Internet service provider, indeed

Going into this, I should probably state that I’m well aware of the deplorable state of broadband Internet access and management in this country. If Time Warner’s naked attempt to extort its customers by testing tiered Internet access with absurdly low download caps is evidence of anything, it’s how much we’re at the mercy of the companies involved. I feel as though in many instances, we’re dealing with a "race to the bottom," if you will: how little can a company offer, and how much can it charge for it? If I learned anything in college, it’s that you don’t have to be the best, you just have to be better than the alternatives. This all seems very grave for something much smaller, but I habitually look at the disease instead of the symptoms. Even if that might blow things a little out of proportion.

In my area, the Internet access options consist of AT&T’s DSL service and Comcast’s cable modem service. Most people out here go with Comcast. I can’t say I blame them. Comcast is an evil empire if ever there were one, with their history of futzing with BitTorrent packets among other things, but remember what I said about not having to be the best, just better than the alternatives?

My Internet connection with AT&T had been stunningly mediocre for the entire time I’d had its DSL service. Despite being on the 6Mbps "Elite" plan, download speeds only ever topped out at about 600KB/s. Fine, whatever. That was until around the 10th of this month, when my connection took a nasty nosedive, averaging about a sixth of what I’d been getting before. Ping was astronomically high (thus ensuring I wouldn’t be enjoying my recently replaced copy of Call of Duty 4 online or playing Left 4 Dead with my friends), download speeds were dismal, and my connection would periodically drop. With my pitiful connection, I was able to speak to AT&T through its online chat and get on my way to having the problem corrected. First, the representative and I ran the company’s bandwidth meter test which, surprise surprise, measured my download speed at about 2Mbps. Then eventually a line test was performed, and a problem was indeed noted. The rep told me he would escalate my issue to the line department, and I would receive a phone call within the next 24 hours.

I did not.

I eventually had to call back and jump through hoops to speak to AT&T’s line department on the evening of the 13th. The specialist I spoke to said that there was nothing wrong with my equipment, but that there was indeed a problem with the line. Lots of packets were being lost, corrupted, and dropped. So he dialed back my bandwidth in an attempt to mitigate the problem somewhat and produce a more stable connection. He also put in to have a technician come out to my apartment to locate and fix the issue. On the 17th. Not a whole lot of options, so I went ahead and made the appointment.

So the technician arrived that day, tested the line and found nothing wrong with it, and asked me if I had a laptop to test the DSL modem. (Why, I don’t know, when there was a tower on which the modem was sitting.) Ignoring the fact that I’m used to seeing technicians with their own laptops, I loaned him mine and marveled as he struggled to find the shortcut for the command window in Windows Vista.

Maybe I’m being unfair; I’m not really sure, but if I were a technician regularly handling network issues, I’d probably know the keyboard shortcut to open a command window: Windows+R, then "cmd."

Eventually, after running tests, he informed me that it was my router and not the modem or anything else, and he plugged the modem directly into my laptop. The connection was indeed faster. I sent him on his way, figuring "fine, I’ll just go buy another router, this one’s pretty old anyhow." The router (Linksys WRT54G v5) had been having trouble even registering the PPPoE connection—surely that must have been it.

Unfortunately, upon testing my connection using the direct link to the modem, I found it was faster than it was before, but by a hair, and, woefully, still not terribly stable. Download speeds were topping out at 200KB/s, still a far cry from what I was getting before this mess began and nowhere near what I was paying for. So I figured it could be the modem, and I went and purchased a DSL modem and router combo. (The technician informed me that if the modem was bunk, I would have to pay for a new one out of pocket anyway.) Naturally, the unit couldn’t make the DSL connection, even with the same settings as the original modem: it returned "no PPPoE" errors. Finally, I went back to the original modem—this was on the 18th, mind you—and chatted up AT&T’s tech support online again. Their bandwidth test again showed me having far more bandwidth than I was actually getting, and independent sites were testing bandwidth at 50% of that speed. Arguing with the tech and explaining what had been going on thus far escalated back to the line department.

The following morning, I received an automated phone call saying the technicians had resolved the problem and asking for me to press "1" if everything is okay and "2" if it is not. This was at eight in the morning; an automated call that forces me to immediately check my Internet connection is preposterous. And at this point, I’d had it. The connection wasn’t working at all, constantly redirecting me to a login page where the password had been reset. I had gone more than a week without stable Internet access, to the point of not having any at all, and the one technician who came out didn’t seem to have much of a clue what he was doing.

I wound up switching to Comcast the next day, a Monday. That wasn’t before calling Best Buy, which carries self-installation kits and whom I remembered as being able to set up a new connection in-store, and telling the customer service rep I’d like to start a new account with Comcast and asking if they had the equipment in store. "Yes, we have wireless and regular." She thought I was talking about routers.

The switch to Comcast should’ve been more painless than it was. I was able to go to a local store and pick up the equipment, add it to my account and so on, and I didn’t even need to buy the self-installation kit. "Just hook it up, then call our customer service line and have them activate the modem." Okay, fair enough. I do as instructed, and three hours after picking up the equipment, getting it home, and setting it up, the technician on the other end of the line informs me that high speed Internet service is not on my account. I explain to him that it was just added hours ago, and he says it probably hasn’t gone through their system yet. This is after having been on hold for a half hour. He puts me on hold again to look things up.

Popping open my web browser in the interim, since Windows did indicate it was getting an Internet connection from the cable modem, I’m given two options: one for home users setting up their new connection and one for technicians. The one for home users links to a program you can theoretically download to install your connection, and I say "theoretically" because it refused to download. At this point, I figured, "What the hell," and went with the technician link. Lo and behold, it never asked me for credentials or anything, just the account number, and proceeded to activate the modem just fine. I hung up the phone, still on hold.

Comments closed
    • bodom81
    • 10 years ago

    Hmm at work my down speed is 134.34 mbps! =D

    • ikjadoon
    • 10 years ago

    WTH, Dustin. You broke into my house, didn’t you?

    I also have AT&T’s abysmal “FastAcess” DSL; another Elite 6.0 user here. I also have a WRT54G (v3, though) and use PPPoE with this POS Motorola modem (3rd one) they’ve given me. What are the chances?

    AT&T’s test is completely bull. They use so they can sleep at night. Speedtest.net is where it’s at. Do you have other users in the house? If so, set up QoS right now. A perk for being a geek: you get the fastest damned internet in the house.

