Thursday, March 30, 2006

Petition demanding AT&T upgrade or divest gains early support

More than 100 residents from various parts of El Dorado County have signed an on line petition urging AT&T demonstrate its commitment to serving El Dorado County’s current and future telecommunications needs by taking immediate measures to upgrade its system with fiber optic cable offering broadband Internet access.

The petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/EldoTelecom/ also asks AT&T to immediately solicit bids to sell off its assets in the county to another telecommunications provider that is committed to putting in place a state of the art telecommunications system if it determines doing so is not in its economic interests.

“Since the petition was only initially publicized in early February, I’m encouraged by the support it has received so far,” said Fred Pilot, organizer of El Dorado County Residents and Businesses for Quality Telecommunications. “The numbers show the petition is gaining early traction and momentum, reflecting the level of dissatisfaction with the current state of AT&T’s service in El Dorado County.” The dissatisfaction is evident in the comments of those signing the petition.

“My husband and I have been deeply frustrated with the lack of accessibility to modern communication systems,” wrote El Dorado resident Sandra Parson. “We are stuck with dial up, which is archaic in this day and age no matter where one lives! We urge [AT&T] to act on this petition quickly.”

“AT&T owes us the same level of service as their urban customers since they have been permitted to have a monopoly,” wrote Pollock Pines resident Richard Campbell.

“This needs to happen very, very, soon!” wrote Placerville resident Joanne Mello. “And this must happen in the Pleasant Valley area, too.”

“So many of the basic services on the net require a faster service than the 24K Bits/second,” wrote Garden Valley resident Patricia Snelling. “How are we expected to function the same as other Internet customers when we don’t have the same options available to us?”

Pollock Pines resident Clarence Abbott wrote that broadband Internet access “is essential for the conduct of business and personal communications, and retrieving info from Web.”

“Broadband service for El Dorado County has become a necessity in our ever changing world of technology,” noted Placerville resident Julie Donner. “With only dial-up available to us, which is only 28k, broadband would also be most appreciated.”

South Lake Tahoe business owner Bill Burns said he has been asking AT&T to provide broadband Internet service in his area for more than four years to no avail. “I am totally dissatisfied with the service I currently receive and will not consider any more,” Burns wrote AT&T on the petition. “I am appalled and disgusted by the marketing of technology you cannot deliver. If I had another choice, I would not do business with your company. Provide us with service we can use, not empty PR about the great things we can expect.”

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