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My Last Mile YouTube video…a silent movie with a voice.

The Last Mile

The last mile, well actually it is the last .6miles.  here it is my YouTube video of my 10 minute walk up the road….the number of homes that would benefit are seen as I walk up the hill .6 miles to the Time Warner Connection.  Aren’t we all sick of this storyline, probably no one as much as me, and my husband, Radames,  my first reader.  But hey…this is what we live with here, 10 miles away from one of the greatest universities in the world, Cornell University.

As I mentioned yesterday, a fellow blogger wrote that I had received the proverbial pat on the head.  I ain’t a pat on the head kinda girl…nope, if this doesn’t focus on the ludicrousness of our situation, I will simply upload my narration because that will certainly put the nail in the coffin.

All while I have written away about my frustration with high-speed access, or lack there of, I learned many things from a variety of people.

I learned, such as, that in the neighboring town, a man was able to get Time Warner Cable to wire his entire 1700 foot driveway for free.

I learned from a government official in this same neighboring town, that many “knowledgable people” were working on creating a solution to the county’s franchise problems with Time Warner Cable.

I learned from a politician in the village of Dryden (I live in the town) that they did not need to worry about the county franchise agreement, because ,after all, they have their own franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable.

I learned from a viewer that the real issue told to him by TWC was that, hey, The Town of Dryden does not want to work with us, why should we work with the Town of Dryden.

This one thing, my journey for high-speed rural broadband, has given me a glimpse into an economic and government web that needs untangling.

I was finally able to convert this movie to something uploadable…In order for this to happen on*,  I had to wake up at 2pm in the middle of my REM sleep and then dream, no joke, that the mob is after me and my husband because, I revealed a scene they just did not want the public to see. I woke up laughing and happy to see my video was set.

*from 2am to 7 am we can use the internet like normal people do with, I often wonder, why they do not make this technology avaialbe 24/7.?

The point is, as ludicrous as my home made video may seem, it is shaky as I walk up the road with boots that makes it all look like I am video taping on horseback.  There is no way to get around the ludicrousness of this situation.  Read my top post for all the intellectual, factual, knowledge I accoumulated over the last 9 months to see the rational behind this blog.

And now a poem for today,

Time Warner and the process of getting rural broadband has taught me a lot

This country whose freedom makes so much possible, has also a little guy forgot

I may get the cable, I may not, but the proverbial pat on the head

Will always make my blood boil and make me see red

One person, one moment, that is all I need

I still believe we rural broadband citizens could give this whole darn system a heed.

A simple YouTube video, boring for some

May show, in 12 minutes that I just can not settle for all this ho hum.

In my mind it all seems so DUMB….. 

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February 18, 2012 Posted by | Photos, Rural broadband | , , , , | 4 Comments

Why the discrepancy

in yesterday’s post, I wrote that Time Warner wired  50 miles in Maine for $1.1 million dollars. Based on a recent quote from Time Warner to connect our home,  $1.1 million dollars would connect a little over 12 miles.

A reader commented,  why the discrepancy?  I have no idea.  I  point out too, that Time Warner’s office in Maine was willing to do this  for less that 35 customers/mile.  In New York State, according to the Public Service Commission, when 35 customers live within a linear mile to a connection, Time Warner must connect them with no charge and pay for the buildout.   When less than 35 customers reside within a linear mile, Time Warner can charge the customers for the buildout.  If the customers can not come up with the money, no build out.  This is what we have struggled with for many years.

The cost of the buildout is never transparent despite the formula from the Public Service Commission that Time Warner reports to use.  The house that shares our address and the neighbor’s next door to our West,  received Time Warner estimates when we did.  The discrepancies in estimated costs for the .6 mile buildout were in the thousands.

I started writing this blog in May to see what I would learn and to report it.  I also, of course, was hoping for  Time Warner Cable service.  Time Warner Cable service would enhance our economic well-being.  I do a lot of work from home, my husband builds computers and is a gamer, and we have tenants.  One of whom is a PhD from Cornell in artificial intelligence.  We are frustrated.  There is no service available to us that can offer what Time Warner can and yet accessing a way to work with them is compounded with a myriad of stops.

