Why is the Internet so slow?…

by DanB

It’s slow. Our Internet connection here has begun to crawl and drop out frequently. It has gotten so bad that we are looking at a new provider.

Our current provider is Clear Wireless. I like the concept and I like the no contract. I don’t like how it begins crawling like a snail from 10:30 PM and 1 AM every single day. If only a couple of people in the house are using it at one time things are ok. Not sure the kids understand how much data they are using at any given moment. With two computers, a TV, iPad, and a few smart phones and you can eat up a lot of data.

I suspect the router may be going bad but don’t think that would trip off every night at 10:30. We can almost set our clocks by it!

So I am currently investigating my limited options. Before Clear I used AT&T U-Verse. I dropped it because it was just too expensive and I wanted to wean myself off AT&T. Prior to U-Verse, it was DSL through AT&T and prior to that an ISDN line also through AT&T.

Why AT&T? It was the only option at the time for phone and DSL was tied to phone service. AT&T also used to be the only cell phone carrier that received service inside my house! But I have given them far too much money over the years and have had to call them at least once a month about something. That typically takes at least an hour and involves people with no authority to do much more than read from the screen.

Does this happen to you? You call support and the first thing they want you to do is reboot your computer. It has nothing to do with my computer if three computers in the house are experiencing the same connection issue. I usually sit and answer a few emails or read a little while my computer “reboots”. Then they move to having me reboot the routers and such. Of course we have done this before calling but I do it again just in case. Then they tell me there is a problem just outside Houston, TX. That is more than five hours away by car and our routes don’t generally go through Houston. In other words, just ride it out.

Funny story! I used to be the Internet department for a company of 2,000 employees. This was in the very early days of the World Wide Web. People were still figuring out what the WWW encompassed. One day I get a call from one of the executive secretaries. She tells me Yahoo is down. Yahoo, of course, was the Google of the time. I checked and it wasn’t responding, but other sites were fine. Then she asked me how long till I can have it back up. Started to say there is nothing I can do about Yahoo when I realized she thought I controlled it. I said give me an hour. She called me back 45 minutes later thanking me for my quick attention to the issue. My version of the “reboot your computer” line.

My options at this point are cable and satellite. I will probably go with the cable service due to price. I haven’t used cable service in the past and one option is Charter. I don’t need television or phone service – just Internet.

A friend asked me why I live in an area with such limited options. The answer of course is that connecting to the Internet was not an issue when we moved here. Computers weren’t that widespread. Cellphones weren’t on the market yet. The only option for phone service was Southwestern Bell which later became AT&T. My first cellphone service was Cingular which later became AT&T.

Part of this research is looking at different options for my father who lives in an area with virtually no choices except satellite and cell data. Cell data plans are generally cost prohibitive but he uses less than 2 GB per month even with tethering. So the satellite may be an option for him. The data limits would inhibit me too much relative to the cost. Not the case for him. He is able to get Exede satellite service.

I’ll keep you posted and let you know how it goes.

Do you have experience with cable or satellite Internet providers? Specifically Charter or Exede? If so share them below.

  • bpollina

    We’ve had charter for YEARS and we absolutely LOVE it. We get 30GB for $29.99 with free modem. We opted for the tripple play with free wire maintenance and HD for just over $100 with tax but that’s up to you. We used to have AT&T DSL back in the day when they had to do a “home run” to a dedicated jack by a technician! It was a step above dialup but I tell you what! It NEVER, EVER went down nor slowed down. I hear AT&T Uverse baits and switches you all the time, is extremely over priced for what you get and has ABISMAL customer service. Here in Saint Louis, MO where Charter is located, they are building a 500 rep call center, so they must be growing! I just wish they could empower their reps to do more when you call, as the right hand never knows what the left is doing and support is just okay. But the service itself is excellent. Go for it!

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