Cutting the Cord

I’m taking this opportunity to write a blog on my phone. Fat fingers, and all. I’ve always enjoyed wrestling with auto-correct. NOT! 😜

Mediacom is our internet provider. Internet only. We cut the cable, so to speak, for “television” a while ago, switched to DISH, and ditched that a year ago, switching to YouTube TV to save money. YT TV has its quirks, but there’s unlimited storage with the cloud acting as our DVR. That can be pretty handy. Say, for instance, there’s a film noir on Turner Classic Movies. Once I’ve saved it, it’s available to watch any number of times.

The downside is that it’s the Evil Google, but I just bought a Google phone, so what can I say? I’m a slave.

But back to the internet…

As you drive through our neighborhood, you’ll see green boxes near the curb, spaced every few houses. These are access points to deliver cable to customers at each of the nearby houses. There’s one at my curb, which is in the circle of a cul de sac, and another one halfway to the corner of our street. Since our street is a cul de sac, it’s a “T-intersection.” Another green box sits at the curb across the street at the intersection. There must have been a cable break underground sometime in the past year, because there has been a cable lying in the street since last summer, connecting that box to the one half-way down my street – a span of about 200 feet. It has a small black cover over it to create a mini-bump in the street section so cars can drive over it, and it has not been an issue. Until winter arrived.

Now, snowfall here is not frequent. But snow does fall. Three weeks ago, we lost our internet. In a phone call to tech support we were told we could expect a repair in 3 to 10 days! While driving down the street a little later, I saw that the cable crossing the street was broken. We’d had our first snowfall that required a snow plow. I called Mediacom right away, dealt with the frustration of their voice menu and talked to an actual person. I explained the situation, expecting that a crew could fix it in no time. Of course I didn’t expect them to tunnel under the street and bury the cable during the winter, but it should have been a simple connection.

Two days later, I received a text telling me my internet service was reconnected and that I would be scheduled to have the new cable buried. What?! Glancing out the window, I saw that an orange cable was stretched from the green box at my curb to the side of my house – done without a visit to my door. And, of course, I had no internet. I went down the street to see that the broken cable was still lying in the street. It wasn’t repaired until the next day – after I called Mediacom once again. I also asked them to send someone out to remove the cable on my lawn and reconnect my original buried cable.

A week later, my lawn had paint marks and flags marking underground utilities, and a crew showed up to bury the cable two days later. I asked them to just reconnect my old cable on the side of the house. They pointed out that it was cut two inches below the box, and that it could not be spliced due to weather exposure and possible signal loss. So, they buried the new cable.


Snowfall the past two days, and – you guessed it – last night the snow plow took out that cable down the street. A phone call to tech support put us on the calendar for repair. A technician will come to our house, sometime today – procedure. So, I have to keep an eye out to make sure he doesn’t cut our cable, since COVID policy keeps them from coming to the door. Hopefully, I can then send him down the street to correct the real problem.

Oh! I also received a text from Mediacom saying my repair will be completed in 10 days. It’s time to shop for a new internet provider.

16 thoughts on “Cutting the Cord

  1. Oh Lawdy! A Tale of Two ways of looking at technology, the best of times and the worst of times. Ken, I hope you get it sorted out and find a better provider. Not sure if you have the capability there but have you considered a wireless “hotspot” with your phone? I don’t have the knowledge to know if I can get one here but it sounds like it might work for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I asked my neighbor (last time) if his cable was out. He said he ditched Mediacom long ago. DISH for TV and he uses T-Mobile for a hotspot. I have Verizon, typically with 2 – 3 bars for a signal. We might make it work if it was just the two of us, but there are two more in the house who practically live online. Bandwidth.

      Now last time, I went to the library to use their WiFi on the first day. I explained my situation to the reference desk. He said, “If you’re lucky, we may have a Hotspot on the shelf.” They did. Free internet for a week, on T-Mobile. And yes, I was lucky. I looked it up on the library website and there were 9 people with a “hold” for a Hotspot.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. We are so dependent on our internet…most buildings in the city only give you one choice of provider. But none of them are consistently reliable, so in the end it’s all the same. Good luck! Reliable internet for all is definitely something that should be addressed in any infrastructure bill. And affordable I might add. Too many children trying to do remote learning with no access to do it. And the gymnastics needed to talk to a real person for help these days…. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

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