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This so-called internet service provider claims to offer up to 3 mb broadband service in the town of Rochelle, Illinois. In fact, it is the town itself that offers this as their official municipal ISP.

4 months ago, after years of recurring connection problems with Verizon internet, I decided to switch to a new ISP. I looked around, and the only services that were available and affordable in this small town were Verizon, Comcast, and Rochelle Municipal Utilities (RMUezNet). (I actually wanted AT&T, but politicians in Rochelle blocked them, eliminating that choice.) I decided to try out the local service because it seemed easier and cheaper than having Comcast installed. The promise of up to 3 mb broadband over the airwaves for $25 a month was very appealing. All I needed to do was lease a device called a bridge for an extra $5 per month in order to get fast internet with no installation. The $50 deposit on the bridge was reasonable.

The problem started as soon as I got home. I needed to run the bridge through my router since I had 2 computers. At first the internet seemed to run fine. It was pretty slow for what was advertised as 3 meg broadband, but I could get on youtube and watch videos that downloaded in an acceptable amount of time. I had to reboot the bridge and router every so often because of some unknown issue.

The biggest problem I faced was not the sub-par "broadband" speed, but the fact that I had to reboot the bridge and router more and more every day. It got to the point that they needed to be continually rebooted many dozens of times every day. Occasionally a day or 2 slipped by when the connection was fine. Then it would go back to normal, needing to be rebooted at least 50 to 100 times daily. I called them about this issue countless times, from day 1. There was an old lady that worked in the office during the day who would try to help, but other than her the tech support was virtually non-existent.

The internet went out for a period of many hours on several occasions; once it was out for about 15 or 16 hours. On the weekend and nights, when these things always happened, there was no kind of tech support available. There was emergency phone number that had a guy who was supposed to relay your calls to a tech who was always on call. Only one time (out of countless calls that I had to make) did the "tech" ever call me back. I think he was afraid to talk to me because I had mentioned that I do websites. The one time he did call me back, their "tech" made every excuse that he could think of to explain away his responsibilities.

He informed me of a redundant firewall that their network uses to filter out some of your emails and certain websites that they deemed unacceptable. Yes, they actually stop you from going to lots of websites! The reason for this was because they had caught somebody downloading movies, but there were several sites that I would have liked to visit that had nothing to do with torrents or anything like that. There were also emails that I signed up for, but never received. I informed him that I was extremely offended by their shady practice of filtering my internet connection without so much as a hint about it in their ads.

He kept telling me to put the bridge in another window, but I told him that I tried them all and knew the best one. But he kept telling me about it anyway - clearly he was not listening. What really got me was when I told him I do websites and that most of the time I can't even get enough of a connection to FTP a 20 kb page update. He had the nerve to tell me that this service was not really for business and that in order to do stuff like that I need to have signed up for the $50 per month business account! At this point it was clear that he didn't have a clue of how to do his job, and that talking to him was a waste of breath.

The lady in the office had kept telling me that it could be that my router was the problem. I was certain that this could not be the case, since I already had 2 routers and they both had the same problem. But I had run out of options to explain why the bridge and router needed to be constantly rebooted day and night. So I finally broke down and bought a new router, just to be 100% positive that it wasn't the problem. The new router was better, but then the bridge alone still needed to be rebooted quite a bit, but not nearly as much as before.

It was still unreasonable to see how often the bridge was cutting off. I was still seeing the words "The connection to the internet was reset while the page was loading" at least a hundred times a day. There was no excuse for this, for having such a bad connection when I live right in the middle of town. It became obvious that their network was not set up correctly, and that they were selling garbage as a premium service, for a premium price. After all the times I called in to complain about the many issues I had suffered through, I still can't believe that I never got any kind of apology or discount at all. I just kept getting a $30 per month bill for a service that might have worked correctly for about 9 or 10 days out of the 4 months that I had it.

RMUezNet was by far the worst ISP experience I have ever had. It would be easy to go on and on documenting the details of their extreme level of incompetence and neglect, but I trust that if you have bothered to read this, I have gotten my point across well: What a rip-off!

Buyer Beware in Rochelle, IL: Municipal Internet Service Does Not Work!

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