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      10-09-2012, 01:35 PM   #1
Templar
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Incoming rant...

TL;DR version: moved into a new house and the internet service sucks. DSL is all that's available and their service is horrible. Need some alternatives.

So, a little backstory... I just bought a house. It's in a subdivision that has been around for a little while now, but the street itself is relatively new, isn't even on Apple Maps yet. The street does happen to pop up on google maps but the house number itself doesn't, just the street.

Anyway, pretty close by, they use Charter Communications for cable TV and internet services. Literally less than a mile away. With advertised speeds of 30 Mbps, I was looking forward to signing up. However, they do not service my street. They are the only cable provider in the area, so without them I am SOL.

It seems my only choice right now is Windstream DSL. They advertise download speeds of 3/6/12 Mbps (and yes, I know that's not megabytes per sec). When I signed up, I was told I could get 6 and that's what they would sign me up for. When they came out to install the service, they said they were having technical issues with my area and the best I could get was 3. I just said OK, since I really didn't have a choice. Two weeks later, I am lucky if I get 0.2 Mbps download. Even during non-peak hours (I tried during the middle of the day yesterday and got a whopping 0.15 Mbps) it is painfully slow. I've called and complained numerous times. Apparently they are overloaded in my area and are working on upgrades to their hardware. I'm going to be credited on my bill, so at least they are trying I guess, but with speeds that slow I can't do much besides cruise a few websites right now. They gave my neighbor a timeframe of Halloween for the repairs and upgrades to be complete, but I am worried I won't see much of an increase in my speeds.

I've looked in to a few other options. I've read some pretty bad reviews about Hughesnet satellite internet, and saw that a lot of people have outages in just a little bit of cloud cover. They also have data transfer limits, and if you go over the limit you're throttled down to dial-up speeds. This rules them out for me. I've also looked in to Millenicom 3G/4G wireless. Basically it's a USB dongle you hook up and it connects to the internet wirelessly like a smartphone. You can do a hotspot version or just one for whatever PC you're using. In my area, only 3G is available, but even those speeds would be better than what I have now. They claim it is for home/personal use only, and their "unlimited" plan usage seems odd. They launch some sort of investigation if you use over 50 GB in a month to ensure you're not using it for a business or something. This seems like a good backup choice if the Halloween "repairs" and "upgrades" don't do any good.

Does anyone have any experiences in any alternatives? I've called the cable company a few times now. This past weekend, the guy said, "I'll be honest with you, the population on your street is pretty low. The company has to show they can make a profit before they expand lines into a new area. Maybe in the future more people will live there and they will expand there, but I couldn't tell you when... It could be a few years..." I understand making money and profits, but this sucks and I don't like their answer, lol. I know I'd be willing to pay more than the advertised price for stable and fast internet, and I know at least five other neighbors that would too. Besides, the DSL company is ripping me off. Not counting the credits I'll get on my bills, I'm paying $65 a month for phone and internet services, with only 3 Mbps as my "applied" download rate. With the Charter Cable, I could get up to 30 Mbps download and phone service for $59.99 a month.

Big rant, I know. It just sucks because I went from paying $40 a month for 15 Mbps downloads and phone services to paying more for crap service. I know this is what I get for moving into a new place, but for someone who likes to stream music/movies and play some games, this blows.
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