Your article of May 14 on the lousy broadband access in rural Frederick County really got me angry. I am furious at County Executive Jan Gardner and I voted for her.

Her statement of, “we're not going to get into private sector business” really got my blood boiling.

The internet is no longer a luxury. I am retired I have to have a reliable internet connection for tele-health. That is the wave that this pandemic has caused.

I have Verizon DSL which is through my phone line. Thank God I have some access. But in the middle of a connection with my doctor, it goes down. The sound goes out all the time. You never know how long the thing will stay connected. And yes, I keep calling. And yes, they keep coming out. And they can’t seem to fix it. Or it is just the way DSL works.

At the top of the hill on Pleasant View Road there is one person who has a Comcast connection because he paid for it (to the tune of $20,000). But because of the agreement with the county, Comcast does not have to provide service to this side of Pleasant View Road. Broadband is now a utility. It is no longer a luxury. But, until Ms. Gardner understands that, nothing will change. Electricity is a utility. She would not say I should live with the electricity going down every hour. But she is saying I can’t talk to my doctor on a tele-health.

I do not want TV. What I want is a reliable connection and just like the reliable connection I have for my electricity.

I have the money to pay for a connection to the street. I do not have 20,000 bucks to pay Comcast to bring it down the street. There are 12 houses on this side of the of the hill on Pleasant View that have this problem.

Well, look, the connection stayed up long enough for me to finish this letter. Lucky me. I would like to see Ms. Gardner do her job while the net keeps going down.

(24) comments

beltiemom

All of Frederick County should have the same access. I live outside of Adamstown and my sssllllooowww DSL line is awful!

gabrielshorn2013

Is cable not available in your area?

dtwigg

Internet should be treated as a public utility. Frederick should have pursued a solution to comcast/dsl a long time ago. Unfortunately Ms. Gardner doesn't get the best IT advice. T-Mobile home internet may provide some relief to comcast and verizon but they have their own issues i.e. proximity to one of their cell towers.

DickD

Middletown has a broadband Internet committee; not because we don't have Comcast, but because of Comcast prices.

T Mobile will provide 4G Internet, with 50 Mgps and it is available right now. They claim to be serving 145 million customers currently with plans to serve 200 million.

A.T. & T. plans to expand their 4G to 5 G by 2023 and service 200 million.

Thurmont already is working on a solution with Civitas. Civitas puts in.environmental looking poles and covers homes within 1,000 feet. 5G will be essentially the same.

MD1756

One can always move if internet speed is that critical to one's survival. The LTE writer comes off as being overly dramatic by saying "The internet is no longer a luxury. I am retired I have to have a reliable internet connection for tele-health." and "I have Verizon DSL which is through my phone line. Thank God I have some access. But in the middle of a connection with my doctor, it goes down. The sound goes out all the time. You never know how long the thing will stay connected."

Guess what, the connection problems aren't always on your end and you have other options if it is that critical get satellite as a backup (and for other tv channel options). I have Verizon FIOS and sometimes have issues with video meetings. Just yesterday in a video meeting with my financial advisor, a few times the sound portion became garbled, although I could still understand the conversation. When using FIOS and trying to communicate with an aide for our parents using zoom, sometimes the call freezes or drops. Guess what, you just restart the meeting link. Inconvenient yes, life threatening, no. You can just as easily have a call with your doctor unless there is something you actually have to show them. If your life is at risk from a spotty connection I suggest you move next to a hospital or your doctor's office.

What you are looking for is the general public to pay for choices you have made. Well, what if I'd like a Maserati so I can drive 185 (cue the Eagles music)? Should I ask the county to pay for that?

gabrielshorn2013

👍👍👍md1756! The only thing I took away from that ranting LTE was lots of whining.

bosco

Just wait until the connection drops right in the middle of that proctology exam and the robot arm plugged into the USB goes haywire. [scared]

Technology does not always equate to better. I'll wait until I can sit down face to face with the MD.

BornToHula2

"I have Verizon FIOS"

I have fiberoptic internet, other people should stop complaining.

Distance learning was an issue this year and no satellite did not work for that...

MD1756

You know my point was even with fiber optics connections sometimes got screwed up. There are no guarantees for connections. The LTE writer is complaining needing reliable connection for tele-health (which has only recently been available). Are we to wire everyone's home for a once in a century event, when people have a choice of reliable internet living closer to population centers or living further out and asking everyone else to pay for they amenities. For most of my health issues that don't require a doctor to actually move my appendages and feel areas for pain and swelling, I could just phone them in, no video needed. If I were that concerned, I would move closer to my doctors. Should we also pay for fiber optics or 5G to those living in the wilderness in Alaska? I don't ask people to pay for my life style choices.

Dwasserba

I’m reminded of the times County homeowners remarked on how we pay the same “double taxes” to live in the “armpit” of the city vs. its “heart.” And they don’t.

olefool

Gotta get them political donation dollars..... Comcast/Xfinity is a huge source of money money for politicians. The QPQ is astounding. People in Bethesda pay $82.00 a month for the same service that I pay $235.00 per month to receive....

gary4books

Too true to be good. But they do have money and they do pass it around. With Federal plans in the works and new technology (SpaceX and 5G) on the way Frederick County needs an impartial source of advice to know what to do next. Not Comcast.

BornToHula2

The space X (starlink) option is looking worse and worse based on what I have read. The old satellite service appears far more reliable (Starlink dish has to move to track satellites) Also tons of space junk.

DickD

Verizon FIOS is much cheaper than Comcast cable and fiber gives better service with higher Mgps than cable.

phydeaux994

Trouble is you can’t get Verizon FIOS in most places around Frederick. We had it in Columbia and it was great. We have Verizon DSL here and after 5 years of quibbling we got a Technician that knew what he was doing and it’s been pretty reliable lately, although not very fast.

DickD

Brunswick's new development was put in by the contractor. So, Verizon connected to it and is giving them Verizon FIOS

If Frederick County can give money to Comcast they can do more for the rest of the County.

phydeaux994

The nice thing was the TV never went out either, everything was underground.

ken_and_cheryl

I would love Verizon FIOS, but it is not available where I live in Myersville. My options are Verizon DSL (which I currently have) or Comcast/Xfinity, whom I refuse to deal with. I have looked into Satellite, but for my needs, the delay between the satellite and my computer will cause too many issues. >:(

DickD

Verizon DSL is twenty years behind in technology.

gary4books

And in the past when I asked for FIOS, Verizon just laughed at me. My brother in Texas had it, but they sold it to Frontier and his bills are wrong every month, just about as Frontier is going bankrupt - or seems to be that way. FIOS is a technical wonder and they never made money with it.

phydeaux994

It had to be very expensive to put in, very labor intensive running everything underground. It was great for Town House developments, lots of customers close together but once the density of homes diminished the less practical it was.

FrederickFan

Broadband is regulated by the federal government not the county. It is not the county's job to provide internet service. The county would need to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to provide internet. Should the county close schools or end public safety in order to shift hundreds of millions of dollars to become an internet provider? That would make no sense Rural broadband will only be cured when the federal government treats it like a utility and requires it just like it did with electricity a hundred years ago. Write your congressman.

Jim Hartley

Yes. Can we agree that broadband access should be treated like utilities (water, electricity, etc.) and regulated as such? It's too critical for modern life to be left to rapacious corporations. But then government intervention is required. Is that bad?

DickD

Depending on whether government is willing to put up the money, it is bad. Jan claims Comcast is not a monopoly, but without meaningful competition they are de facto monopoly.

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