Saturday, March 22, 2014

High Speed Day?

     Maybe.  The Tel. Co. has throttled my "high speed" Internet to the crawling speed they claim I actually paid for and then -- can you see it coming? -- dangled their new high speed superzoom fiberwhatever* in front of me at a low, low price, only $3.99 more a month than I'm already paying like a worm on a hook.  --The hook is, twelve months later, I'll be paying $10 more a month.

     The barb on the hook?  Ya gotta have Teh Innndernet.  Cable companies around here are egregious clods, who I would not let run a wire into my house if money came out it and won't sell you the 'net unless you sign up for cabledammiteevee, too, and on that there are really only three things: the local stations you can get over the air for free, on-demand stuff my Roku/Amazon combo delivers at least as well, and crap Hitler/Alien/Mermaids/Seance channels that used to run science and history programs but gave up after realizing rehashed tripe, cold readings and program-length commercials for claptrap and quackery made at least as much money if not more and cost less to produce.  (The kicker for me was the leaked memo from one of the historical channels, exhorting producers for "less gray hair" in their choice of experts.  Yeah, done.)  So I'm stuck with The Phone Company and they're stickin' it to me -- but less so than the competition.

     When your regulated utility wins business by virtue of being the least sucky, that's not exactly a badge of honor.  Don't go looking for them to care about it any time soon.  As Lily Tomlin said as Ernestine the Operator, "We don't have to care. We're The Phone Company."  Yep.
* Fiber.  Y'don't say.  Umm-hmm.  --Except the last mile is still copper and very likely will be  the very same copper as is already there. The trunk and distribution (or whatever telcos call it) around is here is already glass and has been for several years; I can bicycle to the outdoor enclosure where my very own phone pair (and those of all my neighbors) gets turned into glass for the dreadful long haul a half-block over and a half-mile up to the local phone switch, our former exchange.  Don't frikkin' blow smoke at people who put out fires for a livin', TelCo.


Ed Skinnrr said...

And read the trrms VERY carefully.
1) it's typically the *maximum* download speed they guarantee. You may actually get far less most of the time. Only on rare (how rare? ) occasions will you actually see the speed - assuming you are using the net at that instant.
2) Upload speed limit is typically not mentioned, and is often hard-clamped at 850K bits/sec. This limit in your service is documented somewhere, they claim, but few can point to it in writing.
3) And exactly when do you get the great performance - like all the business men in the hitel checking email in the evening, it won't be when you want it.
4) And those are *average* maximums - measured over what interval?

Roberta X said...

The maxes for what we have now (from the same provider) are fairly low and, at one time, were routinely exceeded. (We're at 1.3 Mb/s up and 0.3 down, as of yesterday a.m.

Generally, local service from the TelCo is indeed service and they quoted *minimums* well in excess of our present max (1.6 down/0.6 up or thereabouts). The maxes can go hang, that's all airy promises. It's the minimums that count.

Usage times: we win. Tam's on the thing all day and I do the bulk of my serious netting in the early morning. Tam has been online gaming of an evening and it's gone from "adequate" to "not" at the present cap. 3x speed should work okay for her.

The up limit: I do TV for a living. We like remote cameras. I've been getting professionally burned by upload limits for a decade. :) Most folks don't so much notice. Some of Tam's work suffers from the slows due to it -- the answer there is to start uploads when you're about to go do other things.

Cincinnatus said...

We don't pay for the cable TV here either even though they keep banging on the recruiting drum.

The FIOS stuff looks good if they ever wire my neighborhood, esp. 'cause the local monopoly needs some competition. I thought FIOS was fiber to the NI at the house.

Mark Alger said...

Or, as Lenny Bruce put it, "You swing with the phone company,you get stuck with a Dixie cup and a thread."


Eck! said...

went fiber here years ago for the bandwidth and get rid of Combast'ds.

Its fiber in the door, copper to the wall phone, MOCA to everything else. Works...

reality, most non-big gun sites have puny servers that can't hit max bandwidth on a great day. Maybe because I use a lot of personal sites for things I do like ham radio and old/ancient computers.

Bandwidth is OK, reliable connectivity is what works for me and the fiber does that.

As to cost, its ALL hiway robbery at gunpoint.


jdunmyer said...

In our area, Frontier bought the Telco service from Verizon. Soon after, they sent a new DSL modem/router/interface/whatever with their logo on it. It appeared to be identical to the Verizon gadget. But, my bill now sports a 5- or 6-dollar rental charge. I need to do something about that.

Dunno if I could cancel the landline PHONE and keep the Internet; I think they call that "naked DSL". That would cut my bill about in half.

John A said...

I have only Internet from my cable co. No TV or phone. And I signed up so long ago it is a month-to-month deal, not a multi-year contract with who-knows-what buyout, important as I rent.

Now my cable company and the telephone company are offering me new "higher-speed deals" which optionally are month-to-month, except they come with a "two-year guarantee" that sounds suspiciously like a two year contract. I'll stick with current cable contract for two reasons: for the same speed (when you look at the pricing online) the Telco would charge $4/mo more, though the next two tiers are faster and higher priced. And the cable co has offered twice in the past to increase speed with a multi-year contract: I refused, and got the higher speeds anyway.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

No cable or landline for me. I've been getting the intertubes through a wireless broadband provider since I bought my house 5 or 6 years ago. The cost is about what I was paying Verizon for a local-only landline + DSL ~10 years ago, with speeds good enough for HD streaming and online gaming.

It's not satellite or one of those cellular wifi gizmos - I have an actual antenna on the roof for it.

Ian Argent said...

FiOS is fiber to the wall, there's an ONT mounted to my front wall right now; there was a tempest in a teapot a few years back where some unscrupulous installers were actually tearing out the replaced copper for the scrap value. This was put a stop to pretty quickly.

Of course, this means I can't draw power from the lines when PSEG fails to push electrons for whatever reason. Also, there are two varieties of voice service, one is POTS/analog at least to the switch, and you can fax and modem; t'other (the one I have now) is VoIP all the way from the ONT out, and fax is spotty and modem is basically not possible. (Not that I'd use a modem to data, but...) The ONT has a battery backup, in theory and in practice good for 8 hrs nominal, but one of the ways they get 8 hours out of it is shutting internet down in the first 5-10 minutes. The batteries live in a box screwed to the ceiling of the basement and gets power via a wall wart, so I could provide additional backup with a standard UPS.

ATT's U-verse is apparently deployed both as FTTPremises and FTTNode, depending on location, so caveat emptor.

staghounds said...

I wish they would give me the money they spend trying to sign me up.