel is fantastic,” Cohn stated. But he wishes persons to know “there are big swaths of people today, the two in massive geographic places and in tiny personal cases, that just in no way obtained linked to large-pace Internet, and how difficult it is to go by way of everyday living with no that type of link.”

Even though Cohn’s scenario is uncommon because all the bordering houses have broadband, he’s significantly from the only city dweller without having modern day service. It is notably a issue in reduced-revenue locations exactly where ISPs have picked out not to enhance old telephone strains.

Comcast junction box throughout the avenue

With the qualities abutting Cohn’s, there are overhead electrical power strains that Comcast employed to extend cable to the residences. But “our electric power is underground and so… there are no poles to experience off,” Cohn stated.

The block is shaped like a triangle, Cohn mentioned, introducing, “We’re the only dwelling on our aspect of the triangle, and the other two sides each and every have three properties.” On the facet of the house that doesn’t facial area its neighbors, there is an arterial street. The closest Comcast junction box is across that highway, “so they would have to dig less than the arterial to connect our household to that junction box.”

Cohn told us the sellers disclosed in files before the sale that Online wasn’t linked at the residence, but he didn’t know it wouldn’t be feasible to get provider at all. Following the unsuccessful attempts to get service, “we experienced our agent attain out to the sellers to determine out what essentially is likely on here,” Cohn claimed.

They discovered that the earlier owners struck a deal with a neighbor who ran a cable “from his Comcast hookup, throughout his home, throughout our residence, and then into this dwelling,” Cohn mentioned. The former entrepreneurs were renting out the property, and “they kind of made this last-minute offer with the neighbor to appease the renters,” Cohn explained.

But “when we talked to [the neighbor], he manufactured it extremely obvious that he was quite not happy with that arrangement in the past,” Cohn mentioned. “I generally persuaded our neighbor to keep on that arrangement till we could appear up with some substitute.”