    But, yeah…it sucks. I consistently have the highest ping in the game (my friends and their damn 8Mbps cable lines) and get paltry (300Kbps) downloads. I lose connection a plenty and guess who the family goes to when they can’t watch Desperate Housewives anymore? Yup: you’re looking at him.

    I have their tech support # memorized: 1-888-321-2375.

    FiOS: I’m waiting………

      • ray0203
      • 10 years ago

      Verizon works like AT&T, so I could say I understand every bit of what you’re ranting at. Verizon can only provide 3 mbps download.

      Yeah, I know it sucks.

    • spanky1off
    • 10 years ago

    #108..good point but I’m one step ahead of them. Korea has great plastic surgeons so im able to surgically alter my appearance at will. Thus i can randomly go into to the cyber cafes and download to my hard drives content. I’m currently disguised as a bearded Austrian yodeller

      • FubbHead
      • 10 years ago

      Damn, that’s what I was supposed to be this week.

    • spanky1off
    • 10 years ago

    Anyone disapointed with the download speeds and is able to eat spicy dog should seriously consider relocating to South Korea. Here I’m able to download a 700mb file in about 1 minute (if its hosted on a Korean site).

    The internet is so fast here, that scientists claim they will soon be able to email the contents of their brains to one another.

    • dale77
    • 10 years ago

    I had slow internet on my DSL link too once…

    Turned out the network hardware on the modem/router was dying (bad caps problem). Symptom was “lots of dropped packets” at eth 100mbps, windows alleviated this by automatically dropping the net connection to 10mbps. On linux, where it tried to drive the connection at rated 100mbps, things were soooo slow.

    • Sabresiberian
    • 10 years ago

    Indeed, lack of competition – this came about because of our (American) old system where businesses bid for contracts that were accepted by the governmental region that approved them. The phone company was a lock, The power company was a lock, the cable company was a lock. No competition was necessary, beyond convincing some council they were the cheapest.

    This never should have been in place to begin with; it destroys the best part of capitalism, competition. It should be wiped out wherever it still exists, and Americans (or anyone under a similar system) should be hammering down local doors to change it. Don’t have choice? Make it to where you do. It’s in your power, all you have to do is make a concerted effort.

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • rythex
    • 10 years ago

    Speaking as a telecommunication technician that’s done IPTV/ADSL/Telephony installs for 2 years… there are alot of dumb people in the trade..

    Most likely for your ADSL you need a pot splitter or a brand new ADSL modem.. in regards to your Comcast connection.. cable sucks balls.

    • abos
    • 10 years ago

    You don’t have competition. That’s your problem.

    One provider over the old telephone network, one provider over TV cables. That’s just not enough.

    Here in Sweden, most homes can usually choose between one provider over TV cable and a number of DSL providers. The company that was former telephone monopoly and owns most of the telephone network is forced to make their cables available for other providers to rent, for a reasonable fee, because the telephone market is regulated to make sure there’s competition.

    Also, more and more homes have Ethernet over copper of fibre and that’s usually installed by a company that’s unrelated to the cable or telephone companies and often the customer can choose between several providers for IP connectivity on that network too.

    This stuff can be done and it can be done in a market-oriented way.

    • virvan
    • 10 years ago

    I am living in Moldova (a poor country), in an area covered by a locally-monopolistic, shitty ISP (Arax), and I get 8 Mbps, stable, at $13 / month.
    Hey Americans, move to Moldova, in Heaven :D. An average salary of $250, of which you will spend 5% on blazingly-fast (by American standards) Internet :).
    Or, if you are programmers, you’ll be making a whoopy $1000 a month

      • pullmyfoot
      • 10 years ago

      I live in Singapore. I pay US$30 for a 8mbps connection and iIm pretty happy with that. My internet connection is stable, which is all that matters if you get >5-6mbps for a normal household anyway.

    • kvndoom
    • 10 years ago

    There are probably people out there on dial-up who are reading this, and just want to strangle us crybabies.

    ..and they’d even post to tell us so, if their connection didn’t time out every time they tried to submit. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • mutantmagnet
      • 10 years ago

      I used to use Dial up before DSL and dial up connections dropped only when calls were coming in. Verizon DSL dropped randomly and frequently.

      I’m happier with the stability of Fios but what I experienced with DSL was terrible.

    • aTo
    • 10 years ago

    hey, guys… why don’t you move to Romania??? (do not worry, i’m joking)
    I live in Romania and here, there are a few big internet providers and a lot of small ones, and is a constant battle who provides the best connection. Here in Bucharest, my internet provider is one of the biggest, RCS-RDS, and they provide everything (internet, phone, mobile phone, cable tv, satellite tv) but I am very happy with the internet connection: I pay 13 USD/ month for an optic fiber connection, and I have unlimited download, 10 MB/s for internet(it usually stays in the 2-6 MB area, but it tops 10 MB often) and 100MB for in city connections at other RCS-RDS users. Lately they have introduced a new type of optical fiber connection for home users: 50MB for internet and 50MB for metropolitan (in city) connections which is really appealing.
    Here, we have these cheap and good connections because the small providers, which are technically guys who have bought a satellite or a business connection and a server and then are selling internet at a very small price and with out almost any regulations to anyone ho want’s it, and usually, they are more appealing than the big providers. That is why the big providers are trying to keep up and offer very affordable and stable connections at a low price: to steal customers from the small providers.
    Now… my question is: why don’t you do like the small providers here?? Buy a satellite or a business connection, and them split the bandwidth and sell it to anyone who wishes to have a better connection. I do not really know about the regulations in you countries, but I think it could be possible.

      • SangiYaro
      • 10 years ago

      It’s almost same here in Lithuania. I can choose from 4-5 providers and at least 3 of them offer optic fiber connection. I pay ~12 USD/month (its cheapest plan from my ISP) and i get 5Mbit up/down (10Mbit at night 0-8am) and 100Mbit between users of same ISP (very useful when torrenting). Connection is very stable and you get specified speed (it often tops 610-630KB/s at day time). Also there are no caps and you dont need a modem.

    • RhysAndrews
    • 10 years ago

    You’re still lucky to have that speed..
    Where I live in Australia our best connection we can get is ADSL 2+, which is 24mbps but usually downloads at 200-300kb/s. Downloads are between 25 and 100gb a month, and cost is $30 – $60 US a month.

