Broadstripe cable TV & internet provider files for bankruptcy protection

Broadstripe (formerly Millennium Digital Media), cable television, internet, and telephone provider for a large portion of Beacon Hill, the entire Central Area, and parts of Capitol Hill and Queen Anne (inside the dashed red lines), has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The City of Seattle Office of Cable Communications notes:

The local Broadstripe office confirmed the filing and will send us formal notification. We will meet with them as soon as is feasible. Broadstripe also confirmed its commitment to continue providing service to Seattle customers with no interruptions during the financial restructuring. We will monitor customer calls to the Cable Office to confirm that service does not suffer.

This action was apparently taken back at the beginning of January, according to the city website.

I wonder if this might light a fire under the development of a municipal cable or fiber deployment like Tacoma has with their Click! Network. A city task force concluded in 2005 that “in order to remain competitive, Seattle needs fiber-optic lines to the home.” As of last spring, the city was still looking for a partner to help build and run such a system.

56 thoughts on “Broadstripe cable TV & internet provider files for bankruptcy protection”

  1. I wonder if this means we’ll finally end up with a better cable/internet service provider in the area…

  2. maybe this is because Broadstripe’s internet service is overpriced and has frequent outages, so everyone (except me, perhaps) abandoned them. The irony is, the service has been better recently, but I guess they lost too many people with their lackluster performance in 2007 and early 2008. Here’s hoping another cable internet provider comes along for our neighborhood–I just bought a new modem! I saw something about the stimulus plan spending some money on high speed internet–I wonder if that could go to setting up a City of Seattle network.

  3. “everyone (except me, perhaps) abandoned them”

    Many of us don’t have any other options. Qwest DSL to our house is non-functional.

  4. Their service was terrible in late 2008 too, in my neighborhood at least. Lengthy outages at least once a week as well as frequently slow service. Qwest DSL is much, much, much, much better for us.

  5. According to Qwest, though, I can’t get DSL – and I live right on Beacon Ave, just a couple of blocks from the Red Apple! It’s incredibly frustrating.

  6. Caffeinated, we live close to you. We used to have DSL that worked well, then it stopped working. After a LOT of repair visits from Qwest, they finally said that we are too far from the CO after all, and we would be lucky to get 256k. And that if we cancelled the account, they wouldn’t let us sign back up later because we cost them too much money in support calls.

    Basically, I guess we are just between COs. If we were further south or further north we could probably use DSL because we’d be close enough to one of the COs to get better service. This is why it works for JvA, I bet.

    Apparently it worked originally because there used to be a difference in how the DSL service was operated that made it more functional for people in our situation.

    If Broadstripe ceased to operate our only other option would probably be Clearwire, I guess, but I can’t imagine that another cable company wouldn’t step in to serve this fairly large audience.

  7. Wow, I missed this interchange. I went from GTE/Verizon to Covad to Clearwire and now am on Qwest DSL as I was seeing poor reviews for Broadstripe. I’m up above the jungle and Clearwire was not stable enough for me to be able to use for work, with towers reportedly NE and SE of me. Clearwire is cheap and portable, but that doesn’t mean anything if you can’t get a stable connection. I’d gladly pay more for a stable fast connection, am running about 1.5M now, and that’s the best that I can expect from anyone these days apparently. There’s enough hesitation in my Qwest service to cause my VPN sessions to drop at times, gone are the days of multiple day work connection sessions. Hurry, fiber!

  8. Don’t bet on getting better service. From what I’ve read, past negitoations with Comcast have fallen through, and they have a deal with Wave to sell thier Northwest and Central service divisions too. If you want to know about Wave, ask people from Kitsap what they think of them. I’ll save you some time; they are roughly as bad if not worse than Broadstripe.

  9. The Broadstripe salesman stopped by today;I live on College near 15th. He promised a high-speed internet connection that would “pop” onto my computer screen at 15 mbps. Will install on Monday at $29 for three months and $49/month thereafter. Currently have a Clearwire modem that is okay and works most of the time. Just found your site and others full of complaints about Broadstripe. Have things gotten any better? Am I better off sticking with Clearwire? Your tips are appreciated.

  10. We have been signed up for Cablespeed high-speed internet from Millenium/Broadstripe since Nov. 2007. They promised download speeds “up to” 6 Mb.