Jason Leifer has proposed publics sessions to speak on the new franchise agreement Time Warner has offered our town, The Town of Dryden.  These will occur on September 6 and September 13.  In addition, the Tompkins␣County␣Broadband␣Committee has recommended  that the Tompkins County Council of Governments form an exploratory group to look into the advisability of joining in common interest in local municipal cable renewal negotiations with TW.  I am waiting to hear back from our Dryden representative on how that piece is progressing.

Tompkins County Broadband Committee suggested to the local council of governments that they work together on the issue as many towns in Tompkins are ready to renew their Time Warner franchise agreement.

I’ll be in touch.

August 17, 2011 Posted by | Rural broadband | , , , | 1 Comment

What does Maine have that we don’t?

just looking at what $1.1 million buys in New York & Maine.

 •$1.1 million dollars:  the amount Time Warner paid to expand in Maine... 50 miles of fiber-optic and coaxial cable with the potential to serve nearly 12oo customers.**see source

•$53,927.00: the amount Time Warner quoted us last spring to expand service .6 miles to our home with the potential to serve over 11 households.

• $89,878.33:  the amount Time Warner would charge per mile to connect our section of Dryden.

• $1.1 million dollars: the amount Time Warner would need (based on the quote we received) to cable a little over 12 miles in my area of the globe.




Claire Perez

August 16, 2011 Posted by | Rural broadband | , | 3 Comments

Mother May I…broadband post 9

In the child’s game, Mother May I, in order to move forward, the person playing the Mother gives the participants permission by granting their request to take a certain number of steps toward her.  The first participant to reach her wins.

In our game to get high speed internet in Ithaca, NY’s exurbia, Mother May I  is played by several different actors. After 6 weeks of research, these summary responses grab the key concepts.

Mother may I have high speed internet access?

The Time Warner Cable Mother:

No, you live too far away, .6 miles down the road and we don’t care if you are only 10 miles away from Cornell University and your PhD tenant may leave.

No, it will cost you  between $20,000 and $60,000 according to the New York Public Service Commission formula.  Plus, someone might have to buy new poles, and since the Telephone Company and Electric Company own them, it probably will not be us.

Mother may I have high speed internet access?

New York Public Service Commission Mother: 

No, we don’t regulate high speed internet cable access, only television.

Mother may I have high speed internet access?

Clarity Connect Mother: 

No, Our cell signal doesn’t reach you right now.

Mother may I have high speed internet access?

Verizon DSL Mother: 

No, The New York State official broadband map indicates you have it, but No.

Mother may I have high speed internet access?

ATT Mother:  

No, we will give you a portable cell tower but you have to hook it up to your broadband internet connection.

Mother may I have high speed internet access?

Hughes Net Mother:  

No, not for $60 per month.  For that you get 200 mbs per day and then we throttle you back to dial up or slower.

Mother may I have high speed internet access?

Local Government:

No, it is about three years away.

No, Time Warner and our municipality need to negotiate and if we do not agree, the New York Public Service Commission says that the former contract stays in place.  We almost secured one in 2005.

Mother may I have high speed internet access?

Verizon via Best Buy:

No,we can sell you one of our gadgets, but you really need high speed, broadband, its not a replacement.

Mother may I have high speed internet access?

Federal Government Mother:  No, we don’t help out with Time Warner cable rural broadband access.

Other Mothers:

Yes, if you live in Almaty, Khazikstan; Nairobi, Kenya, and Sherburne, New York.


Sites for more information:

June 28, 2011 Posted by | Rural broadband | | 3 Comments

Broadband 7…round and round

I left off at going on a search to find out about the franchise agreement our municipality has with Time Warner Cable,

the best broadband provider and cable provider in our area.  I also wanted to find out from the New York State Public Service Commission what the formula referred to in my Time Warner Cable survey letter represented.

Yesterday, I spent about 1.5 hours on the situation.