      • tocatl
      • 10 years ago

      You are lucky, here in mexico despite there is a service that belongs to one of the richest man on earth (carlos slim) , and the basic one is like $30 at mont, 104kbps donw, only 12kbps up, thats a freaking shame, the guy could send at least 2 sattelites every year to increse the coverage, and the bastard bitches that he has lost money thanks to the crisis, but the reality is that he is not investing a cent in new hardware to improve the service, others are doing it, and people go for the better deal, i have some hope now that the main mexican power company said that they are going to offer, tv, phone and internet trough optic fiber, and they are reliable, they just build a huge dam within time and in budget, and they are building another one now with the same size, thats is a great reference of their work…

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    I use DSL atm and it worked fine for 2 weeks after hookup then suddenly dropped to 36kbps from the rated 7mbps advertised.

    so I call to find a solution….

    1st go through robot call menu then very broken and heavily accented english on the opposite end… they first ask a series of stupid questions, how long is your phone line, is your line plugged in, what OS are you using, are you using a line splitter then I am asked to go cmd promt and netstat to see what’s going on which turns out to be all good…. then to the meat of the matter with a bandwidth test.

    36kbps “well that is a problem and we should have it fixed in 48 hours”.

    3 days later I’m back on the phone no improvement and all of the original questions start again, they finish with “well that is a problem and seeing that you called previous we will be moving you up” some kind of improved status.

    2 days back on the phone no improvement same issues but their was a note on my door claiming they fixed the issue, now I’m no longer doing the requests for bandwidth tests I simply surf the web albeit slowly while giving him false answers from memory of prior calls, my phone line is too long, it’s on a splitter for the phone that I’m using to talk with him and I’m now using a brand new modem that I received in the mail that isn’t working any better…. this call finishes with my case is being upgraded again.

    next day I call and they must have my number on record because now I’m talking to a Canadian not an Indian from India… nothing against India or it’s ppl but the language barrier was annoying…. same questions, same false answers except that this time I state…… “ok this is my 5th call and I understand you guys are having trouble but you have to understand I’m paying for your problem at the moment which is unacceptable, I’ve decided not to learn the details of your business at my expense so I’ve decided that if by Friday you do not have my line speed up to 7mbps I’m switching to Cable….. I’m not threatening you I am simply stating a fact here…. I’m paying for high speed you aren’t providing”… I finished with an “I apologise but I see no other alternative.”

    their was a note on my door the next day, my line speed was back to normal, I got an account credit for one month’s internet and my connection has remained solid for 2 years so far without any hiccups.

    • TardOnPC
    • 10 years ago

    Ok NOW I am pissed off…I see where the 6Mbps package gets you 732Kb/s. I average 650Kb/s. I remember back in the day when nobody could afford broadband and Time Warner was in Houston the $50 3Mbps connection yielded 2,500Kb/s downloads. I was able to download 20-50 Megabyte files in a couple of seconds. So WTH? Seems all broadband providers are giving their customers the shaft since “broadband” is accessible to everyone now…

    • Freon
    • 10 years ago

    I have 3mbit (512k up) DSL from AT&T. I get exactly what I’d expect, right up to ~300KB/s pretty much anywhere. I do think upload falls short of the expected ~50KB/s, but I haven’t tested it much. Speedtest just said 2.5 and 0.42.

    It’s always going to be a bit of a crap shoot on DSL as far as speed. I’m close to the city so it’s pretty good here, but if you aren’t you never really know. I think cable is usually a bit more predictable.

    And I know a few others posted as well, but 600kB/s sounds about right for 6mbit. At least that’s all I would’ve expected. Sorry about the rest of your troubles, though. They definitely do not staff truly knowledgeable people at all levels. You probably start with someone making about $10/hr at best that is going through scripts, but that’s the standard customer service formula these days.

    • Vaughn
    • 10 years ago

    I’m a Canadian on rogers cable in the west end of mississauga close to oakville. Can’t say I’ve had any complains about my cable connection at all. I’ve been at this house for about 6 years and I think my cable service was down for maybe 2-3 days in that whole time period.

    However, location is key I find with all providers some area’s just don’t get good service. I happen to be on a node that is only at 60% capacity and considering myself to be lucky. On a 10Mbps/1Mbps connection with a Motorola Surfboard 5101 modem + DGL 4500 Router, on servers that can push the speed i’m always sitting at around 1.2 mb/sec downloads uploads max out at 125kb/sec.

    I’ve never had a DSL connection myself and stayed away from it in the past because bell was never able to offer a speed package greater than what I could get from Rogers.

    Broadband in North America is a mess in general though, you would figure after all this time we wouldn’t have to deal with all the abuse some of the ISP’s do to their customers.

      • phez
      • 10 years ago

      Don’t forget a $60 bandwidth cap of 100gb. Believe me though, if you live on the outskirts of the gta, you don’t want Bell.

    • stefan231
    • 10 years ago

    I’m using timewarner and as far as advertised speeds I hit them rite on the mark. But as far as customer service they are absolutely horrible.. for example we had wildfires here in Socal and several of the telephones burned completely to nothing wires gone etc, the phone company and power came out replaced the pole ran new wires and had there service up and running in 2 days. We had to call Timewarner and and tell them the poles burned down and the wires were gone they had no idea what happened and it took them 7 days after convincing them that this had happened to get it repaired.

    • mdfrncs
    • 10 years ago

    One more note:

    For a profile of 6016/800 (6M), Bell states:

    Lowest speed: 578.3 kB/s
    Fastest speed: 642.5 kB/s

    • methodmadness
    • 10 years ago

    I’ve had cable modems since 1996 (dad worked for good ol’ Adelphia so we got in as a pilot family), first through Adelphia/Comcast in the Philly metro area, then Comcast in Somerville, MA, then Cablevision in Northern Jersey, and now Time Warner in Manhattan. The first few years I had some problems with the internet connection dropping off (multiple annoying modem reboots) but since then they’ve rarely given me any problems. Speeds have always been pretty solid too.

    Things actually seem to be getting even better. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s so much competition here, but Time Warner Roadrunner in Manhattan seems pretty darn fast to me. Everyone in my apartment building has an internet connection, but I still get 1.2 to 2 MBs per second download speeds (during the early evening!).

    I guess it all depends on where you live.

