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Homeowners fed up with paying $600 a month for internet

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PITTSBORO, NC (WTVD) — Imagine paying $500 to $600 a month just for high-speed internet. That’s the reality for residents who live along Frosty Meadow Drive in Chatham County.

The street is filled with homes, not businesses, but the only fiber optic internet these homeowners who live on Frosty Meadow Drive have is commercial fiber.

“It’s a car payment every month, it’s $600 a month,” says owner Daniel Harnden, who pays that much per month for business fiber with AT&T. “Business offer, which we took because it was better than nothing. I was hoping that by the time the contract was finished, there would be residential fiber.”

Three years later, no residential fiber is offered to homeowners on his street, but to neighborhoods surrounding his street, he says AT&T residential fiber is offered and starts at just $60 a month.

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Harnden isn’t the only one on his street paying big bucks for fiber optics. He said there were at least five other owners, including Lani Phillips, who said she was forced to sign up for Commercial Fiber when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“We’re paying $536 a month for the service so he can continue to work from home,” Phillips said.

Not all Frosty Meadow Drive owners can afford AT&T business fiber, so their option is DSL.

“I’ve been paying for this horrible internet for 20 years. I have a homeschooled child. Sometimes it takes her three hours to send something,” Tracy Magliocco said.

Even more frustratingly for Magliocco, AT&T offers residential fiber to the home right next to her.

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“They literally have it across my driveway in the next neighborhood, they have it across the street. They have fiber, residential fiber at the end of the road, but they don’t have it. won’t get in our way because everyone is locked into a very expensive $500-$600 payment,” she said.

In a statement, AT&T said, “We are continually investing in and expanding our network, including our fiber footprint in communities like Pittsboro. Our investment decisions are based on network capacity, service demand and budget. Currently, our Internet options at Frosty Meadow Drive include AT&T Business Fiber.”

“AT&T Fiber and AT&T Business Fiber are two separate products that run on different equipment. One service cannot be switched to the other without an equipment build. The number of business fiber customers in an area does not does not impact our decision to expand our fiber footprint for residents,” a representative added.

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For owners where business is the only fiber offered by AT&T, they said they believe it’s all about the money.

“They’re happy to take our money every month, and they’re not motivated to do anything about it,” Magliocco said.

This neighborhood is not alone, tow truck Diane Wilson continues to hear from many residents of Chatham County and other areas once considered thriving rural communities. They are all waiting for faster internet, but it will take time.

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