Internet service needs improving


To the Editor:

Frontier Communications has a problem. While the company claims to provide phone and internet service to the Cullowhee area, collecting monthly fees and charges for those services, it would appear that in a very real sense the company is a fair weather provider. Whenever it rains Frontier’s phone service is all but useless. The lines are full of static or don’t work at all. Their internet service becomes spotty, arbitrarily going on and off. These problems happen even in light rain but are especially bad during more severe or longer periods of rain.

It’s true that Frontier inherited deteriorating infrastructure when they purchased the local phone concession. The large corporations that succeeded Contel have skimped on maintenance and infrastructure, content to collect fees for their services but leaving local residents in the lurch far too often.

For those in areas like Speedwell there are few alternatives. Most of that area does not receive consistent cell service. One alternative may be in the offing for some residents within the area served by WCU’s electric service. The WCU service area is currently being wired by Morris Broadband, the local cable company. While that may provide an alternative it may be one that is not wholly satisfying for local residents. Morris applies surcharges for internet customers who do not also opt to pay for their television offerings. Their website is unclear and offers contradictory information on pricing. Also, if my experience with Morris Broadband when I lived in Webster is indicative of their reliability then they may not be much of an improvement over Frontier.

Utilities like Frontier and Morris Broadband operate under franchise agreements that are subject to state and sometimes local oversight. While our local elected officials may not have direct influence or oversight over these utilities they can and should monitor their performance and work to ensure that local residents have access to reliable utility service.

Mark Jamison,