    • rika13
    • 10 years ago

    we got a 7Mbps plan from verizon, our speeds top out at around 800KiB/s; then again, were also practically humping the head end (its like 600ft, we can literally walk to the site)

    • mdfrncs
    • 10 years ago

    Just a note about DSL download speeds:

    As several people have mentioned, there’s a lot of overhead for dsl, especially since most dsl networks use ATM. I work for Bell Canada, which has the same problems. That’s why speeds are always advertised as “up to”.

    To combat the perception that DSL is slower we usually put the line profile higher than the up to speed. For instance, on a 7M plan the profile (if the line supports it) is often put at 8512/1042. Or, on our 2M service the profile is set to 2496/800, so a “line test” would give you close to what you’re “paying for”

    Furthermore, why would you leave your router connected if you’re having connection problems? Especially if a tech is going out – it’s giving them a green light to blame it on the router. Most of the repair techs that go out for problems don’t do computer troubleshooting, so it’s not surprising he didn’t know how to open the command prompt on vista.

    I usually like the articles and blog posts here, but this was pretty shody.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 10 years ago

      Remember, we are all here to learn and to suggest/express. Don’t take it personal and please, do keep sharing! We will just get dumber without this pool of knowledge.

    • robg1701
    • 10 years ago

    Meh – whilst i understand its annoying when things go slower than before, my ADSL hasnt worked at all for 7 weeks now and I live just outside of 3G and Edge coverage, so id say always remember to consider yourself lucky to get whatever speed you are getting, as some people are not getting any… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ive had the line-department (BT Openreach) of our monopoly telco here for 3 full days work over the last 7 weeks and it still isnt working, and they still dont know why. As of this morning the issue has been escalated to management level within BT Wholesale (who sell the ADSL to service providers) and they have said they are now going to have Openreach throw all the engineering resources required at it to get it fixed ASAP….but yeah, fast approaching 2 months without a connection at home (i was supposed to be working from home for summer as well, and instead ive been going to Uni despite the fact I graduated already :P), im not getting my hopes up.

      • Nitrodist
      • 10 years ago

      It’s not just “DSL”, it’s the implementation from different companies. I hate it when people generalize things as “Oh, I hate DSL/Cable Internet/Fibre/Homing Pidgeon” and much prefer “XYZ”… the issue isn’t the medium that it’s going through — it’s the company that’s managing it.

      • pixel_junkie
      • 10 years ago

      I’m on TWC’s max connection advertised at 16mbit/2mbit and pay $60/mo for it (think it’s also supposed to be able to support bursts to 20mbit). I consistently get 2MB/s download and 250KB/s upload rates without fail. I downloaded 160GB of stuff in 3 days last month and have suffered no ill effects from it. No throttling, no caps. Does that count as “real” cable?

      • Scrotos
      • 10 years ago

      That’s the reason I’m a fan of DSL. I use Speakeasy as my ISP which I think is just resold Qwest or Covad lines. No limits, I can host whatever I want, I have several static IPs. With cable or FIOS? I have to get a business package for a static IP and the TOS forbids hosting your own services/servers, last I looked (which admittedly was a while ago). Plus after Comcast (the cable provider here in Denver) was found to be throttling stuff, that put me off on them as well.

      I’m sure I’d get much better speeds, but I don’t trust them and I can’t do what I can easily do with DSL.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 10 years ago

      DSL has been a mixed bag of hurt for me — it’s all about the implementation.

      Old place with Verizon DSL: They would change the packages often and my speed would constantly fluctuate. I’d pay the higher “tier” (early late 90s of 50ish) and my line would constantly go back to the lowest tier. Give ’em a call and yup — please reboot the modem and it’ll correct it. This happened monthly and was quite annoying.

      Client’s place with ATT DSL: ATT has a serious problem with forcing PPPoE, mixed support with home router (since so many people have them), etc. If I wanted to replace their router, it was a guaranteed call to reset the password, go into the modem’s gui and make changes to support a router setup.

      My current place has Time Warner cable. For the same price, cable is faster. For the higher priced tiers, cable is faster. Swap a modem? Drive 5 minutes and get that modem, plug and it works. Install a diff router? Unplug old, put in new, no issues (after waiting 30 seconds for modem to unsync).

      I have other complaints about Time Warner cable, but the ease of getting it setup and updated make it the service worth it.

    • Thresher
    • 10 years ago

    My experience with DSL was remarkably similar to yours, except that mine was with Verizon, twice. In Florida and in Illinois. Both times, the service started out well, but deteriorated over time. No satisfactory answer was ever found. My service experience mirrors your own. Clueless customer support representatives, failure to contact me when promised, and field technicians that just never could find a problem.

    In Florida, I just had to deal with it because cable access wasn’t available. Here in Illinois, I moved over to Comcast. While I dislike many of their hamfisted attempts at bandwidth rationing (while making record profits), I’m fairly pleased with the service.

    • wingless
    • 10 years ago

    r[

      • ludi
      • 10 years ago

      You were getting reasonable DSL bandwidth. See the other discussion in progress.

    • dustyjamessutton
    • 10 years ago

    I live in a rural area. Most of the towns population consists of people outside of the city limits. However, despite that, fiber optic cable is being buries EVERYWHERE. I’m suspecting that they are getting fiber straight to every house within this zip code. I live about 3 miles outside of town, out in the country on my ranch, and I’m anxious to get fiber straight to my desktop. The telephone company here is small and did get a large government grant for delivering internet to rural areas. And the nicest thing about getting my internet through my towns ISP is that there is no download cap.

      • FubbHead
      • 10 years ago

      Fiber stright into the vein, heh. A tech junkie’s wet dream. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • elmopuddy
    • 10 years ago

    Up here in Montreal, I get very good service, albeit with low upload speeds (30/1), but I get very close to rated speed.. I have downloaded stuff at full speed.. 70GB of transfer allowed per month. This costs about 75 CDN a month. My only other choice would be DSL with Bell Canada, who I swore I’d never give another penny to (piss-poor service, outright lying, etc..)

    • Corrado
    • 10 years ago

    Right now, I have a small local cable company in Service Electric Cablevision. I have absolutely zero complaints about this company. They do have caps, but they’re 350gb down and 250gb up. I won’t lie, I torrent like a madman, and I’ve NEVER come near the caps. They upgraded me from 7mbit to 12mbit service for free, and it costs $34/month. No contract, no bundles (well, its a bundle, but theres no discount for NOT having the bundle).

