Farmer asks for fiber Internet, ISP says that'll be $383,500

By dkpope
Aug 12, 2015
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  1. One rural farmer found out exactly how much it would cost for his local Internet service provider to extend their network outside of the service area, and it was a pretty scary number. To be exact, Windstream Communications was going to charge Nelson Schneider $383,500 to give him fiber internet service.

    Getting an ISP to extend their network can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, but what drove the price tag up in this situation was construction costs. After getting the first estimate, Nelson Schneider, CTO of the Norman R. Schneider Family Trust Farm in Ceresco, Nebraska, went looking for other options. He found another company, Northeast Nebraska Telephone Company, willing to do the same work for $41,915.88, even though he’s farther outside their area.

    Almost $42,000 isn’t cheap, but it’s a more reasonable offer and it's a one-time investment that Schneider says will increase the quality of life on the farm after living with extremely slow Internet.

    You might be questioning why there is such a huge discrepancy between the two prices -- Windstream’s price is about nine times as expensive as NNTC’s. Unfortunately you, along with the rest of us, will have to keep wondering. According to Ars Technica, Windstream confirmed the price, although they wouldn’t explain how it added up, and said “the total quoted was for 36 months of dedicated Internet service.”

    That doesn’t exactly clear up the confusion, but at least Schneider, unlike others in rural areas, had other options to consider and didn’t get stuck with the huge bill.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Jeff Re

    Jeff Re TS Member Posts: 17

    Windstream is well known for having lots of outages and horrible customer service.
  3. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Addict Posts: 289   +55

    Looks pretty flat there is the no microwave link internet in the area?
  4. Dimitriid

    Dimitriid TS Booster Posts: 33   +34

    Well why are we surprised that farmers in the middle of ****ing nowhere get no infrastructure? I hate people that think they are entitled to both live far away from the city and still enjoy infrastructure built literally just for them.
  5. j05hh

    j05hh TS Booster Posts: 138   +22

    The middle of nowhere is the middle of anywhere!... wait that's cellular. Consider a Cradlepoint router?
  6. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed TS Addict Posts: 242   +62

    Microwave or even laser if there is line-of-sight, and considering distance of course. Lots of challenges, but can be done for a lo less.
  7. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Enthusiast Posts: 72   +36

    The farmer gets fiber at low cost from his cereals and vegetables, doesn't he?
  8. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    Have you smelled a farm?! I think it's a necessity that they live a billion miles away from another nose. His neighbors should pay the ISP with bribe money to keep them away from civilization!
    agb81 likes this.
  9. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,798   +483

    Do you really think that it costs the ISP almost 400K just to set up a fiber connection there? it's clearly a hyper inflated price. It's not like he's in the middle of the Sahara Desert.
    Taking advantage of people who know very little about IT&C and billing them extra is the norm, especially when there is no competition. That guy was lucky to find another ISP that gave him the correct price.
  10. agb81

    agb81 TS Booster Posts: 77   +38

    9.3k usd per mile for last mile coverage is not that bad, considering it might be necessary either to put posts or bury the fiber.

    Also, if in the future some neighbors decide to hire fiber, the owner would get 6k USD credited


    After some rough maths I came to the following:

    Cost 42k USD
    Distance: 3.5 mi
    Cost per mile: 12k USD
    Cost per yard: 6.81 USD per yard laid.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  11. umbala

    umbala TS Addict Posts: 160   +132

    Hahaha, "another ISP that gave him the correct price". Yeah, good one, because $42,000 is so very reasonable I suppose, when you compare it to the other quote. What the other guy said about living out in the middle of nowhere and expecting city infrastructure still applies. You shouldn't get gouged on price, but you will definitely pay through the teeth either way.
  12. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Maniac Posts: 928   +237

    It sounds like he is willing to pay for it, and he is doing the logical thing by shopping around. So you hate this guy because?
    agb81 and Uvindu like this.
  13. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,798   +483

    I never said 42k is reasonable. it's still too much in my opinion. this kind of stuff should easily be done with under 10K no matter where he lives by any ISP. but it's still not 400K, with that kind money he can buy multiple farms.
  14. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,105   +1,375

    Wouldn't it be cheaper just to get a decent satellite dish?

    Even in a remote rural area it is possible to have a satellite dish reach up to 20Mbit/s, which is decent enough for most tasks. And it wouldn't cost the kind of money, not even remotely.
  15. mrjgriffin

    mrjgriffin TS Booster Posts: 123   +49

    because satellite internet speeds are a joke even to this day and if it's raining or something he will be ****ed.
  16. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,727   +1,092

    Think about it this way... what if it would take say, 3 months to do the work, and in that 3 months the crew that would work on it could make 400K on another project. So even though it wouldn't cost that much in labor and materials, it might cost that much to make it worth their time because of other work they wouldn't be doing. And if that other work is govt contracts... then it's quite plausible. :)
    Hexic, Uvindu and agb81 like this.
  17. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 632   +163

    We use these things and they work!

    Even if you live in the countryside/farm you can still put up a little tower and get a very fast internet link if you can get somone in town to setup a corresponding tower.
    oranuro likes this.
  18. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,487   +665

    Amazing how the TELCO's made incredible promises of supporting internet with ultra high speed, cheap access, and limitless connectivity .... and today, we are one of the slowest high tech countries on the earth with high prices, limited serves and a government that won't make these folks live up to even half of those earlier promises. And we wonder why the Asian countries are kicking our collective butts???
  19. risc32

    risc32 TS Booster Posts: 186   +75

    First of all satellite internet is a joke? 20mps is only good for a laugh? Rain fade can be cured with a big dish. I remember once standing in front of a cband dish holding a dish network lnb. You probably could have pulled 100% signal in the forest.
    . Sure that 400k figure seems high but this article doesn't even state the distances. You do realize it'll take a few guys, heavy machinery how many days just to get the line from a to b. Not including the other inescapable costs.
    . Other that a couple of you I'm starting to believe most of you don't live in the real world. Parents basements perhaps? You see in the real world things cost money. My house doesn't have a gas line run to it. It's about 150ft from my structure. Anyone want to guess what it'll cost me to get it extended? Perhaps one of those greedy ISPs has inflated the price. Maybe I just need unicef to get in the gas line business, as many of you seem to think that's how it should work.
    Merry Christmas to all and to all tons of bandwidth!
  20. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,291   +55

    My father was a small time farmer with some orange groves in florida. Seems like they built disney world after he bought his groves. That was the bill he left me when he died, approx.
  21. agb81

    agb81 TS Booster Posts: 77   +38

    Windstream told Schneider that he would have to pay to run fiber about 4.5 miles from its facilities to his property, “but it's actually 3.5 miles from town, which is the same distance it is to Northeast Nebraska's nearest fiber node,” he said. (NNTC told Schneider in an e-mail that he was "about 3 miles from our nearest fiber connection.")

    Did some maths and it resulted in around 6.81 USD per yard, I suppose that includes everything from heavy machinery rental, the optic fiber, relays, regulation meeting certification, etc.

    I find it a little in the expensive side but as you said, they aren't in the charity business
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015

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