I called the Public Service Commission in Albany and after being switched three times, landed in the hands of a very kind person.  Kind because she asked me good questions and listened to my frustration/question:

Why do we have to pay over $50,000 to get Time Warner connected to our home, when it ends .6 miles away?

What is the formula the New York Public Service Commission uses to help Time Warner calculate the cost of bringing Time Warner to our residence…what are the components?  Well…the kind woman told me she would write me, and I think she will.  I heard her typing copiously as I spoke.  She also said someone would call me because she did not know the answer.

A few hours later, my phone rang, it was Roxanne, a Time Warner Representative from Syracuse.

She told me she did not know the formula components but she was calling in my response to a consumer complaint filed with the Public Service Commission.  I guess I did not realize it was a complaint, but ok.  I also was not expecting a Time Warner rep to call me, I thought the someone mentioned by the New York Public Service Commission would be someone from her office.

Roxanne, informed me that the amount I was quoted, I read her part of the letter, was actually cheap.  (Great, I thought, if we round-up enough dollars in the neighborhood that means, it might actually be more.)  I repeated my questions above to her and she is going to get back to me, or rather have someone get back to me, who knows the formula?

Hmm, I said to her, since I called New York State Public Service Commission, shouldn’t they be telling me the formula?  Since they are “public servants” paid by our tax dollars, are they not accountable for knowing and disclosing the formula to me.

I also asked, I think both Roxanne and the representative from the New York Public Service Commission, if any funds existed to help those neighbors who would want cable but could not afford their piece of the $53,000.  They both are looking into it.



June 10, 2011 Posted by | Rural broadband | | 3 Comments

What if we buy the poles…Time Warner asks 53000 plus to wire .6 miles in rural upstate NY

Time Warner to us: $53,927.00 to cable you and 11 households: that is only $3,000 per household!

It arrived the other day, the quote from Time Warner Cable. I am not sure when this quote was generated, but I deduced it was after my call to the man from Syracuse who gave me his direct line a few weeks ago.

The cost for connecting us to Time Warner Cable, .6 miles up the road, is $53, 927.00. The cost is based on a calculation that is agreed upon between the New York State Public Service commission. Per our municipalities agreement with Time Warner, 12 homes, they surmise would be serviced and that is not enough for them to do the wiring.

My husband and I calculated that for every 12 inches or one foot of cable, it will cost $17 per foot.

“Well” I asked Radames, who does a lot of outdoor work himself, what about the poles and the insurance to dig the poles, and the salaries, do you think that is why it will cost $53, 927?”

“Are you kidding? The poles are about $150, you get a post hole digger, and some wires and yes that will cost, but I’d be curious exactly what, not over $50,000?”

So here are my questions and my research will begin again as soon as I can get internet service.

What are the variables that make up the equation that the New York State Public Service Commission and Time Warner use to calculate the cost of cable set up?

How much does it really cost to set cable up, dollar by dollar: the cable cost, the hole digging cost, the technician cost, the pole cost, etc.? When I looked at the PFC website under Cable Frequently asked questions, it said there were no frequently asked questions.

I remember once hearing about the municipality contract? I will have to view that somewhere, I’m sure it is a public document.


June 4, 2011 Posted by | Rural broadband | | Comments Off

Broadband 5…and so the story continues

Good morning:

Tuesday Phone Calls to Time Warner:

So on Tuesday I called my connection at Time Warner, the direct line he gave me, and left a message asking if he had the survey back. He told me 3 to 5 days and it had been a week. I haven’t heard from him yet.

I did not want to wait as I clocked the exact mileage from the last house with Time Warner broadband cable at .6 miles away to the west. I then called a 1 800 number that was promoted on TV Tuesday morning.

The person was very helpful as I wanted to understand the survey process. She explained it has many levels and she put my request into the computer. She said it could take a few weeks. Also, she noted two other survey requests, one in 2005 and one in 2009.

The survey process demystified, sort of:

1. Head Surveyor will send Technician to area to check what it would take to connect us.

2. Technician will report back to Head Surveyor the findings: underground wires, above, etc.

3. Head Surveyor will evaluate and send information to a team who does installation to assess cost.

4. Team will get back to surveyor.

5. Head Surveyor or other representative will call me. At that point I can request a hard copy of the report.

Question: Broadband and Initiative & Time Warner?

