Travelblog 2.2 – Cobblers

The Tribeca district of New York is a relatively low-rise area of the island, and historic. Many of the buildings date back to the 19th Century (which is real history in the USA), and many of the streets are cobbled. This is a major issue if you want to get a new fibre optic connection installed.
Last autumn we requested a new internet connection from our ISP. It would require a new fibre optic cable to be laid, and the permit acquisition process began. Authority from New York City, authority from the last-mile provider, and authority from the landlord of our (predominantly residential) building were needed. Gaining the permits was left to the ISP, and by April, and a number of visits from engineers and contractors with tools but not the necessary paperwork, and we found ourselves looking for a new provider.
We're still awaiting the new line, nearly a year later. As I will happily tell anyone who will listen we got a new Internet connection provisioned in the supposedly far more bureaucratic city of Shanghai in less than eight weeks (although, to be fair, a number of the things you might want to access over that internet connection will bounce off of the Great Firewall).
Part of the challenge of getting the new line in appear to be because of the historic nature of the cobbles of Franklin Street. Although, bizarrely, those cobbles are now festooned with spray paint… the feral markings of the utility companies who mark out where to (and not to) dig. Our soon-to-be-former ISP failed to get the cancellation of the original order processed in time, and so contractors dug up cobbles all the way to within 20 feet of our office. Our hopefully-soon-to-be ISP are now delayed whilst they try to track down where the cobbles that were lifted and stored now reside. Replacing them will be extremely expensive…

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