The Internet Corruption

Arnik Popli, Web Editor

Let me ask a question: how many options of internet providers did you have to choose from when you signed up for an internet plan here in San Ramon? Chances are, there were probably only one or two, and those options were  likely  Comcast and AT&T.

Here are the facts: we as Americans, even here in the heart of the Silicon Valley, lack affordable high speed internet. So much so, that America as a whole, a country responsible for leading technological innovations, doesn’t even rank in the top 10 average internet speeds in the world.

Prices for internet at AT&T and Comcast both start at $30-35 per month, but with speeds considered laughable by today’s standards. With competitors like Google Fiber offering the similar speeds with a $25 per month fee for one year, and a $300 construction fee, it makes one wonder why they would ever pay for a premium like Comcast or AT&T in the long run.

To add to the negatives of these two options, Comcast and AT&T both come in at the bottom of the barrel rankings of the American Customer Satisfaction Index rankings nearly every year. Service proves to be a beast of its own to deal with, with prices being changed on the fly due to hidden fees, and contracts often being negotiable via haggling with a representative on the phone for cheaper rates.

Senior Jack Dzvonik, along with Senior Rohan Dutta, both have had personal issues with Comcast and AT&T.

Dzvonik’s experience with his internet provider left him furious, as he commented, ” Never in my life has my internet run smoothly and then when you call them to complain they have the audacity to put you on hold for a minimum of 2 days before they patch you over to some joe shmo on the other side of the planet who has to pretend like they understand your problem and that they don’t secretly hate you.”

He went on to say,” You see, having Comcast is a lot like learning how to ride a bike, except instead of learning how to steer and work the pedals, you have to learn how to deal with getting kicked in the balls everyday of your miserable life.”

Rohan Dutta didn’t have much better to comment, as his experience with Comcast didn’t provide him with anything better.

“Comcast replaced my fully functioning router with ‘faster’ router, which didn’t have enough range to get to my room. They installed a different, more ‘powerful’ one but that still didn’t work. I had to finally buy a $100 extender to get enough range to my room,” he said.

Being a customer of Comcast myself, I find it ridiculous that I only had one option if I wanted internet speeds that suited my needs, and I am not the only member of my community to feel this way.

Again, Jack Dzvonik has been a customer of both AT&T and Comcast, and is definitely not a fan of either.

“Comcast and AT&T are without a doubt the bane of my existence. It doesn’t make sense how companies so well-established can be so God awful and treat their customers so terribly.”

Senior Imon Mashayekh, a current customer of both AT&T at his mother’s house and Comcast and his father’s house, commented, “The problem with these companies is that they are like a bed of serpents. You enter to buy an internet or cable plan, and you leave with a new alarm system, car insurance and another child. The misdirection they use is shocking. Deals for phones are constantly altered in order to leave the consumer in more long-term debt.”

It was hard for me to find someone actually pleased with their internet providers, but my co-worker, Tyler Darling, was one of them.

Darling said that while he “wishes there was more options, it [comcast] still gets the job done.” He like other customers in the area, also suffers with issues of WiFi, especially with his smart tv often having many issues connecting to services utilizing the internet connection.

Needless to say, with the overwhelming public disapproval, there simply needs to be change. If there is this much outcry against the services, and no one seems to be happy, there must be a change. We, as San Ramon residents, must demand change in our community to create a better future.