September 19th, 2008

lightbulb

What is it with cable internet companies?!

OK, at our old house, we had Charter cable and internet service. We were not satisfied with it, but Charter had a cable monopoly in our area, so we put up with it.

Now, we've moved. Now, our cable and internet provider is Advanced Digital Communications. As always, ADC promises fast, reliable broadband with their cable internet service.

As always, this advertising falls just a wee bit shy of the truth.

I don't know if this is a modem issue, or an ISP mediocrity issue, but our connection seems to alternate every few seconds or so between broadband speed, slower than most dial-up, and nonexistent. This wouldn't be such a bad thing if we only used our internet connection for email, checking our bank statements, and a source of entertainment.

But online college has been added to the mix, and when your grade depends on your being able to reliably download video clips and other media in order to answer questions about it, the sporadic cable connection we were able to put up with before has become a serious problem.

I don't like when the video clips for my class are halfway loaded and never finish. I don't like when emails to my instructor, course website logins, and online tests are interrupted. And I certainly don't like having to wait over a minute for the average, video-free Web page to load on a connection that's supposed to be 100x faster than dial-up. I understand that peak speeds don't always apply--but surely it's not supposed to be that slow!