    We frequently test our download speed using,
    and our speeds varied from 1.3 Mb to 4.5 Mb maximum. Our average download speed is 1.9 Mb. Now Broadstripe is advertising speeds “up to 16 Mb/sec”! Yet they can’t even provide 6 Mb. We have had Broadstripe come to confirm that our wiring, modem, and wireless router are all optimized for Broadstripe service, yet the speed problem continues.

    I encourage all Broadstripe users to run this test at least daily. It will save all your results (which will naturally vary based on load-demand on the system), but it also has a page that shows your average over time. This will be useful information to present to the city to make a case to force Broadstripe to fulfill their contract obligation with the city, or else revoke Broadstripe’s license.

    When I asked Broadstripe how they could justify advertising 16 Mb speed, they told me that was for areas where they have installed fiber optic cable. I asked when it will be in our North Beacon Hill neighborhood and they couldn’t give me an answer (i.e. it’s not gonna happen). They also would not tell me where in Seattle they have installed fiber optic.

  11. I would highly recommend any thinking about Broadstripe – STAY AWAY! Thaisilverback get out now. Broadstripe is awful, horrible service. Been fighting them this time since late Dec. 08, constant outages, slow speeds. I feel like such a sucker being their customer but no options. I tried to switch to Qwest but they were a nightmare also. After 4 months of battling Qwest I could never get them to fulfill my order although they kept billing me for service I was not receiving. I wasn’t paying for service not receiving and they threatened collections. I finally had to get the WA state Attorney General’s office to deal with Qwest. I am still suck with Broadstripe and two weeks after the Qwest nightmare, Brownstripe went down and has been incredibly difficult ever since.

    Both Qwest and Brownstripe are awful and need to disappear.
    Please write the city and complain, tell your neighbors, friends, complete strangers to write.

    Contact the State Attorney General’s office Consumber Affairs division also. Broadstripe cannot and will not ignore them. It takes time but the office is awesome, super nice and 100% effective.

    Start with the city, they may open it up if enough complaints role in. This happened in Duvall and Broadstripe was going to face competition and they upgraded the area. If the city doesn’t respond, we can get the WA AG’s office to investigate their office. Broadstripe is so bad and so hated I cannot imagine how or why the city would not turn them out.

    Go to, find the Good, the Bad and the Ugly section of reviews. Broadstripe has the worst rating, nationwide at the moment.

    It’s ridiculus we have to deal with these two companies. Put some time into your neighborhood. Choice means the best company will survive.

  12. I too have Broadstripe but I do not live in the Beacon Hill
    area But I do Live In The CD Area, and I also Hate Broadstripe service,customer service and pricing I too have
    outages alot as a matter of fact it is out right now been out since 8pm no it’s 9:55pm No Customer service to call since it’s after 7pm and like 5pm on Saturdays forget about
    calling on Sundays not even open.they are too expensive and give you Garbage for service.So it is not only in the BH Area it’s also in the DT and CH areas too.

  13. Yes, Broadstripe’s internet service was out for a couple of hours tonight. And a phone call to their WA support number took TWENTY-SIX rings before an automated attendant answered. And after navigating their phone tree, I sat on a DEAD LINE (no hold music even) after the recording told me their support was closed but I could leave a message for three and a half minutes before AN ACTUAL LIVE PERSON answered and told me that, yes, Seattle was pretty much down for the last hour or so, but was coming up now. Sheesh.

  14. Anybody hear anything new about whether another company will be taking over Broadstripe’s services in the Beacon Hill area? Our internet is up and running (at half-speed like usual), but our television has been down since saturday night (fittingly – since they close tech support around 6pm and don’t re-open until monday morning).

    I am sick and tired of this crappy internet provider! I sent emails to the city council and cc’d the VPs at Broadstripe a couple months agao and haven’t receive one response back.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the television turns back on monday morning, just in time for their support-lines to open back up. I’m not sure which is easier – contacting the unemployment offices or broadstripe. At least the unemployment office has some solid reasons for their overloaded phone systems.

