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When bad service is the best option…

My ISP is Cable One.

In my case, the
last mile problem is more like the last hundred mile problem. Cable One specializes in rural locations, and my town is about as isolated as you can get. Most of the connection is a microwave uplink.

The “high speed” internet on the bill says 5 megabits per second download. Now I can hear you urban types sniggering into your Starbucks.

After about 9 a.m. and until about 8:30 p.m. on weekdays that “high speed” is lucky to break 1 Mps download. After 8:30 p.m. and on most weekends, my “high speed” might break .30 Mps.

Yes, that’s point three zero megabits per second.

Oddly enough, that’s about the break even point for Netflix. Much slower than that and even standard resolution black and white TV shows start stalling. And then there is Apple TV and Apple Movies, which can take hours to load under those conditions.

Some nights the download speed drops well under .09 megabits. About three or four times a month it drops to .02 megabits or lower. That’s when it’s barely usable for web surfing and email.

This isn’t something that recently happened. It’s been going on for years. The Cable One reps will lie through their teeth about the service being available. The number for the local office
always routes (through the internet) to the national help line which may or may not connect you to a real person. It’s not until you recite their little checklist before they have a chance to run through it that the service reps start listening.

I’ve replaced all my internal cable and connectors with professional grade, about three or four notches above the junk Cable One uses to connect the outside of the houses to their system. I own my cable modem.

Here’s the scary thing. It’s literally the best available here.

Now in part this happened because the city signed an exclusive deal with a cable company that was bought by another company that was acquired by another that merged with Cable One. Cable One has the coaxial cable monopoly.

Assuming that the “net neutrality” thing is applied, I fully expect the cable bill to at least double.

I’m debating if I want to call and complain again. The service the last few days has been worse. Now that could be because of the solar storm.

But I really want some competition.


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