internet cable dilemma

Recently had a last mile experience when Comcast stopped providing service to my building because they couldn't access their own utility pole!
Sometime in the dim past, copper TV cable service was installed in the back of my building; Comcast now uses the wires for TV and internet. My cable stretches across three fenced-in backyards to a pole located on property facing an adjacent street. Here's a diagram:

cable diagram

Last week a branch cracked off the Giant Dead Tree (about five stories high) behind Bldg B-2, breaking the cable that extends from the backyard of Bldg B-1 to my building, Bldg A-2. In order to repair the cable, the Comcast technician would have to get the permission of owners or tenants of Bldg B-1 to let him into their backyard so he could climb the pole there. He couldn't get access, so he says, so he gave up and went on to his next job.

Comcast's customer service said the only way I could get the connection restored was to try to convince the residents of Bldg B-1 to give them access to Comcast's pole -- to act as the company's real estate agent, in other words. As if! Comcast was behaving as if it still had a monopoly but FIOS recently came to our neighborhood (via a competitor provider) so I have an alternative to knocking on doors on their behalf.

more greed architecture

The small cylindrical building in the lower left was a PATH train entrance that stood alone in a vacant lot for years. Then, the awkward parabuilding on the right was added, using the cylinder as a support for a multi-story hotel (Marriott Residence Inn). "Parabuilding" was New York Times architecture critic's Herbert Muschamp's euphemism for what could also be called "the architecture of greed," where squeezing every last nickel of rent takes precedence over style. Note how the sleek futuristic columns attempt to distract from the silliness of the design.


The hotel exploits monetizable floor area on the opposite side, too -- its wraparound floors nudge into the space of the adjacent building, a la the infamous shot of George Bush trying to squeeze past Bill Clinton in a public doorway:


Here's an image that a tourist bureau might like, where everything appears neat and symmetrical. Photos can lie.