  15. Maybe Broadstripes lack customer Service is cause most of their Employees are or should be in the UnEmployment lines.
    Not LOL 🙂

  16. Good news! I received a voicemail from Comcast yesterday stating I could sign up with Comcast now. I called them today and they stated it was not quite ready for the CD but there was a law that recently passed that opened up the cable districts. I scheduled a service engineer visit to investigate my home and determine a timeline for availability. I know Comcast isn’t ideal but they can’t be as bad as Broadstripe. Please call Comcast so if nothing else we can get a them to attend to our areas first and we have an option other than Broadstripe. I also spoke with Verizon today, no plans for laying fibre in Seattle so no Fios for at least a few years.
    Also Broadstripe has kept my internet up for a whole 24 hour period. I have no explanation for the sudden and unexpected continuous service.

  17. Bad news! Just heard back from Comcast and they are not servicing my area. Not sure why they would call and try to sell me service for an area they do not support. Pretty despressing, was excited I might have an option. When I spoke with them they mentioned this new law opening up areas as I mentioned I lived in a Broadstripe area. Maybe this is an option for some and worth a phone call. Don’t expect an immediate answer as apparently it’s some big secret only some Comcast employees get to know who and where they service. Sorry for the false alarm.

  18. Well, I haven’t heard of any law that will make these people open any law’s. Ive lived in the Central District of Seattle now for 7years. I can tell you this its a city decision and Issaquah last month got rid of Broadstrip and put in comcast, I personely was involved in the installs on black nugget rd the apartmets that sit on the hill.

    It comes down to us, me and you willing to hold there feet to the fire. Write to the city of seattle in the link on this board and tell them.

    File a complaint with the AG’s office the more of us do it the more they will want us to go away. I personely have had some good service 2months ago but now its back to the 2.0 speeds and crap like that agin.

    The Tech will be out agin to check tommorow I will update you with the info I got. Ive now been working for Comcast for 6 Months and will check more into the rumor mill.

  19. Update: Tech came out on the April 16 2009, suggested a new seperate line ran to the house.. Come to find out they alrdy did that and im still getting 0.89MBPS to 2.0MBPS in my internet speed and some down time on both services.

    Tech came back today to tell me about the new line thats alrdy installed and escalted to the eng team.

    Will update further when I get more infomation. Current speed test are 1.2mbps.. Luckly I have some USB Sprint Air Cards that have a consistent 2.8mbps with no speed loss. It’s still better then broadstripe by far.

  20. Grrr…VPN drop, 2nd time this morning in less than 2 hrs. This via Qwest DSL, west of 15th, south of Holgate.

  21. Got a letter from Broadstripe today, apologizing for the outage and saying that rather than give billing credits, they’re donating $10k to United Way of King County on our behalf….hmmmm….

  22. “T”, Are you serious? that is just out right Criminal. They are absolutely required to refund you for down time and they cannot donate your refund to any organization without your consent. I found this board because Verizon is finally offering DSL here in Williamston, MI but only 3Mbs DL and 768 Kbs UL. I currently have BS at 4Mbs Down and 372Kbs up but at $65/mo and the verizon is only $30/mo. Ive been telling BS that I was going to leave them the minute Verizon puts out DSL in this area and they have just been laughing in my face. Today is a beautiful day I now have Verizon and it works great and Im pretty sure this entire city is going to turn its back on BS now that there is a better option… oh well.

  23. I think that when I get my next Broadstripe bill, instead of paying it, I’ll just let them know I made a donation to the United Way on their behalf.

  24. I had yet another long phone conversation with the tech support folks at Broadstripe.

    We started up our account in September and have had consistent problems ever since. Having lived on the northend for many years with out EVER having a problem with Comcast service, I am baffled.

    I now live closer to downtown Seattle, where I would assume service lines and connectivity would be even better.

    The City of Seattle simply must help us. If they want urban density, they will have to support it!

  25. Kitty, I hear you. I practically feel like the tech support folks at Broadstripe are family, I talk to them so often. This is a crap service, and the City needs to offer us more options.

  26. Finally got a response back from the City Council. Looks like we need to talk with Councilmember Harrell and the Office of Cable Communications to get anything changed. I’m wondering what “nonexclusive contract” means? If we could get Comcast and Broadstripe competing for the same subscribers is there a better chance of seeing some change? Send your thoughts to them and hopefully we can get something positive done for the Beacon Hill community!


