Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Check broadband availability before moving your home or office.

Moving into a new office on a long term lease and finding out that you cannot get high speed internet could result in a disaster. We are becoming increasingly dependent on reliable, affordable high speed internet access.

There are a surprising number of office buildings and even homes that cannot get broadband.

I ran into a situation where a business owner was leasing space in an office building in lower Bucks County. He was using DSL with an appalling .8MB up and .3MB down. That is POINT 8, and POINT 3 not 8/3. He had been told that ‘the building was unservicable’  Neither Verizon Fios nor Comcast could provide service. Comcast agreed to do a site survey.

I took a look at the building and I think I see the problem. Verizon and Comcast almost certainly have service on that street. However, the front of the building is paved property line to property line. There are no utilities in the rear as that backs up to a parking lot for a shopping center. Also, the utilities are underground and there are no utility poles in the area.

In order to provide Comcast or Fios, it would be necessary to dig a trench from the street to the building through newly laid asphalt.

There is a possibility that Comcast will find a way to deliver service but I doubt it. The alternatives are Dishnet or Wifi access. With a 2 person office, it is possible that they can keep the bandwidth at a level that will not result in absurd wireless bills.

The moral of the story is that you need to verify the availability of broadband before you purchase or sign a lease. Don’t just take the provider’s word that service could be available. Make sure that you write into the contract that if you cannot get service (and specify a cap on hookup costs) that the lease/sale will not be valid.

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