…by Anura Guruge
Normally my (supposedly) dedicated, 10Mbps to the house broadband internet access works flawlessly — just as a utility should. It is there, it is constant and it is stable. Since Friday I have been having a heck of a time. Around noon Saturday I had zero, yes ‘0’, upload bandwidth. So I couldn’t upload anything. Download bandwidth was down to about 3Mbps. It was slow.
It has been awfully erratic since then. Sometimes, as you can see from the above screen shot, I get the bandwidth I am paying for. Around those readings I am fine. Yes, I would LOVE more bandwidth. I will gladly pay more for more bandwidth. But, this another one of the travails of living in rural NH. We don’t get much choice and we don’t get much bandwidth. Oh, to have Verizon FiOS! Alas.
TDS claims to offer higher bandwidth, e.g., 25Mbps, in NH but every time I call they say ‘Ah! Not where YOU live’.
Right now I would be happy if I could just have constant bandwidth. Without bandwidth I am a fish without water. I can’t do anything on my computer. As I write I am waiting for a TDS technician to appear. I might have to call again.
I did not start off with TDS. 26 months ago, in June 2010, I signed up with our local Union Tel. for the new, dedicated, 10Mbps fiber to the house service. Sounded good and the price was very reasonable. Yes, it took them 6 days to get me a stable, reliable service — in the end they classed me a business account and gave me a dedicated IP address. Since then, until this Friday, things were good — during that time we only had one long, 12 hour, outage.
TDS bough Union Tel. shortly after I became a customer. For about a year that didn’t make a difference. Now it does. TDS telephone support really tries hard to please. But, they have NO CLUE and NO INFORMATION about my Internet service other than how much I have to pay. Yes, basically ALL they have on me and know about me is my billing information. They can’t even PING ‘their’ TDS router. Until this weekend that was OK. They didn’t have to do anything.
Now it is a problem. I am hoping they can fix this. Otherwise I am sunk, I am screwed.
I was a Metrocast cable and Internet customer for a long time, for over 11 years. I was one of their first Internet customers in the Lakes Region. Over that time I got very au fait with how their Internet access worked. 80% of the time I could troubleshoot the problem ahead of their tech. But, as with ALL utilities in Alton, Metrocast in Alton was not what it was in Gilford or Meredith. I do not know what it is with Alton but we are definitely the poor cousins. On this road with Metrocast, on a Saturday night, when most of those on the road were using their Metrocast cable, bandwidth would drop precipitously. Similar to what I am having with TDS today; difference being that I knew Metrocast cable was a shared access media while with TDS I am paying for a dedicated line to the C.O. in Barnestead.
Since June 2010 Metrocast has upgraded their service to Alton. They pulled some new Fibre and upgraded their network equipment. They now offer 25Mps download and 2Mbps upload. I just got off the phone after long, very productive, very pleasant chat with a Metrocast rep in Pennsylvania. He understands my issues. He himself has never used the 25 Mbps. He used the 12Mbps, albeit in PA. Yes, his bandwidth drops to 10Mbps on Friday and Saturday nights. That is about a 17% drop. If I get a 25% drop I will be down to 18Mbps. That will still be twice what I get, best case, with TDS. Yes, I will be paying more, but bandwidth, to me, is a necessity.
So, I might be going back to Metrocast. They are all set to send a tuck over here the next day. I also have a ‘magic’ name of a person to call to have it all expedited. Stay tuned. If you don’t see any new posts you will know that my Internet is down.