I'd been getting pretty crabby about the speed that Algore's Innertubes arrive here at The Poor Farm in the past couple years. Speeds had been dropping since Day One, back when I was the only customer they had on the head unit that serves this neighborhood, and I was one of the few out in the country with DSL in the first place. Most everyone else was on dialup. However, the local ISP gradually weaned the dialup customers away until they shut it down entirely to save money. No point in running all that equipment for a few people and having it cost as much as the broadband stuff.
But, things had been slowing. Had Alltel and now Verizon ever put a tower up that actually served this area, I'd have probably abandoned my ISP/phone cooperative, but I can't make a damn cell call here, much less get enough data for a decent connection. Every time the sales types at Verizon tried to upgrade me, I'd tell 'em that if they could call me up, and keep the conversation going for ten minutes without dropping the call, I'd sign up. Otherwise, they'd give me the aircard they really thought I needed so badly for free - with no charges for using it, too. For some reason, those calls stopped.
So, this morning, I was reading emails when my modem disconnected. Only one of the two signal lights was showing any activity, so the connection light never changed from orange to green. So, I called in, and the tech there could see that it was disconnected. Time for a new modem. This meant a trip to Dodge City.
As I was getting ready, someone knocked at the door. It was a tech from the ISP - with a new modem. Turns out the tech in Dodge didn't know what the guys out here were doing - they had upgraded the equipment and my old modem was not compatible anymore. We pulled it out, along with the old noise filter they had recommended (he said it wasn't needed anymore), and I was back up.
Their webpage claimed the basic tier of service should run 1.5Mbps, and I got 1.6. Lately it was more like .8. Back in the day, my uploads might even be faster than downloads, but not so much anymore. Now, some of you with FIOS or even a decent fast cable connection might be turning your noses up at this, but for me, major improvement. Call me a satisfied customer for now - I still feel pretty fortunate to have broadband out here on the prairie. My sister in northern OKC cannot get cable, cable broadband or DSL. None of the biggies will invest in upgrading her neighborhood, so it's dialup, cell aircard, or local wireless if she wants broadband.
When I was testing out the connection by watching all kinds of YouTube videos, I found I had to recalibrate my little BitMeter app. It shows a graphic of upload and download speeds - and I'd set it for my home connection. It was always pegged out on the road - most motel connections were way way faster than what I was getting here. Anyhoo, while watching the Chicago video, this was what I saw:
None of the other videos showed that kind of pattern. I'd say whomever set up the server that the Chicago video is stored on has an artistic bent, no?