Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our sad internet story...

Absolutely no knitting content....

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I frequently blog from my local Panera Bread.   Why, you my well wonder, don't I just write, in my pretty PJs, from my lovely office, in my comfy home?   Here is our sad internet story.

As you may remember, we rented a townhouse for the first six months that we lived in FL.   We were so happy with our neighborhood that in Mar '09 we bought a single family house in the same subdivision.   When we called Comcast (with whom we were very satisfied), to transfer our service, we were told that Comcast does not offer service to the single family homes.   We were not happy, but called Direct TV and AT&T (DSL).   On the appointed day, Direct TV arrived but AT&T did not.   After several calls to AT&T, (notable for unreturned calls and unkept promises), we were finally told that there are a limited number of openings in our neighborhood for DSL and they were all full.   We would have to get on the waiting list (which we did).    When comparing notes with a neighbor, we were told that when the cables were run for DSL they were not run to the end of our cul de sac (where we live).  So, short of running more cable, DSL is not going to happen.   More calls to AT&T revealed this to be true.   However, we were told that those cables would be extended "soon".    A year later, we have yet to get either DSL or a definition of "soon".

As for cable, the reason we can not have Comcast (our local cable company) is that our builder signed a 20 year contract with another cable company (Live Stream?).   Why they did this for the single families but not the townhouses, I do not know.   According to our neighbors, their service was so unsatisfactory, and so many people dropped their service in favor of Direct TV, that they stopped offering it altogether.  Still, they have the contract which precludes other cable companies from providing us the service we need.  

Where does that leave us?   Dial-up is not really an option (too slow).    Mobile hotspots and internet cards all have caps which make them either too limited or too expensive (When Jax gets 4G, Sprint will offer a truly unlimited mobile hotspot.   We remain hopeful, but that is also in the realm of "soon").    We ended up going with a satellite internet provider (ClearWire).   Their service is execrable.   We rarely, see the speeds that we were promised.  Just to get the poor service we get, we have to reset their box several times a day.   Tech support is laughable.   We actually have line of sight to their tower.  It really should not be this bad.

Now, I work from home, and Hubby works long hours (much of which could be worked from home, if we had a decent connection).   Just the boys homework is a challenge.  It is not unusual for me to have to run one or both of them out to Panera so that they can download their assignments.  

Other than waiting for the Sprint option, there does not seem to be anything we can do.   Is the situation hopeless?    Do you have a suggestion?   If you do, please share.   In the mean time, thank goodness for Panera!

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