What Happened To The Southcoast’s Internet?

by AVA News Service, February 23, 2011

Several southcoast residents — including former Supervisor Norman de Vall — have written to us with questions about what happened to esplanade.us, the Gualala-based wireless internet services provider that abruptly shut down last week.

It's not entirely clear what’s going on, but it looks like a domestic dispute between esplanade’s former co-owners — entrepreneur and one-time possible supervisorial candidate Marshall Sayegh and his wife Terri — has left esplanade.us and their thousands of southcoast customers out of service.

Mr. Sayegh got a restraining order against Mrs. Sayegh on February 10, saying that the “protected party” was Mr. Sayegh and the “customers and clients of protected party’s business.” But Mrs. Sayegh, according to Mr. Sayegh, violated the court order and got into the internal internet coding and changed it so that the website no longer functions — before the order was officially in force or served on Mrs. Sayegh. Mr. Sayegh filed a complaint about his business being “stolen” with the Sheriff but the whole affair is in limbo while Mr. Sayegh tries to get the Sheriff or the DA to act on the restraining order violation charge against his wife.

Sayegh says he received something like $2 million in gross revenues since esplanade.us was originally set up in 2003 and has paid out about $400k to local workers since then. As we understand the esplanade concept, subscribers pay from $75 to $150 a month (depending on which transmission speed you signed up for) and that includes free wireless equipment to (but not inside) the home. We can’t tell from the available information if the business’s finances had anything to do with the flap between Mr. and Mrs. Sayegh. But it sure is inconveniencing a lot of people who lost their relatively high speed wireless internet on the Coast last week.

Trying to log onto www.esplanade.us now produces an automatic re-route to www.terisayaenterprises.com with a page of crude all-caps text with Mr. Sayegh’s jumbled explanation of the problem, plus an attachment with more of the same jumbled text, copies of the restraining order, and annotated copies of the alterations that Mrs. Sayegh allegedly made to esplanade’s internal internet coding data. But why such accusatory material from Mr. Sayegh is on a website that appears to bear Mrs. Sayegh’s name is not clear.

One observer and former esplanade.us customer who looked at the posted explanatory material described it as “a load of garbage.” Another said that the fiasco has echoes of the incident in mid-1990s when Gerhard Hanneman’s “Wander Cable” service flamed out and died amidst drug charges, multi-agency helicopter-aided drug raids and some very colorful coastal radio broadcasts featuring Mr. Hanneman denouncing his critics as “snitches, whores and druggies.” Hanneman himself was subsequently brought down by methamphetamine abuse and packed off to jail.

7 Responses to What Happened To The Southcoast’s Internet?

  1. Holly Reply

    February 23, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Esplanade had been having connection problems for over two months and now is just G-O-N-E…Marshall is saying he can’t fix equipment?? Thought only intellectual property had been hacked here???Teri Saya has hijacked the dns and registrar info? Okay Marshall…call them up and tell them she doesn’t have permission…send them a copy of the restraining order and get it together. Oh, what?? That isn’t really the problem?? Funny, I went to esplanade.us and read all the emails and replies…the web address actually changed to terisayaenterprises….SO..IF Teri hijacked the site…and Marshall can’t access any of it…who is answering the emails ?????? Nothing but wailing and wallowing and finger pointing seems to be going on….Ree-dick-u-los(t)…..and yes, I know I spelled it ‘funny’. And can’t refund our yearly fees that were just paid?? More and more suspicious. Time to call the credit card company and claim fraud on part of Esplanade. More here than meets the eye.

  2. Teri Saya Reply

    March 27, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Hi, its me again….

    Who did you interview for this story?

    1. “Thousands of customers?” dont I wish. We had a maximum of a lttle over 300 customers.

    2. “2 million in gross sales?”, “400k to local workers?” I would cut that statement down at least 1/3.

    3. “Customers paid $75 to $150 per month.” Nope. The base rate was $49.99 per month to $75 per month for businesses.

    Just thought you would want to get the truth.

    Teri Saya

    • Holly Reply

      April 9, 2011 at 4:10 am

      Where oh where has our service gone?
      Where oh where can it be??

      Puh-leese, can;t we all get along and find a way to bring back the internet to our little section of the coast???


      Anyone out there???

  3. A Little Bird Reply

    March 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    @the article itself
    While some of your facts are considerably off (as Terri points out), on the whole I think you’ve managed to interpret your available facts while avoiding anything like libel charges fairly well :)

  4. Holly Petersen Reply

    April 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    This is from the Mar 31 2011 edition of the mendocino Beacon:

    Marshall P. Sayegh pleaded no contest to a violation of a domestic violence restraining order. He was placed on a 24-month probation and assessed fees/fines totaling $195.

    Still no woreless and no ‘real’ explanation of why it went away. Wish there was some kind of WISP person who would know how to look into and see if possible to use the existing infrastructure to take ove or rebuild the wireless service for the coast. I’d be willing to help….

  5. Mark Scaramella Reply

    April 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    See the letters section of this week’s paper for Mrs. Sayegh’s (Teri Saya’s) version of what happened to Esplanade.

  6. Teri Saya Reply

    April 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    The true strory is at http://www.terisaya.com/esplanade.html
    As far as I know the infrastructure is still standing. There is equipment spread out all over the place……it will take some investment and a learning curve for whoever would want to take it over and run with it. Good Luck.

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