    I pay $118/month for 12mbit internet, modem rental, every non-hbo/showtime/starz type pay channel, HD, 2 HD-DVRs, and phone service.

      • willardjuice
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah but they give you up pretty easy to the RIAA/MPAA/etc. Bunch of my friends get notices all the time (and one of them had their account terminated!).

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    That is a tale of woe. Time Warner Cable, in Cincinnati, has never given me any problems. The modem was emitting a high pitched noise and they replaced it at my request.

    • Philldoe
    • 10 years ago

    Eh.. I’m with Windstream DSL. No complaints at all here except that my upload bandwidth sucks balls. I’m supposed to be getting 6Mbps down and 768kbps up, but I only get around 40KBps up. Not ever been a problem as I don’t doa lot of uploading, but damnit.. I’d like to be on skype with video while doing other things.

    • Kulith
    • 10 years ago

    What Comcast equipment are you talking about that you had to pick up????

    What self installation thing are you talking about?

    I don’t get it. You already have a modem and router what else do you need. If the house ever had cable running to it then just activate it over the phone and plug it in.

      • just brew it!
      • 10 years ago

      Call me a pessimist, but somehow, I don’t think his existing _[

        • Kulith
        • 10 years ago

        My b, but other than that he has everything doesnt he?

    • bhtooefr
    • 10 years ago

    Here, it’s unreliable Time Warner (but at least I get the claimed speeds) or over $100 for 768k DSL from Windstream.

    My dad was paying $90 for 1.5M DSL from Embarq… and his cell phone has a grandfathered unlimited transfer EVDO plan… and he has a tower almost in his backyard… so he tethers as his only internet connection.

    • herothezero
    • 10 years ago

    Broadband access in this country just plain sucks. There’s really no other way to say it, and considering that the Internet and most of the related technology was invented here, it’s appalling and our political leadership (what passes for it, anyway) should be ashamed, but shame isn’t something you see much of in DC.

    q[

      • Bauxite
      • 10 years ago

      I lucked out, that connection was a “highend” (for the time) 1.5/512k line for I think $50/month, free modem/install with 1 or 2 year contract. Getting out of dialup and into low 2 digit pings for all my games, it was a dream.

      It was good for about 5 years until things all got changed and FUBAR’ed.

    • Ryhadar
    • 10 years ago

    You think comcast is bad where you live? Try Philadelphia (the location of their corporate HQ).

    The cable TV was unreliable, and internet speed was pretty sub par. There would be times during the middle of the day where I just couldn’t connect to some sites. Never, ever again will I use comcast.

    That being said, you’re right; the other choices out there are pretty abysmal. Verizon is pretty good in my area. FIOS is overrated but I get about half my rated download speed, which is more I can say about a the sixth you were getting. To be honest, I never had a problem with DSL here and while I wasn’t getting great bandwidth at least I wasn’t paying $50 a month for it.

      • Corrado
      • 10 years ago

      Odd, since I’ve lived in Conshohocken, BalaCynwyd, Manayunk, Wayne, Phoenixville, and now Reading. I’ve NEVER had a problem with Comcast’s service. Sure the wiring in your house isn’t bad/old, or the wiring TO your house isn’t bad/old? Have you ever called to actually SAY something to them about it?

        • Ryhadar
        • 10 years ago

        In the greater Philadelphia area, yeah the service is pretty good. I live near Doylestown of Bucks County and when we had comcast cable TV I never had any problems.

        I’m surprised you didn’t have the same issues as I did when you were living in Manayunk. I used to live in University City and almost everyone I knew had problems who had comcast had problems with them. I don’t think the lines in our house were an issue. Our house was old and we had cable lines running on the outside of the house in, but to be fair I really didn’t know what kind of shape the lines those new ones connected to were in.

        To be honest, no I never called, but I also rarely used the internet or TV at home (I was usually in the library, heh). But when I did there were times I had issues watching shows OnDemand and sometimes the internet would just crap out. Never really had the time of day to care and my roomates never complained (and they did use the internet more) so I didn’t really push it.

          • Corrado
          • 10 years ago

          Not trying to be a smart ass, but I think the fact that no one ever looked into the problem negates your review of Comcast service. I haven’t been in University City much, but I know the homes in Manayunk are pretty old and multi-story. Our row home originally had 5 or 6 splitters in it with decrepit non-RG6 coax. I went through and removed unnecessary splitters and ran new RG6 cabling, and had Comcast run a 2nd and 3rd feed to the house so we cut the number of splitters to 2 on each line + 1 feed for JUST the modem. Never had a problem after that.

            • Ryhadar
            • 10 years ago

            Hah, don’t worry. Yes, you kind of sound like a smart ass, but that was the response I was expecting anyway, so no harm done.

            Yes, you’re probably right I should have looked into those things and I’m probably a little spoiled in assuming that the cables would be fine. Still, after hearing stories from friends about their experiences, not just with comcast’s speed but the service provided by their technicians, it was just plain bad. Why would I waste my already valuable time if the problems I experienced didn’t effect my work? Also, if the technician who set up our service thought the lines might be a problem why didn’t he say anything?

            At any rate, it’s to be expected I suppose; comcast is really the only major broadband provider in Philadelphia so they can afford to treat their customers with subpar service.

            Really, all I can say is I’m glad you had a good experience with them. I didn’t, and the only way that’s going to change is if I take what I learned and make sure I don’t get spotty service again. But I’ll probably just give my money to another company.

            • Corrado
            • 10 years ago

            Comcast has their own technicians, but they also have a lot of contractors. I know that their own technicians are held to a MUCH higher standard than the contractors are. The contractors are also, in some markets, shared with Verizon. Talk about a conflict of interests. If 1 customer pays you $45/hr and one pays you $40, who do you give better service too? (I am speculating, and have no knowledge if this is truly the case)

            I also hate comcast the company, btw. I sort of work for them, and hate the bureaucracy that is in place there. You can’t get anything done without 6 people’s approval, and one of those people is always inevitably on vacation for the next 6 months.

    • zimpdagreene
    • 10 years ago

    FIOS 25/25!

