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Fast Forward

90-year-old kvetches about slow internet, AT&T rushes to the rescue

A week after 90-year-old Aaron Epstein took out a quarter-page newspaper ad to complain about AT&T’s low internet speeds in his area, the the media conglomerate rushed to provide him with a high-speed internet connection.

Earlier this month, Epstein’s ad in both the Manhattan and Dallas editions of the Wall Street Journal lambasted the company for their slow speeds in his neighborhood, averaging only 3 Mbps, while AT&T offers speeds over 900 Mbps elsewhere in the country.

“AT&T prides itself as a leader in electronic communications. Unfortunately, for the people who live in N. Hollywood, CA 91607, AT&T is now a major disappointment,” Epstein wrote, addressing AT&T CEO John Stankey.

The ad cost Epstein $1,100.

Apparently, it was worth it. A week later, AT&T workers showed up at Epstein’s door to tell him they would be installing fiber optic connections previously unavailable in his neighborhood.

“The AT&T people I talked to tell me that they had to install extra wiring, and it’s costing them thousands and thousands of dollars to put this wiring just for my house because my neighbors still do not have it, and they still have to go to considerable expense to hook up my neighbors,” Epstein told Ars Technica, which first reported the story.

As of now, Epstein’s neighbors are still out of luck as the connection goes only to Epstein’s home. Epstein said he received a call from Stankey himself shortly after the ad appeared. The CEO said that the rest of the neighborhood should get the service by the end of the year.

Epstein will continue to pay the $45 a month he already does, but it will rise to $65 in 2022.

Sometimes, it seems, all you can do is kvetch.

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