    My apologies for not getting back to your earlier email. Councilmember Harrell chairs the Council’s Energy and Technology Committee which has oversight of this issue. Therefore he is best able to answer any questions and bring your concerns to the attention of the Office of Cable Communications. If you would like to reach Councilmember Harrell’s office directly you can contact him at (206) 684-8804.

    Council Bill 115946 passed in October of 2007, renewed a ten-year, nonexclusive Cable Television Franchise Agreement between the City of Seattle and Millennium, which will allow Millennium to continue providing cable services in various parts of Seattle, including the Central Area, Beacon Hill, downtown Seattle, and parts of Capitol Hill and Queen Anne.

    The Office of Cable Communications oversees the franchise agreement and ensures that the cable provider is adhering to the agreement.
    Complaints about service or questions regarding Millennium’s status can be directed to the Office of Cable Communications. You may email a complaint to or call the hotline at 206-684-8498.

    Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.

    My regards,

    Jean Godden
    Seattle City Councilmember

  27. Well, sry about the long time it took to update. Well who or what ever the problems stopped for a bit of time. The speeds went up to 5-7mbs from 3days after last update till now.

    Currently my internet is down 100% doesn’t work aint going to work and im using my Sprint Air Card to type this now. I did call the number Jean left and put in a complaint to Bruce Harrell.

    This is about the spans I have with broadstripe/millenium cable over 7years.. Works Great 1 Month, Speeds Decrease the Next, Service Outages, No Service for internet at all somedays. This goes on through out the year, some years are worst then others.

  28. Broadstripe is awful. We just moved and were disappointed to learn that the new house was in Broadstripe’s area. We grudgingly called Broadstripe to transfer service. They told me on a Tuesday that since the new place was new construction that they needed to set up the new address in the system and that they’d have to call me back to set up the transfer order. “In a few hours?” I asked. “By tomorrow” was the reply. (Qwest told us something similar about needed to set up the new address, but they set us up in 2 minutes) No call Tuesday, no call Wednesday, no call Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. I called again on Monday to cancel. They asked why, and I told them about their never calling back, and they just continued with the cancellation order. No explanation, no apology, no offer of compensating us. What kind of service is that? I was actively trying to give them our business after our move, and this is what they call customer service. No wonder they had to file for bankruptcy. We just got DSL instead, and so far it’s been great.

  29. Hi, just wanted to let you know that we have had Broadstripe cable and internet for about a year and have had no problems other than occasional slow speed (internet). We haven’t had any outages, and have actually had good customer service. I am probably one of the only happy customers, because CBC, BBC America and Versus (for the Tour de France) are channels I enjoy and are included in our package, and I think Comcast doesn’t have BBC America. We started with a low introductory rate, and every time it expires my husband Martin just calls and renegotiates it to another low rate, so we’ve been pretty happy. Good luck to everyone!

  30. Oh, and one more thing…I had comcast when I lived in Wallingford for 10 years, and I had outages almost every weekend, which was very frustrating. I had much more problems with Comcast than I have had with Broadstripe! They also had terrible customer service, and it would involve hours on hold to get things resolved. We tried to get DSL through Qwest in 2006 and were told they’d contact us when they could add us to their service area, and we never heard back from them.

  31. I call b.s. on Candace! Way too nice of post to be a real broadstripe customer! Question for you Candace – how could you have had Comcast for ten years in Wallingford, when they were not even in the area until late 2002?… By my calculations that is a little less than 7 years.

    I appreciate a Broadstripe employee trying to save face for their terribly ran company, but come on! Everybody knows Broadstripe services in Beacon Hill are down right offensive. Maybe your TV services are not too bad, but I highly doubt you get solid internet. How’s your Video on Demand service? Can you actually access it? I think I was able to open it once, only to realize there is nothing worth watching there!

    I’m hoping Comcast is stock-piling its money to buy out Broadstripe. This terrible service is getting old! Now they are offering triple play for $130 for a lifetime with no contract?! Can you say – going under?!! Regardless of how crappy their service is, nobody is going to offer a pricing for lifetime with no commitment. Signs that they are about to be sold, bring it on!!!! Just please be Comcast!

  32. Oh for some stability….My work VPN thru Qwest DSL has been abominable starting yesterday with today running equally poorly. I think I had to reconnect about 5 times between 6am and 3pm yesterday and I just had to reconnect for the 2nd time today, with at least one auto-reconnect done earlier without a VPN drop.

