HOLT — Telecommunications, or lack thereof, have raised concerns for a number of Holt residents.
Joseph Soley says internet and telephone service has been so unreliable that it is impeding his ability to sell his Sundance Way home.
“After a lightning strike, there is no dial tone for 10 or 12 hours,” he said of service provided by CenturyLink. “Here, lately, we have been having more trouble with it because of the rain. And the other day when it was raining, it was really ‘staticky.’”
Soley’s neighbor, Gene Criswell, 79, of Fox Lane, also has concerns.
“It goes out at least once a week, the internet or the phone,” Criswell said. “There’s poor service down here. The wires down the road are not covered up; when it rains, it rains on them and the sun deteriorates them.
“I worked for the phone company for 34 years and I know a little bit about repairing phones and I’ve reported it since the cable has been cut by the so-called workers.”
Sundance Way is an uneven dirt road; along it are exposed telephone wires and boxes full of wires smashed into the ground or covered with neoprene, a synthetic rubber material.
Criswell and Soley said that a year ago a worker putting asphalt down on the road tore one of CenturyLink’s cables in half, and it hasn’t been fixed since then.
“They come down and splice through the cable and then throw a piece of plastic over it; we call it a ‘flap rag,’” Criswell said. “And a few days after they covered it up, it was uncovered and left out to the elements, the weather, the sun and everything else.”
Soley’s wife, Lynn, said that she called the telecommunications company a number of times requesting a new modem that was never delivered, although they were charged for it in their most recent bill.
“They were supposed to be here on the 10th [of July], between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. with a new modem and they never showed up,” she said while holding up a Post-it note where she jotted down the date she called the buisness and its estimated time of arrival.
In Criswell’s view, the business has not provided adequate or timely service to those living on dirt roads.
“We are second-class citizens because we live on a dirt road and we pay the same taxes that they pay in Bluewater Bay and we don’t get any of the same services,” he said.
He then added jokingly, “They call it ‘high-speed internet’ and it’s like a turtle crawling. I tell them with two pieces of string and two tin cans I’d have better service.”
Mark Molzen, CenturyLink’s issues management, sustainability and diversity media contact, sent the following written statement to the News Bulletin after taking the account information of both Soley and Criswell:
"We are actively working to resolve our customers’ concerns,” the statement said. “The lines in the area are along a private road not maintained by the city and the lines have been cut numerous times, reportedly by graders.
"Efforts have been made to bury the lines, but this requires approval. We will continue to work to address the issue."