Despite the fact that I live way out in the sticks, high-speed internet is now available thanks to one of my roommates calling up and schmoozing the local cable-company folks. (Have I stated how envious I am of people who have the ability to politely finagle things out of others in such a way that all parties are satisfied with the arrangement!?) This was the same cable company who gave me a pretty firm "no" several times (due to the fact that my house is so far from the main tap). After Matt spoke to them, they came and strung almost a thousand feet of RJ11 cable from the trunk line out on the main road and regardless of the distance, there is excellent signal strength. I don't know how he convinced them, but I am extremely grateful for it.
So that huge ice storm we had back in early January caused ice to build up on the electrical lines and rip them right out of the house. The linemen came by and fixed them but the electric company sent a letter a couple weeks later telling me that they fixed it this time so that I would not be inconvenienced, but they would not fix it again because the lines were unsafe and I needed to update the entrance. This is due to the fact that it is the extremely outdated separate-lead arrangement: 2 separate wires, bare in some spots, no ground wire, strung over numerous poles and weaving through 400 feet of large white pines (another random disconnect waiting to happen once of of those trees decides to fall or drop a large branch, as large white pines are known to do frequently). In the process of having the cable strung, my roommate also looked into getting the electrical lines re-strung to my house and as it turns out, the electric company has been wanting to do this for years and will be covering the cost of the entire arrangement all the way from the road to the meter base! I thought I was going to have to pay over a thousand bucks to buy a pole and have it set in my yard! Now I don't have to kiss my tax return goodbye!