      • blubje
      • 10 years ago

      am enjoying university broadband, 11MB (bytes) / sec download, near zero latency

        • xzelence
        • 10 years ago

        When I used to live in the dorms on campus I was getting 20-30Mbps depending if the majority of people were out clubbing on weekends… O.o

      • potatochobit
      • 10 years ago

      I live in Downtown Dallas and you would think I could get an awesome business connection
      So I called up verizon to see if I could get Fios, I was even ready to relocate somewhere in the area for it
      basically what they told me is Fios is only offered in all the little farm towns outside of Dallas, you can’t actually get it in the city
      : /

      anyway, stuck with timewarner for a little longer

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    Comcast has been pretty decent since they took over for Insight. I’ve had a couple issues, but everything to this point has been resolved relatively quickly. Good enough – they are better than the alternatives, that’s for sure.

    • toyota
    • 10 years ago

    my parents pay 60 bucks a month for Hughesnet. that gets you 1mb, about a 1300 ping and insane 200mb daily cap. if you hit that cap the internet comes to a stop for 24hrs. you can download freely from 2-7am though. lol

    • d0g_p00p
    • 10 years ago

    I was forced to use Comcast last year and let me say NEVER AGAIN. I had a average outage of 3 days every month. Each time it was a different issue or the crappy cable bridge died somehow. It was fast I’ll give them that. I am now back to AT&T and could not be happier. I had them for 8 years at my old house and could count on 1 hand how many outages I had.

    I know everyone has a different experience but mine was awful.

    • nerdrage
    • 10 years ago

    My experience with Time Warner started out pretty crappy, but seems to be ok now. The tech first set up the TV, and when he finished that he moved on to the internet connection. He installed an obviously used, ancient cable modem (Motorola 4000 series). Fearing that he would want to install a bunch of shovelware on my PC, I had installed Win2000 on an old laptop the day before and claimed that to be my only PC. He finished the installation and left.

    Of course the first thing I did was test the connection, and lo and behold, my 5000Kbit/s connection was only getting about 100Kbit/s download speed and was disconnecting frequently. The TV only got about 10 channels, instead of the 150 or so we were supposed to be getting.

    So I call TW, and they resolve the TV thing over the phone by sending some signal to my box. Fine. But they have no clue about the internet connection. The level 1 tech blames it on my (non-existent) router and failing that explains to me that a Pentium 3-750 can’t handle a 5Mbit/s connection. That’s funny, it seems to work just fine on my 100Mbit/s local network. Then he informed me that my freshly formatted system must have a virus or spyware on it. Finally after about ten minutes of this bologna, he transfers me to a higher-level tech. Night and day difference. He did something on his end to test the connection, and found massive packet loss. So he sent out a tech the next day. This tech was also a night and day difference from the previous guy. He brought a brand-new still sealed in the box Motorola Surfboard 5200 (rock-solid modem I’d used at a previous apartment) and all the problems vanish immediately. Since then it’s been fine with the exception of some minor prime-time slowdowns, mostly with DNS.

    I don’t even bother with ISP email accounts anymore. Gmail is orders of magnitude better, and even supports modern protocols like IMAP, which TW has apparently never heard of.

    • kvndoom
    • 10 years ago

    I have had precious few problems with Verizon over the past 5 or so years. That is good, because their support is awful.

    My first year with them, in 2003, was pretty sucky. DSL was new to my neighborhood, so I guess it was teething issues. There would be periods where my connection would simply stop transmitting for 2-5 minutes at a time. The connection wasn’t dropped; it just wouldn’t do jack. I called Vz many times and never got it resolved. They always told me everything was fine (which it obviously wasn’t). Finally the issue just went away on its own.

    The second problem was far more serious, and it is the reason I moved all my email correspondence to my yahoo account. For some reason, in early 2007 I started getting hundreds of spam delivered to my inbox every week, even with Verizon’s spam filter enabled. It was ridiculous. The vast majority of them were from “Online Viagra” or something like that. How can a spam filter miss “Viagra” when that sole word is probably in the subject line of hundreds of millions of emails sent out every day? I called Verizon, used their online support, and the idiots would simply not listen to me when I tried to explain there was a serious problem on their end. Their solution? “I am going to disable the spam filter on your account, then turn it back on.” Wow. Needless to say, the flood continued, and I just stopped using them for email. Yahoo lets 3 or 4 slip every week, but that’s a hell of a lot better than almost 100 a day. They did eventually fix it, but I didn’t care at that point. A couple times it has hiccuped again, such as this:

    ยง[< http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b209/kvndoom/Canooks.jpg<]ยง That was my /[

    • nerdrage
    • 10 years ago

    Am I the only one cringing at the picture of a cable modem connected via USB instead of Ethernet?

      • Bauxite
      • 10 years ago

      No, I cringed too.

      I remember back around 99 when I finally got rid of dialup for a DSL line, the tech showed up with the standard usb modem (self install was unheard of, and techs who even knew what DSL stood for were pretty rare, waitlists sucked) and he turned out to be a mid level guy that also installed a lot of the backend.

      I pretty much begged him for the 2 hours or so he was there to get me one of the hybrid modems that were still around back then, because it had a ATM/x-25 type interface that converted to very low ping ethernet with a daughtercard quite well.

      • prb123
      • 10 years ago

      Nope…saw that before reading the article.

    • A_Pickle
    • 10 years ago

    It’s kind of crazy, but… I’m in Cheyenne, WY and I don’t have any bandwidth caps or anything like that. There are three internet service providers, two broadband (Bresnan Communications and Extreme HighSpeed) and one DSL (Qwest). I’m on Bresnan, as they offer the “fastest” connection in Cheyenne, at “15 mbps.”

    I typically don’t get anywhere NEAR 15 mbps, but I get /[

    • Wintermane
    • 10 years ago

    Poeple expect more out of dsl then they should. 600k bps is about what you should hope for most of the time but as with all man made things you should expect bad days and even bad weeks. If you dont want bad days then shut up and pay up for a “perfect” connection that is supposed to work all the time.. they just cost a few dozen times more then dsl.

    So many people are shocked that the cheap crap they pay lowest rates for is.. cheap.

      • designerfx
      • 10 years ago

      Do you even know what you’re talking about ? 600kbps is about 4.8megs downstream compared to the 6 they’re promising. As if that’s not enough for the matter, anyway. Then we have traffic shaping, and only uncapping bandwidth on sites like speedtest.net, and things like that. The only reason they mention in megabits instead of bytes on the advertising is just to sucker people in, anyway.

