Houston home builder skips big step, leaves smart homes dumb

HOUSTON – Buying a new home is a big moment. Moving in is exciting; but several new homeowners in one Houston community say their brand new homes are missing a crucial utility, especially during the pandemic. They have no internet service.

You know the feeling when you’re trying to get some work done online and you lose your internet connection for a few minutes? Now, imagine that you lose it for six months. It’s what happened to nine homeowners in north Houston who just moved into a brand new smart home community. They say it’s costing them hundreds of dollars just to do their jobs.

Tidwell Grove is just 10 miles from downtown Houston -- brand new homes just outside the Loop. Each home is equipped with a smart home system, but people who live there said that the lack of internet service has left their homes dumb.

“I didn’t find out about it till the day I closed,” said new homeowner Josh Rhodes.

Rhodes moved in April 28. He said Disama Builders told him then it would take about two or three weeks to get internet service established. It’s now three-and-a-half months later, and Rhodes and his neighbors are still waiting.

“We can’t work,” he said. “We can’t entertain ourselves. It’s frustrating.”

His neighbor, Juan Junca, moved in a few weeks later.

“Without the internet, you know, it’s really, really frustrating,” Junca said. “Especially because I work from home.”

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