Last we spoke to Dan Dzula, Spectrum was trying to charge him $133,963.75 to install high speed internet in his Gowanus building. "Spectrum have finally killed my dreams of joining the 21st century," the audio engineer and small business owner had told us. The same day Gothamist published Dzula's tale, the New York State Public Service Commission revoked the merger of Time Warner Cable and Spectrum's parent company, Charter Communications, citing "egregious conduct."
A little more than two weeks later, Dzula said that Spectrum trucks were back at his office on Union Street and laid the necessary cables that day, and his download speed soon went from 10 Mbps to 481 Mbps.
"Spectrum ended up fully covering the construction costs and our neighbors—the few we’ve spoken to—are delighted to find out that broadband is finally available," Dzula wrote to us in an email," adding that everyone he spoke to from Spectrum "were all very helpful and professional."
A Spectrum spokesperson told us that Dzula's resolution is "not connected at all" with the commission's revocation, which the company is fighting.
We asked if Dzula's case meant that Spectrum would waive installation fees for every other potential customer who currently can't get their internet service because of prohibitively expensive construction costs.
"As we routinely do, we were successful in developing a cost-effective means to provide service to this business," the spokesperson replied.
Last month, Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, a good government group that is working to expand high-speed internet access, told us that "there's no political will" for Albany to regulate internet access like a public utility, despite private communications companies needing public land in order to turn obscene profits.
"We’re quickly becoming a second-world country because of our unwillingness to hold corporations accountable. You need to figure out ways to bring out the really substantial assets of the private corporate entities, that have made out like bandits, using our public access."
Stephanie Raphael, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications, said in a statement that the de Blasio administration was "working urgently toward the Mayor’s goal of affordable, reliable broadband for all New York residents and businesses by 2025."
"We understand the widespread interest in the City taking action because the current market on its own will not deliver reliable, affordable broadband service for all New York City residents and businesses," she added.
So it appears that the quickest way to achieve the goal of universal broadband in New York City, all we have to do is to write a blog post about every single individual New Yorker who is struggling to get access to high speed internet.
Please send your own horror stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.