      All in all, I can’t wait till the FCC knocks these companies out for good. They don’t deserve the government subsidies they’ve been taking advantage of.

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 10 years ago

        I’m a student in Kalamazoo Michigan. I started with Comcast 3 mb connection when i moved off campus. I was achieving between 20 kbps and 60 kbps of downstream. I contacted a technician. he told me i could double my monthly rate and get the 5 mb connection. I kindly asked him if this would improve my connection speed at all, he replied no, not in any way whatsoever. I was using the modem and router i purchased from Comcast because in my area at that point in time they told us that their service didn’t support third party routers, ha.

        So we switched to At&t and got the 6 Mb DSL, payed one month found out we were getting about 80 kbps downstream, called talked to a technician and got news that 6 mbps wasn’t supported in our area, I only wish they could give me back the days i spent fusing over this stuff, screw the money at this point. We downgraded to 3 mb, everything was perfect.

        A year later we moved a couple blocks over, now my house has 9 people was are all sharing one 3 mb connection so we call At&t and ask to have them set us up with a second 3 mb modem, they tell us that they can’t, 3mb isn’t supported in our area. Ironically when we moved the At&t tech who settled us into our new place told us now we should have no problem getting the 6 mb connection. So then we spend weeks arguing with low level employees over the phone them simply denying us upper management they’d put us on hold to “get the manager” an hour later we’d hang up. So ultimately they told us the 3 mb was a fluke and that we couldn’t get a second 3 mb line(even though we still had a working 3mb line and where being charged for it) T

        his has to be the worst business I’ve ever dealt with.

        “I’d like more of your wonderful product”, says the Customer

        “NO!” shouts the Business Man, ” I will have none of your money, and you shall share in none of my goods”

        That is basically what happened, and it took a month to find this out, this tops the stupidity of Apple and Microsoft combined. I feel like these companies hire a bunch of Idiots no one knows what the heck is going on and ultimately I totally agree with this article/blog. We still have At&t but now every day 12-5pm our internet cuts out, how much longer can we take this abuse i don’t know. What am i supposed to do we have two completely idiotic providers to choose from. How can we the consumer have any choice in this matter when we want neither.

        • Wintermane
        • 10 years ago

        a 6 mbps dsl is much like a 2 by 4. Neither are exactly what the words say they are.

        6 mbps is just a name they could just as easily have named it the bob service and told you it was around 4-600 kbps. But because people like a simple number that sounds fast they sell it as 6 mbps.

        You might as well be complaining why you never get exactly 2000 flushes from a 2000 flushes bowl cleaner.

        Its complaints like this comming up again and again which make big bis sell so many things with as little useful info as possible. You cant complain you didnt get what was offered if you have no clue what they are offering in the first place.

        • Boz
        • 10 years ago

        They don’t promise 6Mbps, they promise 3-6Mbps, due to attenuation.

    • Convert
    • 10 years ago

    Well, at least you had another option for ISPs, although it sounds like it might not be much of an alternative.

    I only have one choice and it is Embarq. About a year ago I ran into an issue where my speeds went to crap and had massive packet loss. I took almost a month to get it resolved.

    Needless to say I was not going to give up my broadband so I had to stick with it and get it fixed.

    The most frustrating part of the ordeal was the problem was clearly on their end. When they would have me do a speed test to their servers everything was great, when you would do a tracert though it would bomb out halfway through their network. Good luck trying to explain that just because the speed test destination worked didn’t mean the entire path through their network was good.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 10 years ago

    I had the exact same problem, only it happened 3 years ago.

    First, got DSL cuz TW was just way too expensive when I was living alone and working all the time without using the internet, I only wanted it to make VP calling to the family in Rochester, NY.

    But the DSL sucked the big one cuz after 15 to 30 minutes of use it would get disconnected and AT&T refused to run a new line cuz the apt complex I lived in was “too old”.

    Getting TW was the only other choice I had and man, it was a fight. It a whole year for them to get it up to “6” mb. They had to run a new cable and all that BS. But the techs do soddy cuz if you go outside my apt, you can see all the cables exposed to the weather and there is even one cable that is on the ground running to one of the apts. Pisses me off.

    We can’t win. And we “need” the internet and the ISP knows it.

    • ironoutsider
    • 10 years ago

    AHHH I feel your pain man! d>.<b I’ve been struggling with /[

      • neoanderthal
      • 10 years ago

      Ugh, I have Charter as well. 6Mb connection, supposedly.
      I get reasonable download speed (about 600KB/sec), though I have a lot of DNS lookup problems that seem to come and go.

      I wish to hell VZ would stop driving around with their stupid FiOS-branded vans in my area, since they don’t offer the service around here.

    • Heiwashin
    • 10 years ago

    I truly appreciate cox communications and have written them several times to say so. Good speed, reliability, and proven customer service several times that will rewire your house at no expense if the need be. They are the only company i’ve written in and complimented multiple times.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 10 years ago

      Can you write to them and kindly ask them to add an extension to Carmel, IN where all the rich people live (except me, of course)?

        • scpulp
        • 10 years ago

        Forget about it. A good friend of mine has Cox in her area, it’s the only ISP out there, and uh…well, let’s just say they live up to their name.

      • Mystic-G
      • 10 years ago

      I have to say Cox Communications isn’t so bad although they aren’t without quirks. (who doesn’t?)

      They do have bandwidth caps though…. Here are Cox’s High Speed Internet Packages’ bandwidth caps in my area.

      _[

        • ironoutsider
        • 10 years ago

        Premier might be viable for me, but I use a lot of bandwidth. I buy my games through steam, watch tv on hulu and veoh, Folding@home, internet radio, and browse the net. I don’t like the bandwidth cap idea, I don’t think anyone who knows what it is and how it works would touch it with a ten foot pole.

        • Heiwashin
        • 10 years ago

        Ouch, no caps here. If they did have them here i would change my tone quickly my friend.

          • Mystic-G
          • 10 years ago

          Change your tone as much as you want when the only competition is Comcast or [oh gawd] DSL.

    • nate72
    • 10 years ago

    Welcome to duopoly hell! I have the same story only going from Comcast to Att u-verse and now having trouble with ATT due to over subscriptions and old wiring and technology being pushed to far so that the CEO can justify 10m stock option bounces for him and cronies.

    Welcome to a 3rd world nation, this is only the beginning .

