Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A total game changer

The only reason I am able to live and work in the middle of nowhere is because I have an internet connection. Since moving here eight years ago, I have relied on Wildblue satellite internet service. It gets the job done, but I curse it more often than not for its unreliability, abominable customer service and technical support, and painfully slow speed. It's faster than dial-up – but some days not by much – and I have a monthly bandwidth allowance. If I exceed it, Wildblue punishes me by reducing my speeds for 30 days. It's a helluva way to try to get any work done.

But a miracle has occurred. My phone company, the very same one that publishes my two-page phonebook, installed DSL service to my house. It happened last Thursday. A tall, tobacco-chewing cowboy technician drove up in his truck, with a little modem in hand. He plugged one end into the phone jack and the other end into the computer and totally changed my life.


Adios, Wildblue! I won't miss you one stinkin' bit. I can't begin to describe what a total game changer this is. Now I can communicate with my colleagues in Albuquerque in real time instead of in a satellite time warp. I can upload and download files with wild abandon and without fear of retribution for exceeding my monthly allowance. And houseguests and I can be on the internet at the same time! Virtually all of the frustration has been removed from my life. Poof! Gone! Just like that. I'm still pinching myself and regularly testing my internet speed to make sure I'm not dreaming.



You city folks might be scoffing at these download and upload speeds, but they're lightning fast compared to what I used to get with Wildblue. If you've never tested your internet speeds before, there are a bunch of sites that will tell you. I use speedtest.net. Go there and click on "begin test" to see your results.

In the seven days that I've been using the DSL, it's been unfailingly reliable. And should I ever run into a problem, the tall, tobacco-chewing cowboy technician gave my his cell phone number. Beats the hell out of calling some guy in India reading from a script.

33 comments:

  1. Well your blog got all the way to Holland, real quick! So I'm happy too.
    Els from Amsterdam

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  2. Great,just one more thing out of your life to stew over (at times). Don't you just love it when a little (big, in your case) thing like that has been fixed. Hugs

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  3. I hear ya, sista. While on the road we used Hughes.net (totally rogue and therefore a pain in the rear when we had problems which was often.) We were "fapped" several times, modems quit when we were in the most remote areas and sometimes the download speeds crawled for no obvious reason. So glad to have DSL, even somewhat unreliable DSL, rather than that.

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  4. Congratulations! And thank you for the speedtest link.

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  5. I have Fios and your speeds look just as good as the test I just did. I don't understand how yours works as it obviously isn't running on fiber-optics like mine is. But you must be in heaven after using satellite for so long.

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  6. even though I am a city slicker I can so sympathize and cheer with you!! A million years ago, ok in the 1990's the only way to get high speed was to switch from my telephone provider to my cable provider. I could then talk on the phone and be on the internet at the same time. Glory alleluia it was wonderful. I went to visit my sister a couple of months ago who lives in the country, insert same complaints as you mentioned and when I came home I gave my internet provider a big mushy cyber kiss ;)

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  7. The cowboy technician alone would get me to switch!
    Have a great day. My car said it was -14º on my way into work this morning. Aughhhh. I'm going to go back through your blog to see some sunny pics and beautiful skies.

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  8. so happy for you... thanks for that site, i checked mine and this city girl has
    17.35 dn load and 2.27 upload.. i pay extra for more speed because i am very impatient. the satellite would have driven me crazy and i don't work from home or play games, but when i use it i want it instant.

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  9. I am amazed that you were able to publish your blog and include your beautiful pics with such bad service. I imagine the frustration but then you just don't give up. Hats off, Carson!

    BA SP

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  10. We had the dish and Hughes net which was limited for how much we could use and no way to get faster speeds, then, 20 miles from town, along came the DSL option. We went for it and it's not only cheaper but faster with no limitations. I guess it's part of trying to hook up the whole country and we have been very happy with it-- except when a road grader cuts the phone lines in removing snow or cleaning out a ditch...

