Sunday, September 4, 2011

Buying Invisible Speed

September must be my pet peeve blogging month.  And note Pet Peeve blogs are long and boring! - Unless you have the same problem and gripe.

Today's gripe is about internet service (and may even be a duplicate blog see On Hell Hold 3/16/2010).  I currently have Cincinnati Bell DSL service (and have since 1996 as one of the first subscribers).  I have experienced the service in three locations and have many stories.  At my present location, there are line problems after a heavy rain and after troubleshooting on the phone for hours, I have found after the weather dries - the problem goes away.

Lately, however, the problem has been different with slow speeds and complete disconnects/outages - again only to remedy itself with time.  The basic problem with paying $35/mth for internet service is that we are "buying invisible speed".  I am paying for a certain speed limit but never know if I am going that fast.

Example:  Cincinnati Bell offers "speed limit" plans for "UP TO" download and upload bytes per second:    $25 for 769Kbps; $35 for 5Mbps; $40 for 10Mbps (Fioptics); $50 for 20Mbps; $60 for 30Mbps; $100 for 50Mbps; and $300 for 100Mbps.  I haven't listed the upload speeds but this could be important for certain users.

The up to provides an "out" for Cincinnati Bell and their slow speeds,   Yesterday as I awaited a technician to arrive (after wasting hours the night before on the phone with a rep),  I played with two sites to measure my speed - Zoomtown Speed Test  and Ping Test.   The results showed that I was crawling along  at 127Kbps and a Ping Test line quality of "D" - (8% Packet loss; 79ms Ping; 55ms Jitter). 

By the time the technician arrived (at last minute of the 12-4pm reservation window), my speeds were testing 4.36Mbps and a Ping Test line quality of "B" (0% Packet loss; 43ms Ping; 11ms Jitter).  As I described my frustration to the technician, he acknowledged the intermitent speed issue and said they have been working on it and may ultimately lay fiber to the switch to aleviate the variable quality of speed issue.  "Please bear with us and Thank you for the business."

Well - time is up.  I will call customer service and ask for a $10 rebate for 2-3 months.  And if that is not provided - I will switch to Time Warner.  Stay tuned for the result.

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