Time Warner is more than happy to install Mark Williams' cable: For the low-low price of $12,000. The cable company justifies the cost using the “long driveway” clause in its contract with the town of Lee, Mass., Failure Magazine reports, because Williams' house is a half-mile from its nearest customer, and 300 feet from the nearest utility poll. The town is furious, saying Time Warner is violating its contract to provide cable services for all its residents.
"A portion of the costs of extending cable plant to very sparsely populated areas is borne by the residents of the area who wish to receive the service," said a company spokesman. "Otherwise, the cost of providing service to these areas is borne by our other customers, who receive no benefit from that construction." But the town isn't convinced; it's giving Time Warner 30 days to change its mind, or face a fine.