  33. I understand everyone hating on Broadstripe, we recently moved back to Beacon and while we were living elsewhere I heard nothing good about them. That said, whoever posted above as “Evil Candace” needs to chill a little. I pay pretty good attention to our connection and we’ve had consistent 4-6 mbps speeds since we moved in. I found this board last night because things were running slower but when I checked an overnight DL this morning it came in at average 4.5mbps… I’m not arguing that Broadstripe is great, but it is apparently possible to get just the service Candace wrote about. FWIW, I live a couple blocks west of Red Apple.

    I have plenty of friends with Comcast throughout the city and I think there’s a bit of “grass is greener” mentality here. I have never had any of my friends tell me that Comcast had done anything but provide bad service and to top it off Comcast is very heavy handed with their traffic shaping.

    Finally, a rumor… A friend who lives down on 13th near Cleveland spoke with a Broadstripe tech a few weeks ago who said that infrastructure is the limiting speed factor for them now and 6mbps is the best the lines with handle (thank god I’m paying for 15mbps…) but that “improvements are starting in September that will make 15mbps possible”. I’ll believe that when I see it.

  34. It’s actually been deployed — downloads between about 4am and 6am have been hitting near-15Mbit for me. You may not be noticing it because, for the bulk of the day, speeds are dramatically lower. During “prime time” (6pm to midnight), speeds are frequently sub-1Mbit!

    Here’s a set of graphs of six consecutive days of download speed tests performed at 10-minute intervals:

    From my analysis and testing, these speed issues are due to packet loss at a core Broadstripe router. I’ve sent Broadstripe these graphs and a writeup of my tests, but I’ve yet to hear anything back from them.

  35. Interesting. In reviewing more recent test logs, it seems Broadstripe may have reinstated the previous 6Mbps cap — my overnight tests now peak at just over 600KBytes/sec.

  36. I worked for this company for 10 years ( cable plus then Millennuim then broadstripe) 2001-2004 Things were ok started adding HD content and upgrading from Docsis 1.0 to 2.0 OK! Life was ok, Good techs in the field, the managment had a plan. BOOM 2005-2008 things really went bad, Money problems, High turn over, new managment, The New CEO of the nothwest division TOM Martinson Really put the hammer down on the Tech’s and operations sup’s. he managed to fire 4 good tech’s and 2 operations managers in his first area sup was fired and rehired in the same day (HR knew they might get taken to court) so they rehired him the same day and found a way to fire him the next week. Broadstripe also is extremly abusive to it’s employee’s The manager of HR is in bed with upper management to the point of violating some workers rights. The technical operations sup was called out in a meeting Buy ( yes you guessed it ) TOM martinson He called him incompetent and a major failure in front of other Managers, well a fist fight almost broke out… They were some good people and not so good people just like any other company BUT…BUT Broadstripe forgot the main THING YOUR CUSTOMERS!!!! goood luck to all

  37. Sorry for hurting your feelings Andy, but we all know Broadstripe services on Beacon Hill are terrible and will not get any better until the entire cabling is replaced and upgraded. They are purposely capping services, extremely below the industry average of broadband ISPs. Paying 50 bucks/mo for 600kbps down and 400kbps up, when the average broadband ISP is running closer to 12-15 Mbps (12000-15000kbps), there is no way to call Broadstripe anything BUT a terrible company.

    I disagree with your grass is greener concept. I have lived in 4 other locations (with Comcast) and have never received as inept customer service and EXTREMELY poor quality of service which I receive now with Broadstripe. To think Comcast will soon be offering 100 Mbps, and we can’t get 1Mbps in Beacon Hill?!

    Jason, nice report that you put together – but you do realized that even at its best you were only getting 2Mbps?! 600Kbps is the equivalent of 0.6Mbps, so according to your log you haven’t even sniffed 6Mbps, let along the “up to 15Mbps” that Broadstripe advertises.

    When Comcast mentions up to “10 Mbps”, you typically are hovering around that mark, not receiving 1/15th of the said amount.

    I hope you guys are correct in saying the cabling is getting upgraded soon. It means there is even more possibility that Comcast will buy them out. The $130 life-time deal is a tell-tale that they are on their last legs.

