They’re unhappy with the company’s performance during last month’s outages.
Hagerstown, Md (KM) Antietam Broadband needs competition. That’s according to a number of its customers, including Cherish Marriott, who has formed an organization called “More Cable Options for Hagerstown; Stop the Monopoly.”
“Over time, they’ve gotten comfortable with not having any competition, and the city hasn’t felt the need to invite in any other service provider. I believe that over time, it’s just become a natural monopoly,” says Marriott.
On Wednesday, April 24th, Antietam Broadband says it experienced “multi-pronged” attacks on its phone and internet services. The company initially said the outage affected as many as 18% of its customers. Antietam later issued a revised statement saying 40 % to 45% of its customers were affected by the outage. A majority of the affected customers didn’t have their service restored until Saturday, April 27th at 11:00 PM. Some customers still needed help in restoring their service Sunday, April 25th.
During the outage, Antietam said its network was being hit with more than one-million malicious attacks every five minutes.
On its website, Antietam says a majority of its systems are “operational” and “stable. However, some customers are still experiencing outages. The company says it has provided instructions on its webpage on what to do when this happens again.
Marriott says she’s reached out to Hagerstown Fiber to see if that company could provide some competition. “Hagerstown Fiber doesn’t actually service everyone in Hagerstown, unfortunately,” she says.
During the outage, Marriott says Antietam Broadband showed itself to be “unreliable.” “However, this isn’t the first case that Antietam has been unreliable. They’ve had other outages, maybe not to this extent. But they are known for being unreliable. They have a 1.8 out of 5-star review on Google from their consumers,” she says.
Marriott says she’s as student and is part of a family business known as I&M Solutions. She says she lost money during the outage because the internet was not available through Antietam Broadband. She and other customers had to use “hot spots” to obtain data from the internet. “T-Mobile you get a certain amount of data, and you buy that data. I know 10 gigabytes is $30, and 10 gigabytes goes by very, very fast. So I’m paying Antietam and I’m also paying my phone provider for internet service,” she says.
In previous media reports, Antietam Broadband says customers affected by the outage will receive a refund on their bills.
In addition, Marriott says the prices charged by Antietam leave a lot to be desired. “Their pricing is a little high. I personally pay $74 a month for unlimited internet, and that just internet. That’s not cable; that’s not telephone. I think that’s a little ridiculous,” she says.
Marriott says she will be hosting a meeting on Antietam on Wednesday, May 15th from 6:00 PM to 7:45 PM at the Fletcher Branch of the Washington County Free Library in downtown Hagerstown. It will give customers a chance to “vent” about their experiences with Antietam Broadband, and there will also be discussions about bringing in local competition in telecommunications. Marriott says representatives from Antietam are invited.
By Kevin McManus