Attack of the Service Tech

For those who commented with cable modem suggestions: our cable modem has fresh ‘n hardy wires from the pole right into the house. Service techs have checked and reconnected every connection. We saw people on the pole today, but alas, we dropped again (after a nice afternoon of cable modem access at very fast speed).

DSL install required a visit (the very next day) from a dude who knew his shit. Put a box on the outside of the house that has some sweet diagnostic and filtering magic, discovered the 79 year old wireposts that were still working as the master wire block for the house. This block has a wire in place that runs straight to the jack for the DSL. We get up to 2.2 Mbps service but Qwest sells only 1.5, saying that higher speeds are coming. The DSL tech walked me through everything he did and it took about 45 minutes for him to finish. Our upload speeds are double the cable modem, but the downstream is noticeably slower than the cable modem. However, the DSL is reliable and running. I had forgotten what it’s like to just have access without the stair running exercise and a power cycle on the cable modem and router.

The tech for DSL was about 300 times more friendly and more knowledgeable than any of the cable guys. He mentioned that the phone company was upgrading their system all over the valley, but couldn’t say when the box in our neighborhood would be upgraded. I received a phone call with a survey asking how everything went. I gave them high marks for getting the service running, even though it took an extra day.

By contrast, the cable provider has sent out three different people, none of whom could address or fix the issue, as it appears to be a line issue. It would appear that is where all those fees are going; to fund an army of people not empowered to fix anything and who refuse to escalate problems.

It would appear that we are now functioning as a family again and all is right with the world.

Here’s the part where my recent tech disaster recovery and backup planning starts to take over. What about redundancy? What happens when the service we decide to go with drops again? It’s going to happen. How will we deal with that? I’m not going to be able to fall back on my Arabian horse club experience or get a “good job Brownie” from the president.

If we are going to run a business of publishing and other online endeavors, it would seem prudent to have a backup way to get online, and seeing as we don’t have dialup access to fall back on… that means we’d have both cable and DSL. I know that it seems like overkill, but after the past 2.5 weeks of spotty access, I’m thinking it’s worth the extra $30 a month just to have both services and use whichever one is up. Only because we’re both needing to be online whenever we have to be. Being online is both bread and butter. Wait, maybe it’s more like bacon.

If I’m going to live on the wrong side of the online tracks, I will at least try not to have two motor vehicles on cinderblocks in the front yard, one of which would be coated in primer, the other a more “long term” project consisting of chassis and half a body with some bondo applied in patches. I will also not have the dishwasher from 1992 that has a litter of six cats living in it.

For the record, Heather is not buying my rationale. She is liking the bondo idea….