    Coming from NY I can say the only real 21st century telecom is VZ. They invested years ago in FIOS, read “REAL FIBER OPTICS!” and will stand to reap the benefits for many many many years to come.

      • Scrotos
      • 10 years ago

      Back when I worked at an east coast ISP (Erol’s Internet, now StarPower?), I remember we always used to get calls and complaints from NY customers. I guess some telco up there deployed fiber for their regular telephone lines and they were really noisy or had some other problems that caused modems to keep dropping connections. That was back in the day of the 28.8 monsters, though, so maybe it was just some teething issues.

      But you mentioning NY and fiber reminded me of that.

    • ludi
    • 10 years ago

    r[

      • chuckula
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah, ludi nailed it on the head, they were giving you exactly what they promised (at least until they broke it).

      I’ve had craptacular experiences with both DSL and cable in various incarnations in various places where I’ve lived. One thing to remember is that sometimes your actual connection is OK, but the DNS is either insanely slow or just plain broken. I personally use different DNS servers than what my ISP defaults to, and on top of that I use local caching which takes the load off the DNS server for lookups, and also speeds things up on my end. Once that is done, I can continue through many “outages” that are solely DNS, although if the wire goes dead you’re still SoL.

      • jackaroon
      • 10 years ago

      22% is not a reasonable overhead. -[

        • Convert
        • 10 years ago

        Yeah but we are talking DSL here. What he was getting wasn’t unreasonable, it’s not perfect but not that big of a deal.

        His other problems on the other hand..

          • jackaroon
          • 10 years ago

          Thanks for the tip. I went and read up on it afterwards. I had no idea that DSL uses ATM framing.

        • Bauxite
        • 10 years ago

        PPPoE has extra overhead on top of the normal overhead, something to keep in mind.

        Don’t assume you can use typical ethernet real-world throughput vs raw calcs on some DSL/cable configurations.

          • mczak
          • 10 years ago

          Well, in various places in Europe nowadays actually the advertized adsl bit rate is “net” bit rate (I guess it was problematic due to laws about false advertizing before), so the actual link rate is just about 20% higher to account for the pppoe overhead (actually I think the even more modern approach just uses max possible link rate anyway and traffic shaping to get the desired bandwidth).
          OTOH, if you’ve got cable, it does not use pppoe around here, so you don’t have that overhead and the advertized bitrate was always about the same as what you could actually get – of course it’s a shared medium so ymmv.

            • Bauxite
            • 10 years ago

            If you’re in the US, right now you pretty much pray you are in a FIOS area.

            Otherwise you are generally left with a pair of mediocre dsl and cable duopoly offerings, or down the ramp deeper into ISP hell.

            But yeah, since the inception of marketing broadband to joe blow, the norm is to advertise raw: pre-protocol, base10, megaBIT speeds.

            Giving real throughput, post-TCP (and post-PPPoE if used) let alone true binary ones is rare…honestly I’ve never heard of it.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      g{<732MB/s<}g Are you sure he's getting those download rates?

        • ironoutsider
        • 10 years ago

        1 mbps = 1000 kbps
        1 kbps = 1000 bits

        1KB = 1000 bytes
        1 byte = 8 bits.

        a 6mbps connection should translate to 6000kbps. not 600kbps. However he did write 600KB, which is actually 4800kbps (4.8mbps). I have no Idea how he’s coming up with the number 732mbps. Thats insanity of a connection. But yeah he’s not getting the full connection he is paying for. 4.8mbps is not 6mbps. Hope that correction helps clarify things

          • FubbHead
          • 10 years ago

          Well, 6000000/8, and you get the byte value, 750KB/s. And then you need to use 1024, no?

          4.8Mbit = ~585KB/s

        • ludi
        • 10 years ago

        kilobytes, sorry.

      • FubbHead
      • 10 years ago

      That would be 732KB/s, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

      And looking at the pure PPPoE+TCP/IP overhead, I think you should be able to calculate with a factor of 0,968 (1452/1500) and you end up at ~709KB/s.

      If 100KB/s normal network overhead is reasonable, though, I don’t know. Maybe older tech equipment that is more sensitive to distances, etc. I have an “up to” 24Mbit/2,5Mbit DSL connection, but I only get approx. 15Mbit/1,8Mbit because of the distance to the station.

      • Kharnellius
      • 10 years ago

      FYI…

      6000000 / 8 = 750000 bytes per second.

      750000 / 1024 = 732KB/s <<<< Note it is Kilobytes!

      732 / 1024 = 0.71 MB/s

      • pixel_junkie
      • 10 years ago

      What you’re missing is properly calculating his max transfer rate. You make a jump from bytes/sec to MB/sec leaving KB/s out of your equation, so you’re off by a factor of 1024.

        • ludi
        • 10 years ago

        Actually, I’m off by a typo, which is a bit of a hooter but doesn’t change the basic result: He was getting a reasonable DSL transfer rate until the problems started.

          • pixel_junkie
          • 10 years ago

          Fair enough :โ€ข)

    • potatochobit
    • 10 years ago

    always unplug your router and plug directly into the cable modem when diagnosing bad connection problems.

    I have never heard of this comcast self installation program at best buy. You are lucky, I had to wait 2 weeks before time warner would ‘bring’ me the box for the cable and modem here in Dallas.

      • Bauxite
      • 10 years ago

      I always had better luck using a linux-style firewall you could at least telnet or use basic gui tools on.

      A lot of dsl/cable modems are friggin annoying and associate with the first MAC addr they see anyways, it will save you the sometimes 5-15 minutes poweroff it takes to clear the stupid things, or having to clone a computer and fix it later.

      Its better than having to eliminate retarded windows configurations on top of a questionable connection.
      (and of course, windows boxes that aren’t 100% done properly have no business being hooked up directly to the net)

    • Shinare
    • 10 years ago

    r[<...you don't have to be the best, you just have to be better than the alternatives.<]r Shouldn't it be "You don't have to be perfect, you just have to be better than the alternatives."? Just 'cause if you are better than all the alternatives, then arent you are the best? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • danny e.
      • 10 years ago

      good point.. but I think what he really wants is “You don’t have to be good. You just have to be better than the alternatives”.

      • jackaroon
      • 10 years ago

      I figured he meant “don’t have to be the best [ in the world ], you just have to be better than all the [local] alternatives”

    • Richie_G
    • 10 years ago

    The joy of ISPs, they really do have us by the balls though.

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