Bye Bye Broadband

It look like we’ll have at least one offer on our house tonight. Possibly three! If all goes well we’ll be moving within the month. I’m looking forward to country living but I sure am going to miss my cable modem.
I know not all cable modem users are so happy, but I’ve had three years of high-speed bliss. Not to brag, but my connection has held fairly steady at 2-4 megabits downstream ever since @home implemented the upstream caps of 128 kbps. I’m not crazy about the caps, but it clearly was needed to stop people from eating all the bandwidth with Shoutcast servers, etc. I was able, using Download Accelerator Plus, to snag both ISO images for Mandrake 8 in less than an hour (that’s 1.3 gigabytes!). Actually it was closer to half an hour, but if I said that you wouldn’t believe me. That’s almost 6 mbps – close to the max Ethernet can handle.

I’ve investigated DSL at the new place but I’m 15,000 feet from the CO. The technical limit for ADSL is 18,000 feet. And the closer you come to that, the slooooower it becomes. I’m going to have to investigate more exotic options, too. There are some high-speed wireless choices in my area, but they’re expensive. The Bay Area Wireless User Group has a list of high speed wireless choices an as soon as I’m sure we’re moving I’ll be checking them out. Oh, well. It’s useful research.

37 Replies to “Bye Bye Broadband”

  1. hey leo,
    it would be a hoot if you turned on the “home cam” when those people come looking at your home!
    hehehehe

  2. I know I love my cable modem too! So then how will you connect in the mean time while you search for new providers?

  3. Leo,
    Count me as one who has been =deliriously= happy with my cable modem. Using AnalogX’s NetStat Live, I’ve seen 60-second average speeds around 512K per second — half a meg per second isn’t bad at all!!
    You know the drill — “pry it out of my cold, dead hands,” etc. Good luck with your new house, and good luck with finding some decent broadband service!!

  4. I think it’s time to see Mr. & Mrs. Feffercorn, don’t you? Maybe Steve’s dad and Mr. Feffercorn can both play quake, and we’ll see who frags who first!

  5. I know I love my cable modem too! So then how will you connect in the mean time while you search for new providers?

  6. Leo,
    I have DSL and DSLReports has me at 21000 feet from my CO. I also get over the 1 mbps regularly (between 1.1 and 1.3). So either they put a new CO closer to me that DSLReports have no idea about, or the 18000 feet is just a myth. DSLReports has me at “unable to get DSL” but have had it for almost two months. Best to just go ahead and call since you can’t have cable any longer at the new home.

  7. Leo:
    Just get the satellite dish. They’re practically free nowadays, plus you can get TechTV along with your internet connection. I ‘won’ mine during the March Madness Sandbox promotion. They came out, set it up and everything. Right after I ‘won’ it, I noticed lots of ‘free satellite dish’ promotions around. Hey, it works but I kept my DSL.

  8. Heh, going from Biscuts ‘n Honey to Biscuts ‘n Gravey. Maby you should get your own satalite sent up and use that Leo. Maby “Zoltan! The majician” could help you out of this one :p . Just don’t let those farm animals eat ya alive.
    Have a great summer! and…..
    Enjoy the Fresh air!
    Dan S

  9. Leo,
    Poor, poor (spoiled) baby! You’ll actually have to surf like the rest of the world: slowly! LOL
    Joseph
    PS: I, like everyone here, hate that ^#*@($ steve on the Dell commercials! Do you?

  10. Leo
    How do you like Mandrake 8.0? I had the box in my hands yesterday, but I didn’t buy it. I wanted to check it out first. I’m currently a Windows man, but I’m not opposed to trying something new.
    David

  11. Leo–
    Echostar advertises on TechTV…you might be able to get a discount on their satellite connection…
    It’s worth looking into! Just ask the Feffercorns. (groan)
    Brian 🙂

  12. Hey, you never know, you had luck with the cable you mightget on a fast DSL node even though you are far away. Too bad they dont let you try it first.

  13. Leo, I’m on a dial-up and the little tip you gave on C4H, I think it was, about CIP, the program that does the DNS lookup and keeps it as a Host file really helps! I know you will be feeling constrained with the loss of bandwidth but maybe you’ll be finding out more tips and tricks for us dial-up folks. BTW: Safeweb.com was a great tip, too, it works on the firewall at work and allows me to lurk on the Message Boards at Tech Tv, since they are on port 4180 or something, it made a specific port call and I was blocked from going there, Safeweb gets me through! So thanks for lowering my already low productivity.
    :^)
    PS: I am not really Mrs. Pfeffercorn, don’t be alarmed. But please don’t bring up the thing about the Rhodadendrens, OK? Thanks.

