by Anura Guruge
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Speedtest.net tests from various sites:
Vermont, Boston (x2), New York City, Maine.
(See bottom right for server/site used)
Summary of my results.
The dip was with Portland, Maine.
The next time I tried Portland it was back to 75+.
Given that all my adult life I have lived per the adage “a bird in bed is better than four at the bar”, I, after a suitable period of cogitation, had no choice BUT to go with the new MetroCast 75Mbps Ultra service. I had planned to order it on Sunday, January 4, 2015 and that is what I did. A lady from the Belmont, N.H. MetroCast Call Center had been very helpful and I made a point of ordering it through her (having got her extension number). They are supposedly not on commission BUT they get brownie points for signing up Ultra customers and I am a very good candidate for brownie points.
Ordered the SurfBoard SB6141 that was already in my Amazon shopping cart as I was talking with Robin. As promised, and per Prime, it arrived Tuesday, one day ahead of the install.
This house, built in 2006, has built-in coax cabling (and telephone wiring) to each room. We also had a MetroCast cable, from the outside wall, to the wiring panel. So I was hoping that we would not have to run any new coax cables — and we didn’t, other than a ‘short’ length to have the SurfBoard by my desk, rather than by the jack. The technician, a contractor working for MetroCast, was very nice and capable. He didn’t even have to climb the pole to activate the service. Appears that we had the ‘latest & greatest’ of MC technology installed at our wall when we did last have MC — 4 (or 5) years ago. All he had to do was to call in to have the service activated.
Got 75+ Mbps at once — from the Vermont test site. Had issues with Portland. Well the screenshots above tell the tale.
I can’t tell YOU how happy that I am that I have more than 8Mbps UPLOAD. Upload is the key for me. All the pictures I post on this blog, the files I backup on Google Drive, videos I post on YouTube, the books I publish to Kindle and CreateSpace require UPLOAD bandwidth. IF the 8Mbps sticks around that would be twice more than I had this morning. I could immediately tell the difference when I was uploading the images in this post. I expected that it would be quicker and it was. Pretty fast.
Can I tell a difference with download? The first thing I now notice is the latency in the Website before it can spit out the content at me. So that was to be expected. You are still at the mercy of the server speeds. Download speed only comes into play when there is something to shoot down the pipe. Yes, content appears a tad faster. I have not looked at any videos yet.
Right now all 75Mpbs is connected directly to this PC. The rest of the house is still on a 15Mbps TDS connection. I also still have my 15Mbps TDS connection — right here, on its own Ethernet cable so that I can cutover in a flash.
I have NO contract with MetroCast. Paying monthly, by check. Yes, paid for the first month and the $100 install. BUT, if the bandwidth drops I will ditch them without compunction and go back to TDS. I am keeping BOTH TDS lines, and paying for them, till next week.
IF I can get at least 65Mbps on Saturday night I will go with MC. I am then going to get a whole new 802.11ac Wi-Fi network for the house. I am going to need a switch too because we have 4 wired devices — the OBi110 that runs our phone system being one of them — and I don’t like not having any spare wired ports in case I need one. I am also going to get a 802.11ac Range Extender. That, hopefully, is next week — IF MC works.
Yes, of course, I will keep you posted.