AT&T and Verizon have generally built fiber only where they face competition.
You already knew that home broadband competition is sorely lacking through much of the US. Much of this misery was created because our State Public Telecom Utilities (controlled by AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and Frontier) failed us:
Update on our process: It's now Day 19 and we still are without power. But there's some movement. We are about to do a press release and interviews. And creating a pamphlet to hand out around our neighborhood with the information for how to protect ourselves from the Smart Meters and what your options are.
The big news is that a state legislator contacted Duke Energy on our behalf and they called us yesterday and explained that they can turn our power back on but first we need to have the city inspectors look at our meter base and approve it, and the city requires a licensed electrician to look at it before they will look at it. So lots of coordinating and costs. And then Duke is asking for a hefty re-connection fee once the inspection is done.
But I went over the whole thing with the associate on the phone, our intent behind our actions, that we were acting out of concern for our health and waited years for Duke's compliance yet could not let ourselves get pulsed every 30 seconds any longer. And how we handled it in a very professional way that assured no power was stolen, and yet how they were completely unavailable to support our health concerns and respond to our requests and notifications which invited them to assist us. And so she said she is going to speak to someone higher up. We'll see, and I'll let you know. We are so grateful for each one of you assisting us. Really amazing and greatly supportive.
However, please forward on to others our fundraiser as we are still quite significantly short from all our out of pocket expenses and potential upcoming ones in order to get our power back on and more. We still need to get Doctors notes as well to assure that we have a strong case to push for analog meters on our houses. And working to assure that others will have that choice too.
Donations can be sent via this GoFundMe page: https://bit.ly/2KSNoqT
Sincerely, with much gratitude,
It's been once again a ridiculously crazy several days. Many ups and downs.
Some positive things are that we may have a lawyer that is into this case, and it was someone who contacted me, which is cool.
We are also going to try to have doctors letters submitted very soon to also help. But the major things are of course raising public awareness that will lead to some PR about the power company's practices, and having our power needs met.
We spent about $2000 in the last two days on batteries, generators (that are more appropriate and efficient than the one's we borrowed/got initially), inverters, solar panels, food to replace what was lost, gas, oil, tanks, etc. And then there's the time and energy spent on all this, which is basically 24/7.
We started a GoFundMe and just tonight are getting the word out there, hoping for some contributions to keep us going.
Our video is ready and we are about to send it out. We are doing an interview with a man from New York on his radio program in about 20 minutes, and had a meeting today in which we all shared our concerns and needs for the process. We are completely and utterly overwhelmed to be honest, there are so many needs and decisions on an hourly basis that it's hard to keep up. We are trying to both get our power needs met on many levels that unfold each day, plus manage the going of public with our experience. We had no idea how taxing this would be, how much energy and resources would be required, and how much so many little things (like spilling gas in our trunk or having to make dozens of phone calls to find out so many little details regarding setting up quickly some basic off-grid power sources) would add up that all relate and ultimately come from the fact that our power was abruptly cut off. We would've liked to have done this process with more advanced notice of course, but the reality is that we were given no choice. The stress causes our group decisions to be difficult, yet we also find that it is binding us together in unity to confront the situation of survival in a powerful way. The support of others and the energetic network of people who care are what keep us going. We are not in this as a vendetta or to express militant anger, but to non-violently get people aware of the severity of what is being imposed and what is happening behind the scenes to keep people totally unconscious. Our power needs are real at this time, so the donations are really important as we are all pushed to the max and unable to do much else. But something big is potentially going to come from this...Much love and gratitude to all :)
As a group of friends we have been in a mayhem of busyness, where our entire lives otherwise have been put on the side, though I would mention there are many teachings in the experience, namely how to shift our energy consumption. With the generosity of donors we have purchased a 4000 Watt generator that we will use intermittently at two houses which are next door to one another for them to turn on their refrigerators and charge phones, computers, cable modems, etc. A neighbor has lended the other two houses a generator, which are next to one another as well up the street, so that we can do the same at those houses. Otherwise it's cold showers, dark at night with just candles and flashlights, little to no ability to wash clothes. We've had food rotting, people overwhelmed and exhausted, repeated trips to the hardware store, tons of phone calls, and many small purchases. Many of us are self-employed and so we have been forced due to sheer lack of time and energy and focus to put our businesses and practices to the side, which obviously impacts our income. We find that there's just not enough of us to do all the thing needing to be done.
