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Outrageous! Time Warner wants to charge one man $20,000 for Internet access

For those of us that live in cities and even most towns, relatively quick Internet access is commonplace - so much so that we probably take it for granted. But, there are still people living in rural areas who struggle to get modern Internet connections and have to make do with things like, gasp, dial-up.

Just look at Jesse Walser. He and his family live in a secluded area in the town of Pompey, New York. Time Warner Cable is the only Internet provider working in the area and its lines are about a third of a mile from Walser's house. So, in order to connect Walser, the company is charging $20,000. You read that right, $20,000!

Time Warner Cable’s (TWC) lines are a third of a mile from Walser’s house, and the company has received more than $10 million in state funding to bring broadband to underserved portions of New York over the past two years. But the company (which will be purchased by Comcast if the government approves the merger) told Walser they won’t do the construction unless he pays more than $20,000. That’s just to reimburse TWC for its troubles—the monthly access bill would be on top of that.

When Walser needed phone service to his house, Verizon charged him a reasonable $250 to set it up. He wanted to get Internet service from Verizon, too, but his house was too far away from Verizon's Internet lines.

And, he's not alone. About 5% of Americans live in areas without wired Internet service.

Next page: Are Time Warner's charges fair?
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