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  11. Congrats on the major upgrade. I'm sure this will make your work life easier and your browsing life more fun.

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  12. Yay!!! After watching all those trucks buzz around the main road it happened! You have quite a collection of dishes...wonder if we could make something out of it :-)

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  13. Congratulations! I guess all those trucks digging ditches was worth while. :)

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  14. Well, you've been very saintly not complaining about your slow service! I'd have never suspected it.

    But I feel your joy, although I live in the city - I still remember our first high speed installation: liberating!!

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  15. How lovely, to have all your frustration just ... gone!!!

    We have DSL.

    I'm not ATT's biggest fan but they are RELIABLE. I've had this phone number since about 1973, and in that time my phone has been down exactly once, for a few hours (I called them, they diddled something, and it was back).

    Whenever our cable company tries to get me to switch, I just tell them my phone NEVER goes down. Not even during the Great Blackout! Cable has a LONG way to go, to equal that record.

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  16. WOW! I have Centurylink and their "lightning fast" service. My speed test was .65 download and .05 upload. After 5:00 PM, I may as well forget it. They also have GREAT customer service. AARRGG!!!

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  17. I recognize that tech. He makes the world a better place. He gives his company a good name.
    From your neighbor a few tumbleweed rolls to the north,
    Dawn

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  18. Carol in N. Colorado1/22/14, 9:12 AM

    Woohoo, you have now joined the 21st century for internet. I am surprised you were able to work, blog, and download for so long without problems. Enjoy internet surfing!!

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  19. YAY! What are you going to do with all that extra found time? I'm sure the critters will fill it right up.

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  20. Wow, I am amazed you have been blogging so marvelously with your previous service - you must have far more patience than I do. Congrats on the new and improved system!

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  21. I get it.....Wildblue...the root of all things really really slow.

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  22. LOL, "tall, tobacco-chewing cowboy technician". That's my hubby's job and pretty much his description, except for the chew!

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  23. Michelle from BC1/22/14, 10:21 AM

    Hmmm, I'm thinking that Mr Tall Cowboy might need to swing by & check on how things are going ?!!

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  24. Well now you can do something nice with that patch outside the house.
    But be careful of advertising this tech upgrade, before you know it you will have housing developments all around, you're not in the middle of nowhere anymore with good tech service!:(

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  25. I'm with Jenny. I'd switch just because of the cowboy technician. ;-)

    Kendra

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  26. hip hip hip hourray for you! that makes for a real comfy house now.
    I am interested in the tobacco-chewing tall cowboy technician. would you give me his cell nmber for my internet servicing? does he service France?

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  27. for the dishes recycling I have an idea: stack them nicely verticlaly and you have a nice water fountain with water flowing down for your critters

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  28. Yeah! I too am amazed at what you accomplished with S....L.....O............W speeds! We live in the country and were one of the first lucky homes in our area to get DSL. We have one of the three remaining tiny private phone companies in Canada that serve our area. Always makes me wonder how our little company (which has NO city clients) was able to do it and yet so many Canadians in rural areas are still suffering through dial up speeds. Yikes! Welcome to the 'fast lane'!

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  29. Two words: Woo Hoo!!

    :-)

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  30. I don't know if my first comment came through so just in case I will summarize: yeehaw!

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  31. Whoo, whoo! We have high-speed Internet because hubby does a lot of his work from home, too...couldn't live without it! Welcome to the 21st century, girl!
    Cheryl Ann

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  32. OMG we have Wildblue here in our remote rural area in western Oregon - we have it because no one else (yet) has internet service here. We have the same experience and despite minimal use including the no-charge wee small hours, we're always over. Wildblue says it's due to the autoloading animated ads on places like Yahoo and sometimes Google. Can't imagine worse customer service/tech support, and that despite we are pretty internet and tech savvy ourselves. Can't wait for better service!!!

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