Since signing up for Comcast Cable and High Speed Internet(HSI) 5 weeks ago thing have not gone as well as I had hoped. Don’t get me wrong, when things are working, Comcast HSI is fast. Very fast. But last night around 8pm things got very, very slow and then we had no Internet connectivity at all.
I ripped everything we have apart to make sure it was nothing obvious on our end and then I put in a call to Comcast Technical Support. Evan was slightly helpful but clearly reading from a script. All he could do was agree that I had packet loss and wanted to setup a tech to come out to the house. That has to be scheduled and he put me on hold while he went to find the next available time one could come out. After being on hold for a couple minutes the phone dropped in to a fast busy. Evan had dropped me. I’m sure it was not intentional. Things happen. But I thought I would test their support since they had asked me for my phone number 3 times earlier in the call process. Wouldn’t you expect that they would call me back? If I was to call them back I would probably never get back to Evan and I’d have to start my troubleshooting process all over again. So I waited for a while and decided to just go to bed hoping my HSI would just magically start working in the morning.
But it didn’t. So I called in again and talked to someone else that was just a little more helpful than Evan but still wanted to send someone out to the house some time next week. Some time next week? I’ll be a Verizon DSL customer if it takes a week to get someone out here. See, my problem with all of this is that I can’t seem to get Comcast interested in looking at their own systems. They want to come here where the problem more than likely isn’t. The only thing left in my house that can be an issue is the cable modem itself. Fine, bring me one of those, but still look at your own systems. My service is not 100% down, just 87% down according to the packet loss I am seeing. So I decided to hold off on scheduling a visit with the Comcast tech for now because I truly believe they are doing something in the area and I am not the only one having the problem. Most of my neighbors are DSL customers so I am looking for a Comcast neighbor that can tell me if their service is working or not.
While all of this is going on I still have cable television though. Comcast has been OK, but the picture is nothing like the picture I had for 9 years with DirecTV. I switched for the HD locals, which are beautiful, but the analog channels are terrible. I am not impressed with the non digital channels. Some are so bad you would swear I had the old rabbit ears hooked up to my TV. How the heck do you get ghosting from cable channel in 2005?
So on a scale of 1-10, which 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, I would give my Comcast swicthover experience a solid 3 out of 10. There is no doubt in my mind that people stick with cable because they just don’t know any better or they don’t really understand the choices that they have. It’s a shame really. We deserve better.
For internet service, I am hoping that the Verizon FIOS service, which is rumored to be available at my central office in September, becomes reality. 15Mb downstream and 2Mb upstream for 50 bucks a month. You can go cheaper and get 5 down and 2 up for 40 bucks a month, but I want the 15 down. This probably won’t matter to most people because most don’t use the Internet like I do. For me I want constant connectivity. Very little down time. When it’s up it better be fast. FIOS should bring that goal to my door in 30 days. I can’t wait.
But if my internet is down, how am I posting this? Remember, I shut all of my servers down and moved my site to an external host. That was a great move or this site would be down as well. To do the posting itself I am connected to the internet via a Verizon EVDO service. Consider it wireless broadband. Very high speed with no cable or DSL. Still just a little pricey for me, but it is with you wherever you go. I think it’s great.
Let’s see if my HSI service is back to normal before FIOS comes to my neighborhood. Ain’t competition grand?