Guy Battling Comcast Gets to Keep His Dream House

Broadband saga has unexpected happy ending
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2015 5:54 AM CDT
Updated Jul 14, 2015 7:00 AM CDT
Guy Battling Comcast Gets to Keep His Dream House
Comcast installation trucks in Pittsburgh.    (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

A Washington state man who was misled about his dream home's Internet connection finally has a broadband connection—but he had to jump through a lot of hoops to get it. Seth Morabito, who checked with Comcast before buying the Kitsap County, Wash., home only to be told after he moved in that it was impossible to connect him, tells Consumerist that county utility officials he had discussed the problem with thought up a plan where he would take care of building the infrastructure to connect the home to the county's fiber-optic lines, then sell it to the county for a token amount under a scheme known as a "developer's extension." Morabito, a software developer, works remotely and needs solid, fast broadband, he explained in a blog post at the start of the saga early this year.

Because the county can't sell Internet service to consumers directly, Morabito then had to find an ISP that could, which involved setting up a corporation. "The bandwidth is for my home business, though I've made an agreement with myself to let me use it for non-commercial use," he tells Consumerist. One of the oddest parts of the saga, he says, is that the county wasn't allowed to "evangelize" its own services, but it was able to help him because he went to them first. He suggests that homeowners facing the same problem band together to form "local utility districts," which can pay for new service connections in property taxes over decades. Comcast, meanwhile, offered to pay for a year of LTE broadband connection to make up for its mistakes. (There has been a series of attacks on the Internet's physical infrastructure on the West Coast over the last year.)

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