It's also very hot today and so we are trying to power some small fans with the generator, but it's also very loud and the other neighbors on the street will probably get quite tired of this situation. For sure having our power abruptly cut off was a shock and has caused a major shift in everything we do, there are lessons in it, but also unfortunate circumstances that are quite a challenge. In order to work on editing all the footage we have from 7 different cameras that were running each for about 15-20 minutes it took a lot of coordinating and time and patience to put it all together, and since we didn't have generators yet our computers died so we sometimes had to go down to another neighbors house who let us sit on her back porch and plug in. We were up late last night, after midnight, and then I was up again at 4:30 this morning working on the footage, fixing things, preparing for the day before my kids wake up,
I have an 8 year old and 3 1/2 year old son and many other responsibilities to consider, and our editing software turned out to be quite challenging to work with. We really want to put something out there that clearly shows what happened, but we hadn't really expected any of this to happen so it's quite an adjustment for us all. I was certain that with 4 houses doing the transfer of meters, informing them that we are more than prepared to pay our bill every month on time, got on the equal payment plan so they don't even need to know our numbers more than once a year, but that we would happily send them in or let them come check it every so often that they would not cut the power like they did.
For those who are wanting to hear about how we are, feel free to share any of the above and know that the donations have been extraordinary and are greatly appreciated. We have been able to buy extension cords and a generator but already spent more than has come in.
We also paid a Lawyer a hefty amount the other day for advice and support in sending documents to the power company, there will be doctors fees to get letters, gas for generators, and then of course certain unforeseen expenses and general living needs since much of our energy for work and income is being thwarted by the need to focus on this issue.
I have created a paypal account specifically for receiving donations, and the link is paypal.me/safemeters, though the other one works as well if you don't want to confuse people.
Aluemáku (Michael) Brasunas, LMBT, BCT
June 28, 2018
A group of neighbors bonded together and followed all the necessary steps (did the Notice and Demand of Removal process with Jerry Day's documents) to serve notice to Lynn Good, the CEO of Duke Energy, through certified mail and notarized documentation that without supplying us with, and installing safe electricity metering devices on our house, they are in violation of their easement on our property by illegally subjugating us to harmful radiation, potential fire hazard, and potential surveillance that goes against anti-wiretapping laws. We each followed the process for the individual houses, 4 in total, and made clear to Duke that we are prepared to fully pay our bill every month, that we switched to the equal payment plan so our meter doesn’t even need to be read every month, that the new meter we have is fully accurate, legal, calibrated, and within our right to replace the previous meter due to their negligence and authorization of the stipulations in our documentation due to their default to fully and properly respond or rebut the statements made in that notification in a reasonable time frame which we generously offered them.
We copied their meter’s readings prior to removal, and sent them photos and clear details logging the whole process in a very simple and compliant way. We made clear we have no intent of stealing electricity or acting outside of our rights to protect the safety of our families. We served them notice again with the meters in a box, and a further document telling them of their default. Since they could not check the meter readings from a distance using their current methods, today, without any written notice beforehand, only threatening calls to some of the houses from customer service agents at Duke Energy who actually admitted they didn’t ever read our notice, that they would cut off our power if we didn’t allow them to switch out our meters. They showed up in an entourage of 3 massive trucks, one supervisor’s pickup, and two police officers from Asheville Police. They said not a word to us even when we came right up to them to tell them they are acting illegally, that our documents show that they cannot turn of our power, that they will be held accountable.
They stood cold faced and completely inhumanely ignoring us and refusing to speak or take our documents. They cut the power to 4 houses and simply said they have no comment, and none of them would utter a word or give us the respect of hearing our point. We videoed and documented from many angles to continue with our clear records of everything that has happened. Now tonight we are without power, but we feel there is a lot of solidarity and support out there with like-minded souls who also do not condone the mistreatment of WE THE PEOPLE.
We are trying to get doctors letters that the lawyer we met with will forward to Duke which will be an additional expense. PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Brasunas and Neighbors