    Where’s Candace?! I know she’s still not working at the Broadstripe offices, those close by 6 or 7pm.

  38. Jason,

    Just looked at your post again, are you getting 600 “KB”ps (kilobytes) or 600″Kb”ps (kilobits)? 4.8Mbps is at least 1/4 of the way to 15Mbps, but if its only 600 Kbps, then you are pretty close to where we are at (we’ve been averaging 500Kbps the last couple weeks). Youtube, online gaming, even our high-def services are basically pointless at the moment. I’d call Broadstripe more frequently, but I don’t usually get home by the time they close.

    End this crappy service please! Save us, Comcast!

  39. Yeah, it’s not clear from the columns on the first page, but the graphs are better labeled: “KBytes/sec”.

    There was a Broadstripe lift truck out in front of our house yesterday. The lineman said they were going around the particular areas of the hill where people have been reporting poor speeds and checking the distribution boxes up on the poles. I saw him also attach several “terminators” to unused terminals up on the line. Now to call Broadstripe back next week and inquire about getting the 6Mbps cap lifted again so I can redo my testing.

  40. They just refunded me one months worth for poor performance. I’m keeping logs (tonight sub-500kbps), and will dispute payment month by month until they really get it right.

    If no change soon I’m quitting (and fighting for that $250 fee for leaving early). At least if we all go to Qwest, DSL 1.5Mbps, the band-width should be more consistent.

  41. Broadstripe is the ISP where I work and lately it has been down more than up. Try building a website when the Internet “cannot be found”; we’ve gone back to sketching on paper like the stone age. Here’s a blog dedicated to BS and all its sucky glory! Customer NO Service at its finest!

  42. Hey Jason, how did you track your speed and such? I, too, have had major issues.

    I even got a voicemail on Friday, November 7th around 7pm. Since then, my internet has not gone down every 30 minutes, on queue, where I have to either reset my ipconfig info or reboot the modem, to get my service running and I seem to be capped, at max 4.5mbps DL, though my UL is now around 1.1-1.5mbps. The problem is if I want to play online games, even Yahoo, I can’t play more than 25 minutes without having to hope that whomever I am playing doesn’t force forfeit. I have the situation down to where I can either reboot or reset my ipconfig settings in 2 minutes, or less, to be back up and running, but here’s just hoping that I never need to download an update from a server that is slow.

    I went to bed the other night trying to download an update to VMWare, from their website and the first time it got 90MB out of 580MB and then the connection dropped.

    The other thing I wonder about, and if someone can tell me this or not, does Broadstripe packetshape? I noticed that with certain sites I can directly download a file, get 5-15Mbps download, other sites I get 1-5mbps and then with torrent sites I get only 500kbps to maybe 3mbps (maxed with ideal settings!).

  43. I have not seen the transfer stalling problem you describe. I have been able to successfully complete several 500+ megabyte downloads over the past week.

    I had a 1 megabyte file of random data on a nearby web server that I retrieved at 10-minute intervals and measured the download time.

    I also used a tool called ‘iperf’ designed for measuring TCP and UDP throughput and packet loss.

    I’ve observed in some more recent throughput testing that, after an initial spike to 8+Mbps for the first couple of seconds of a TCP download, the rest of the transfer will average about 3.5Mbps. It will climb slowly to ~5Mbps then drop back to ~2.5Mbps and repeat. This pattern seems to happen even in the wee-est of hours when I would previously be able to get a full 15Mbps transfer.

    Now, instead of bottoming out at 0.5Mbps or less in the evening, it does at least stay in the 1-2Mbps range even at prime time. :/

  44. We have been taking steps to improve High Speed Data services to your area. We have been systematically troubleshooting and repairing our nodes to provide exceptional service to our subscribers. Please contact us directly at so we can confirm if you’re concerns have been resolved with our recent upgrades or if we can do anything further to assist in resolving any on-going service concerns.

  45. I live in th cd and use clearwire. I have had lots of trouble with the connection.I have to reboot modem quite often. It looks like BS is not the way to go. I do not have a land line now but when I did I used speakeasy dsl. I used them for over 5 years and had great speeds, great service. Speakeasy also offers a dsl service that does not require a land line. Is any one using them now?

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