OK I said to the very polite and helpful Time Warner representative. I also asked her if Time Warner did anything special for the rural broad band initiative the government is pushing. She said as I recall, they do the best they can to connect us.

Backstory: Surveys done in the past & price quotes

The representative, who is based in Syracuse, did briefly discuss the two other survey requests from our home. One was done in 2005 and she asked me if the quote for running cable to us at $7500 sounded right. She also noted a survey done and requested in 2009. I recall that survey quoted us a fee we could split with the neighbors and the guy said it would depend on the wires: fiber optic or other, whether we would pay apx 20,000 extra as a neighborhood, if I could get a group together. This gentleman based in Ithaca said that is why he always tells people to buy where they are wired and if I got a group together to get back to him. I let the ball dropped and here I am once again.

Time Warner…the power of you. keeping it light

As an aside, I said to my husband, Gee I hope the Time Warner Cable mafia doesn’t come after me;-( I just want broadband. He laughed, but I got a little chill down my spine when I noticed after that comment a Time Warner Van following me on my drive to work. I quickly relaxed when he turned off behind me. I did notice in the parking lot that the vans have a tag line on them that I find ironic as I journey forward: TIME WARNER CABLE…the power of you.

Information is power: please comment

Thanks for reading…would like any ideas, please comment or pass this along to others who might find it helpful.


May 26, 2011 Posted by | Rural broadband | , , , | 1 Comment

Broadband Post 4

Oh me oh my

How to summarize, imagine a big sigh

A very nice man from Clarity Connect walked up to the top of our highest roof

He held a saucer & tried to connect to his satellite, hope, nope, just poof

No word from the survey man in Syracuse for Time Warner Cable

3 to 5 business days…tomorrow I will call him if I am able

Sunday I went door to door  and after house three

Found out  broadband closer than .75 miles to me

We then went in the opposite direction of our house

A nice woman said “they even did a survey and we have tried for years”

Look here, and she showed me some gadget no bigger than a mouse

Go to Best Buy, buy this Verizon 3G
and you will forget your download fears.

I called Best Buy and they said, sure try it for 14 days at your place

Ah, but remember, broadband/DSL is not what it is destined to replace.

So I went back to my house to stew

But I had to come to the library tonight to write you!


May 23, 2011 Posted by | Rural broadband | , , , | Comments Off

The broadband internet journey begins…

The broadband internet journey begins…

 Well actually, it began in 1997 when I moved  here to what we call the outer limits.   That year, when I moved out here to the “country,” 10 miles from Cornell University,* ( “one of the greatest universities in the world,” my Dad’s friend use to say) I noticed that within 3 miles of our house, the weather changed.  I’d be driving along and suddenly, as soon as I hit our happy state route/Cargill straightaway, the rain, snow, ice, or wind intensified.  We never have the same weather as they do 3 miles down the road…that was a sign but I did not see it…

There are many twists and turns to this journey and I write them in one blog.  I have to walk the dog and myself, so as time moves forward, I may write little snippets of the back-story as they weave in and out of the plot.  I have written this story in my head and, if all goes well, the end will be Claire and Radames get broadband.

So, a beginning date, 1997, a scene, and a goal.  The complication: we do not have broadband internet service and we want it. 

I have finished teaching Communications at a local college and I have some time to focus on this issue. 

Here is what I am setting out to explore today:  what is the distance to the nearest Time Warner broadband hookup to our East and to our West. 

*PS  I started  trying to find the exact mileage to Cornell at 9:26am, it is 9:46am, and I am currently sharing the service with one other person.  I have not been able to reach Goggle maps in all this time.  It is now 9:47, so I am going to say we live about 10 miles from Cornell University, as I can not access the exact mileage.

 One other note, this morning while watching our Dish TV, I noted that Time Warner advertised broadband  for 29.99 per month.


May 12, 2011 Posted by | Rural broadband | | 3 Comments



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