John McDonald

Blogging about politics, life, and the web

Its 2009 and I still can’t get reliable internet here

April 15th, 2009

In 1995 I expected my internet connection to be slow and unreliable. 14.4k modems were rare, powerful, and expensive.  There weren’t even many ISPs that could handle such a speed on all of their dial-in lines.

High speed broadband is supposed to fix this, right?

The problem is those cable broadband lines that seemed cutting edge in 1999 are showing their age and years of neglect.  While the ownership of that network has changed hands and brands more than once, every company to come along and offer access has been gifted with a virtual monopoly over cable internet in Jacksonville.

Of course, AT&T provides a “choice” with their DSL, but let’s not even discuss that disaster.  At least the cable is good enough to pay for even if it requires complaining to get it to work half the time.

While the actual cable infrastructure hasn’t changed much, I’d say my experience over the last 10 years has been one of a steady decline in service quality.  There were simply fewer people on the network – and congestion hadn’t been a problem.

Nowadays, I can’t even keep a connection active for more than an hour.  Frequent outages are commonplace, and while they’re usually as brief as five minutes, they often disrupt file transfers and browser-based publishing.  Forget gaming – I can’t even run a stable AFK script in a text-based online MUD (The MUD I’m playing was designed in 1993 and Comcast still can’t deliver the kind of stable connection it requires)

That’s enough of a rant.  I probably just need to go pick up my third cable modem replacement for the year.  Ugh.

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