Reader, a Windstream Communications customer, is paying for 3 megabits per second, but writes that he has run tests that show he gets service as slow as 0.33 Mbps. Through repeated communication with Windstream he has been left frustrated and unsatisfied with the end result: slow, unreliable Internet service in a rural area.
Company says its rural Internet service is likely 'to get worse before it gets better'
Windstream Communications, which hails itself as “the largest communications company focused on rural America,” announced last month in its fourth-quarter earnings report that it vowed to maintain its $1/share dividend rate to stockholders in 2013 (which an analyst writing for SeekingAlpha called "a blockbuster yield"). It also announced it would be reducing capital expenditures in 2013. Based on my recent calls to Windstream customer service, those cuts may include canceling previously scheduled upgrades to its Internet service in some rural areas that have been plagued with congestion and latency problems.
That afternoon, I emailed and placed a call to Scott Morris, media contact at Windstream headquarters, to ask him whether (and, if so, why) the company has removed scheduled, long-overdue upgrades, and how many rural communities are likely to be affected. Morris returned my call Thursday but was on the road and unable to answer my specific questions at that time; he said he would look into it and get back to me. I did not hear from him as of 7 p.m. Saturday; this post will be updated if Morris responds.
Here are the questions I emailed to Morris on Wednesday:
"-- How many previously scheduled LAN upgrades have been unscheduled in Windstream's service areas (total)?
"-- What criteria were considered when unscheduling those upgrades (I understand that only certain communities will not get the previously scheduled upgrades)?
"-- When, and how, were customers (including me) who had been previously told of the impending upgrades notified that the upgrades were no longer scheduled for 2013?
"-- How much is Windstream expecting to save in 2013 by postponing those previously scheduled upgrades?"