  14. Hey Leo…
    I too live in the country on 2 acres and have looked into every option available for faster internet service, rather than my dial up. It has been something I have looked into for a couple of years now. So to aid in my internet use, I got a second phone line..it doesnt make it faster, but helps keeping lines open for calls.
    If you find out anything let us country internet dialupers know…YOu know, I wouldnt trade the country for cable…(I think!!!)
    I also wanted to comment about last nites Austin show…and I dont know if this is the forum to do so..but since I read your blog everyday, and often post I thought I would give it a try.
    I was wondering if I could get more info on the intelligent wheelchair? It was in the segment Martin did last night. I thought that the wheelchair was awesome. I had to watch the repeat to really check it out.
    This has been an idea of my partner Jim and I for a long time. I use a power chair …which goes 10 miles per hr if need be..and I would love to be able to attach my ventilator (which I use half the day), my computer, and various enviromental controls on my chair to make it easier to be more mobile as my disability progresses.
    Good luck on your house stuff…and finding high access internet.
    annette..

  15. Hi! I think the Pfeffercorn ads are fine! I hope they do a whole series of those ads! Remember, they help support our favorite shows on Tech TV!
    Hey, I learned on rec.music.christian that there is a Towel Day website!
    http://www.towelday.org So, who here is carrying their towel today as a tribute to Douglas Adams?
    Leo, have you looked into Starband for your net access? I know it received a lousy review on Fresh Gear, but they might’ve just caught them on a bad day or week. It can happen ya know.
    http://www.starband.com/
    In Joy! Diana

  16. As I mentioned in my earlier comments, ( http://www.leoville.com/gm/archives/00000081.shtml#comments) I am in the same boat. I lost my high speed connection and cannot regain it until a new service becomes available. I think what people don’t realize is how advantageous broadband is. I’m not talking about how fast people can download MP3’s or programs or how well internet games work or how you can view media clips in a crystal clear window. All that is an extra to the broadband experience. All good things, of course, but I don’t think that’s what most people who lose their broadband service miss the most. Too bad some companies who promote their broadband services don’t realize what THE biggest thing to the consumer is. So what is the most distressing about going from broadband to dialup? It’s the fact that broadband is always ON. It’s always ready. There’s no logon usually. There’s no waiting for modems to connect. If you’re computer is on… you are on the net. That’s what I miss the most. When I used to click on a web site favorite it would pop up completely in a few seconds or less. That’s what the net has to be. Being a dialup customer means you have to have patience. Most of us are on time constraints. we’d like to go home, check our mail, read a couple of web sites for geek news. Anything else is just recreation.
    It’s like driving a sports car and then finding out you are constrained to a Moped.
    Anyhow, as far as the satellite surfing the old system still requires that initial logon. And though the system is relatively inexpensive the ping times make internet gaming unacceptable. The new 2 way satelite systems are yet unproven. Also they are relatibely expensive. They are currently promoting their system for the low low price of $799 for equipment , on sale of a regular retail of $999. I hera great things about wireless especially Sprint’s broadband direct line antenna system. Super fast. Gotta get those guys to build a tower up on the western hills. Sonoma Mtn. would be ideal.

  17. Leo,
    I live out in rural New Mexico, and my only option right now has been satellite service, for broadband access. I just got tired of my slow 26.4 dial up. It’s not the best way to go, and if you can get DSL, I’d look into that. Even “Bad” DSL service would probably be better than satellite. But, if you want more information, I suggest you check out http://www.copperhead.cc – They have tons of info on the DirecPC system.
    Luckily for me my local cable service, Comcast, just made the switch to digital cable. They say that cable internet access will follow shortly thereafter. Wooohoo!
    -Richard Wills

  18. Leo,
    I”m a 2-way DirecPC user and I have to say, the service works very well. You don’t get an globally addressable IP since the whole thing is a massive subnet but the speeds are most certainly acceptable, and can be superior to acceptable at times. The ONLY downside is their Fair Access Policy – basically a per-hour download limit. If they “FAP” you your speed gets reduced for a period of about three hours, but that can be avoided with DA+’s speed limit feature. For $699 equip and $69/mo it beats some of the other options… but if you have other options cheaper and faster than 400 up 128 down, go for it

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