Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My pathetic AT&T internet service

I hate my "high speed" AT&T internet service!

(It used be called U-verse, but they seem to have dropped that name now.) AT&T advertises "speeds up to 50 Mbps". At its very best, I get about 0.6 Mbps service. More often, half that. And much too often, service that internet speed tests say is too slow to measure. GRRRR!

It seems to be getting worse. It's unusable more hours of more days than before. In the past three weeks, it's been (barely) OK four full days and three half days.

It can't just be my 50+ year-old internal wiring, since sometimes it's (barely) OK, and sometimes not. It can't just be too much traffic in my neighborhood, since it's frequently just as bad in the middle of the night. It can't just be my browser; I have three browsers, and when it's bad, it's bad on all of them. Occasionally, stopping and re-starting the service helps, but usually not.

When I complain to AT&T, they refer me to websites. Fat lot of help that is when my internet service is terrible!

A few months ago, AT&T installed fiber optic cable about a mile away. I desperately hoped they would make it to my block, but no such luck. They haven't been spotted anywhere close since then. I've called and written asking when I will get fiber, but they can't say.

I only went to AT&T when my previous provider, Clear Wireless, went out of business. I only have three choices: AT&T over phone lines, Spectrum over cable, and Hughes via satellite. Each of these has some unhappy customers in my neighborhood, and Hughes requires a two-year commitment.

Google Fiber was supposed to be coming to Los Angeles before they suspended all expansion plans. I registered my interest.

Until shortly before I retired, I only used the net at work. I didn't even own a home computer. I was spoiled, and I knew it. Starting at PARC, one of the originators of the ARPANET, continuing at Oxy, and later at JPL, I always had reliable, high-speed internet service at work.

I don't stream movies or TV shows. I don't need super high-speed, just decent and reliable. I'm an Internet addict, and I'm only surviving these days by driving over to Oxy when my crummy AT&T service is down. Sigh.

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