Steve: I feel your pain and I will share my story for those that care to listen.
Many years ago I wanted to get Internet at speeds above dial-up. In those days there was a cable company here called Media General They hooked up my house and about 17,281 others to the same loop so my speeds were a little slower than an old Silent 700 TI thermal terminal running at 110 Baud. I lived too far from the Central Office to get Steve's beloved DSL so the only avenue open was Starband satellite service. This was fine (although a mite pricey) for several years until they started to limit not only the speed but also the total throughput within a week. One online sewing video by my wife and email was dead for the next 6 days. By then Media General had sold out to Cox and we tried them (again.) Other than the service going out about once a week and having to restart the modem a few times a day, the service was poor. They were subject to rip storms that would take the Internet down for hours at a time. They were just as responsive as Comcast, give or take a week.
Verizon put their fiber run across the front of our house and left a juncture box in the ground at the corner of the lot. (The same kind described by Steve but a at least it stays shut.) I ordered the Verizon FiOS service. They came on the day they promised and installed it that day. The Internet has run flawlessly since then. We have telephone, TV, and Internet from them. They treat it like a utility with their own battery backup.
In these parts Cox and Media General are fighting words, Verizon is a word of praise.