County must do bet­ter to get us ac­cess to the world

The Calvert Recorder - - Community Forum - Ge­orge Dur­gin, Prince Fred­er­ick

I am not one to com­plain hav­ing spent 40 years in the mil­i­tary and hav­ing been all over the world, as I have seen it all.

How­ever, liv­ing 30 min­utes from our na­tion’s cap­i­tal, I can­not con­nect to the world with in­ter­net or tele­vi­sion.

How can this be?

I am not sure the Calvert County Board of County Com­mis­sion­ers knows what a ma­jor­ity of Calvert res­i­dents must go through just to watch news or con­nect to the in­ter­net.

Most re­cently, I had trou­ble with both satel­lite tele­vi­sion and DSL in­ter­net and had the most em­bar­rass­ing con­tact with both com­pa­nies. It is bad enough both com­pa­nies have call cen­ters on an­other con­ti­nent and a lan­guage bar­rier ex­ists, but it is worse when you ask to speak to a su­per­vi­sor in the U.S. and you are un­able to.

Our neigh­bor­hood of Sixes Road and Route 231 had a DSL in­ter­net out­age for a few days. Even­tu­ally, Ver­i­zon re­stored ser­vice, but it was so poor that all of us in our area were com­plain­ing of slow and spotty in­ter­net.

When I called Ver­i­zon in an un­known coun­try, they told me that hard­line DSL is only guar­an­teed at 1 to 3 megabytes per sec­ond.

I was told that since I was cur­rently re­ceiv­ing 2 megabytes per sec­ond, I should be happy.

To re­solve slow is­sues, I should only have one de­vice at a time hooked up to my DSL, so I should dis­con­nect all other de­vices (lap­top, iPad, Alexa, Google, alarm sys­tem, etc.).

I tried to ex­plain that my Ver­i­zon cell­phone was get­ting 17 megabytes per sec­ond — how can a hard­line only give me 2 megabytes per sec­ond and be ac­cept­able?

None­the­less, as we do not have ca­ble ac­cess in our area, I am out of luck and must ac­cept poor in­ter­net ser­vice.

Next came my DirecTV with in­ter­mit­tent scrab­bled signals.

Af­ter two hours on the phone, I could not speak to a su­per­vi­sor in the U.S., I was only al­lowed to speak to some­one in their call cen­ter.

I ended up sched­ul­ing a ser­vice call and was amazed that the ser­vice tech­ni­cian knew there was a sig­nal is­sue DirecTV-wide and noth­ing could be done.

I must live with it, as that is all that we have.

I was shocked when I saw The Calvert Recorder ar­ti­cle on Dec. 14, “Board OKs fran­chise re­newal with Com­cast,” and that the com­mis­sion­ers did not in­clude in­ter­net ser­vices in the con­tract.

As the world grows, it is the in­ter­net that con­nects us all.

How can we be 30 min­utes from Washington and not be able to use the in­ter­net?

The com­mis­sion­ers need to ad­dress ac­cess for all.

Sadly, be­ing on a pri­vate road, my home is a quar­ter-mile from Sixes Road, and un­less I am pre­pared to spend big bucks on hav­ing a line in­stalled, I am out of luck for ever hav­ing ca­ble ac­cess, but the three other homes on our street will meet the 300-foot ac­cess re­quire­ment. The re­quire­ment should have been each home be­ing 300 feet so as they come down our road, all of us will be 300 feet from each other and all have ac­cess, or at least ad­dress pri­vate roads.

Com­mis­sion­ers, please rep­re­sent us and get all of us ca­ble ac­cess to the world.

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