Las Vegas is a city striving to attract tech companies. My business falls into that category. All of my income is derived from customers in other states and countries.
Nevada is the perfect state for a small business like mine due to its favorable tax situation. All I need is a quality connection to the Internet. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find this in the past year and my company is suffering because of it.
There are two options for internet service in Las Vegas. Cox Communications provides cable, while CenturyLink is the DSL provider. My experience with both in the past year falls below the lowest of expectations.
My home has Cox Communications as its cable internet provider. The service was flawless for the first four years that I lived in Las Vegas. In 2015, a contractor tore my Summerlin neighborhood up and laid new fiber. My service has been unacceptable ever since. The new wiring may be a coincidence, but it was exactly the time my connectivity issues began. My neighbors experienced a serious decline in service at the same time.
My access to the Internet slows nearly every day around 4pm. There are times when it fails multiple times within a few days. I have lost patience with these constant connectivity issues.
Cox Communications Admits Outages in Most Instances
I call Cox Communications when the Internet goes down. The automated system acknowledges the problem and states it will be up in a few hours. Cox does not always live up to its own deadline.
My service was down for 36 straight hours in May 2015. When it finally returned, it failed again within a few hours. The time the service was promised to return extended multiple times during this outage. That was during Memorial Day Weekend. While this was my longest outage, there have been other times it went down for 12 or more hours.
When I first started complaining to Cox Communications, the company is only willing to credit me for a day’s worth of service. This is after being on hold for 15-60 minutes. The $1.50 that I save is not worth the time I waste sitting on hold. They have finally started accept responsibility for the problems and given higher credits.
When my Cox service is down, I am forced to go to hot spots in the hopes of finding access to the Internet. I have discovered two bars that use CenturyLink, according to employees, citing partnerships CenturyLink has with DirecTV.
The service at these establishments is spotty at best. The connection is only constant about every other visit. There are times it is down for my entire visit.
There is never a time that my laptop fails to access the Internet when my cell phone or those of employees are able to access it at these hot spots. This makes it clear that it is not a hardware failure on my end.
This is embarrassing for a city striving to attract tech startups. Summerlin is the type of community that should be conducive to entrepreneurs, not one where there is a constant hunt for an Internet connection that works.
Regulators must compel these companies to fix these internet problems. If Cox and CenturyLink refuse or are unable to provide this service, they should be forced out of the market.
Cox Communications Ripoff Charges
It is not just the poor quality of service that is the problem. I agreed to a $6.99 per month charge in what I thought was a modem lease for my access to the Internet. A Cox representative told me that I should buy a new modem to help troubleshoot the issues at my home. They claim my $6.99 per month fee only covers wiring, not hardware, but that was not the discussion I had when the service was installed.
Only a fool would pay $6.99 to insure Cox’s wiring. I feel that type of fee is nothing but a scam. Cox gave me a $100 credit when I called them on this, but that simply is not enough. I’m out more than $300 from this scheme.
I bought a new router months ago based on a troubleshooting that claimed that was the problem. That did not fix it.
I have no reason to believe my modem is the problem since the automated system at Cox usually acknowledges the problem is on their end when I call to complain. Even if I was paying Cox to insure my lines to guarantee a constant feed to the Internet, the company is failing to provide that service. This is evident in the repetitive failure of service.
There is ample evidence to lead me to believe the problem is caused by over selling the bandwidth in my neighborhood. The time of day of outages and slow speeds coincide with this. Most of my residential problems occur between 4pm and 9pm during the week and on Saturday afternoons. The Internet is rarely down in the morning or middle of the night. The business outages seem to be random at any hour of the day and night.
Las Vegas City Council and Clark County Commission Must Address Monopolies
The companies that provide internet access in Las Vegas are not meeting the demand. If Las Vegas wants to be considered a city friendly to tech companies, city and county leaders must compel those providing basic online services to do so without repetitive outages. These monopolies failing to meet the needs of customers jeopardize the future of Las Vegas and its potential to diversify the economy beyond gaming.