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Sticker shock | Internet access was going to cost almost $10,000 for Gibsonville man

Most of us pay around $100 a month for internet service. The cost to connect is free. Tim Gerringer was told his connection would be a bit more than free.

GIBSONVILLE, N.C. — All of us have been there. You're sitting in front of your laptop or phone watching that little blue circle go around and around while your device buffers. The file you're sending is too big or whatever you’re trying to stream is a lot for your internet connection.

Most of the time it works eventually but sometimes it doesn’t. Tim Gerringer was dealing with a connectivity issue at his Gibsonville home. He only had a DSL line and while it worked it was slow.

“The max download speed is 6MB per second,” Gerringer said.

The house is out in the country, but the bigger issue is its location to the main road and the nearest utility pole. The home is about 1,300 feet from a connection point.

“It (slow speed) compromised my work because of uploading, I do have to upload at times and send attachments for the company,” Gerringer said.

After trying to make it work for a few months Gerringer reached out to the local cable provider about getting high-speed internet access. The company told Gerringer it could provide internet access but the cost to hook it up would be expensive.

“They said the cost would be I think $7,000,” Gerringer said.

The reason for the pricey install was the cable line had to be dug and buried the 1,300 feet across his property. The company offered to cut the cost in half if Gerringer would dig the trench himself.

After thinking it over, Gerringer decided to stick with his DSL connection and just deal with the slow speeds. The cost to install was simply too much at that time.

That decision would be short-lived as a few months later he reached back out to the cable company to install the high-speed line. Gerringer said he was now told the price was about $3,000 more than the original quote. He tried to speak with representatives about the price but didn’t have much luck.

“I did not want to give up, but I couldn’t afford what was being offered,” Gerringer said. “I reached out to News 2 and asked if there was anything they could do to help.”

We spoke with Gerringer and had him send us some information about the issue. We then reached out to the cable provider to better understand the issue and see what could be done. A representative with the company agreed to investigate the situation and get back to us.

It only took a couple of weeks before the cable provider reached out to Gerringer who told us it offered to run the line for $4,000.

“I was happy, I guess I can say happy to write a $4,000 check to get high-speed internet installed,” Gerringer said.

There are certainly advantages to living out in the country but Gerringer discovered it can also be costly. While cases like this are rare if you do buy a house outside the city or several hundred feet of the road you might want to ask about high-speed internet access before you buy.

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