By Kurtis Ming

ROSEVILLE (CBS13)- Bill Poteat served 20 years in the Air Force. Now, the retired veteran keeps up with new trends and technology by searching the Internet.

Being retired and on a fixed income, he uses the Internet to find deals. But the one deal he saw advertised for $19.95 for AT&T internet service he says he couldn’t get.

“I cannot have AT&T, and I don’t know why,” said Poteat.

He said when he called AT&T they told him they are not allowed to service his area.

Poteat wasn’t happy, “I should have a choice.”

So who decides which internet service is offered in your neighborhood?

The Utility Reform Network’s Mindy Spatt says the Internet providers choose which communities they service.

“It’s up to them, unfortunately, not up to you,” she said.

In areas where they can’t make enough money sometimes there are just one or no providers. Spatt wants the government to change that.

“Because right now, we’re pretty much being held captive by these companies and we all pretty much need the internet,” she said.

According to US Telecom, a trade group for Internet providers, “geographic, financial and regulatory” issues all play a role when a company decides where to serve.

AT&T says the vast majority of Californians can choose from two wireline/fixed broadband providers.

Although AT&T doesn’t service Bill’s area, it points out two other companies do.

Poteat believes that if a company wants to do business in the state, they should provide service to the entire state and not particular areas.

“We have no power,” he said.

Poteat just knows he wants faster, cheaper internet service now.

“Money not only talks, money screams,” he said.

Spatt says some communities are in the process of installing their own broadband networks or already have done so. These municipal broadbands’ can be up to 100-times faster.

We’ve learned the city of Davis is studying and considering the idea.

Roseville, where Poteat lives, tells us it has no plans of getting into the internet business.

If you want to know who services your area , Click on the Federal Communications Commission link.

Statement: US Telecom

Broadband providers make decisions on where to offer service based on a variety of reasons, including geographic, financial and regulatory. Nationally, ISPs spent $76 billion last year in capital expenditures to improve or expand broadband networks. While federal statistics show that 84 percent of Americans have at least two choices of broadband providers at home, ISPs are constantly evaluating how to expand their service offerings or increase network speeds.

Statement: AT&T

Consumers typically have a wide range of choices in internet service, and different companies serve different parts of California. In this case, Roseville is not in AT&T’s service area – it is served by Consolidated Communications and Comcast, as well as 10 different wireless providers, some of whom provide fixed wireless (a home solution that uses a wireless signal). There’s also at least one satellite internet provider.

According to the latest data, there are 138 broadband providers providing service in California offering over 38.7 million broadband lines of all types. The vast majority of Californians choose from at least three mobile broadband providers and two wireline/fixed broadband providers. Consumer needs, technology, regulatory factors, competition, and geography are among the dynamics that affect our ability to serve a particular community. Fueled by innovation, our capabilities are constantly expanding along with our ability to provide a broader range of options throughout the State.


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