Can Comcast or another provider install services in my Bloomington home or apartment?

Posted on August 18, 2015

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Can you have cable and internet installed in your Elkins Apartments Bloomington rental home, townhouse or apartment? Yes, and no! Definitely no new holes and wires. Read on….

Can I have cable and internet installed at my location?

Yes, of course you may have internet and/or cable television installed in your apartment or rental house but….

Can installation involve new wires and structural changes? NO. Not without written permission.

You may not have any structural changes performed, this includes but is not limited to, new wires run, any holes drilled, have anything mounted to the outside of the building, or dangle wires anywhere. That is, without written prior approval to do so. The issue we run into is that many installers will take the easy route, and just slap new cables and drill new holes, and we end up with lots of extra holes and wires everywhere, and they look bad and damage the places. So, if for some reason an installer or service tech suggests that there is a need for new wiring, you will need to get in touch with the office and connect one of us with the service provider. We are happy to help with this.

What if they say my wiring is “bad”? Well, maybe, but not likely.

This is a common first statement when a tech shows up to troubleshoot a house. Signal is bad (they did actually test it, right, and not just try the modem and tv?!?) so its the wiring. “We need to run new wires, and we need the landlords permission.”

Well, okay, but no, let’s have them do a little work first because “throwing the wiring under the bus” is a pretty easy thing to do–plus it delays your resolution (but let’s them hit the road to their next jobsite, of course). In most cases, we have had tenants year after year (after year) using cable and internet in the homes. Often techs, especially seasonal ones (think: hired just for turnover in August), don’t want to take the time to figure out what someone has done (usually another tech from the same company) in the past. It can be hard to figure out who ran what cable where, and added which splitters, etc. In the end, aside from the initial construction, we have never changed wiring, so any issues with wiring are usually from a previous tech.

Note, not ALL techs from the companies will do this. Some are excellent and will work with you to figure the problem and will then work with us if they cannot resolve it without internal wiring changes. Oh, btw, good trouble shooting first steps for the tech?

  1. Is the signal to the box outside solid? If not, fix that (which has nothing to do with your house).
  2. Does the wiring split in the home somewhere (usually a closet)? If so, if signal at #1 is solid, how is it at the split, with the split removed? Good? How’s the splitter? Bad? That is, does the signal drop off when you add in the splitter and another cable? Replace it (or possible the cable). I even once had my house have a problem the tech could not figure out until I asked him whether the signal was TOO strong… turns out they added a powered splitter in my house years ago to fix the signal, then actually fixed the upstream signal issue, which increased the house signal, which then the powered spitter (an “amplifier”) was boosting too much, which caused the devices to misbehave. Go figure. Anyway, #2 good?
  3. Then its just about the runs to each device… There are two most likely culprits in this case and both are easy the fix. First, it could be the end connector at the splitter or, more likely, at the wall (imagine years of people yanking the cords around just a bit). These are really easy to switch (although if you do it even a little wrong, by allowing even one little thread of shield wire to touch the center wire, then it won’t work well, or at all!). It could also simply be the wire from the wall to your device (usually provided by you), so change that out. Finally, it COULD be the device itself, especially if other devices are working in the house.

Of course, there are a lot of things to try and lots of other variables. Having trouble? Send the office a note. This should not be your first point of contact because we are not Comcast and its their job to get you up and running. And they have those handy dandy awesome meters to test signal quality. However, we do want you to have a great experience and we may be able to help. One of the owners (me!), happens to have been a tech coordinator at schools for years, worked at IU network services for years too (while earning a PhD in instructional technology), and still runs a tech company. I may be able to help… 🙂

Can I have more wire run inside the house? No. Well, sometimes.

Generally, no, but if you have a need for an additional drop AND the installers coordinate with the office, then we will sometimes allow new drops to be run, at your expense, and only with written permission after we have discussed the install plan with the installer.

Do you provide support? No, but…

Elkins Apartments is not a cable or internet provider. We are not in any way involved in your account – we CAN talk about installations with them and they know that they are not to do structural changes without our approval, since the owners of the homes/locations must approve installs.

However, we also know that know that having your cable and internet not work is a pain in the patooey. It so happens that one of us spent 7 years as a technology coordinator for a school and another 5 at IU as network and user tech support. That is, we have someone on staff who seriously knows his stuff. So, if you are having trouble with your network that you simply can’t resolve, send us a note through your portal and he’d be happy to help troubleshoot it.

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