Seems like every two years, I have to either switch from AT&T’s DSL to Comcast’s cable internet or from Comcast’s cable internet to AT&T’s DSL. Kind of sick of this dance. They both suck, but they’re freakin’ monopolies.
DSL is slow as fuck, depending on who you are and what you need. Can barely stream YouTube half the time without videos starting and stopping. And that’s with videos that are 10 minutes long, at the most. Imagine what happens when trying to watch a longer video. Uploading is far worse, though. If you get something cool like Slingbox or Hava Titanium in order to stream your TV remotely, the quality of the video is horrendous. Forget about watching sports remotely. You can’t see anybody or any ball, and the better you try to make the quality the more the video stutters.
Uploading was great with Comcast…um, when the cable modem actually freakin’ worked. Actually, with both services, you get to about a year and a half or two years and, bam, the service starts dropping and dropping until you really can’t even connect anymore. That’s the only reason I went from cable back to DSL, knowing DSL wasn’t going to be as fast. And now I’m having to come home from work almost daily and constantly get up out of my nice, relaxing bed after a workday of dealing with technical problems for clients to unplug/re-plug in a damn DSL modem that keeps dropping.
I work in IT, but this is coming not from my professional side but my personal opinion–AT&T is the worst service in the world. Pretty much all tech companies suck in their service in their own way to their own extent, whether it’s customer service, the actual technology or both, including my employer. And my employer sucks, in my opinion, because 1) with technology, nothing is ever going to work all the time, which is the desire and expectation of the customer who is paying a ridiculous amount for the service, and 2) um, they provide their internet to our clients through garbage companies like–no way around it, since they are, as I said, a monopoly–AT&T. AT&T, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish…they’re all crooks who need to drop dead. But none more so than AT&T.
See, these people have gotten to the point where they put you through an automated runaround, and then when you finally get to the point where you think you’re about to speak to somebody…you’re on hold, listening to smooth jazz, for, like, 20 minutes. Because my employer is forced to provide DSL to our clients through AT&T since no one does it here except AT&T (note: just because you find a different company name with DSL service doesn’t mean it’s not truly AT&T providing it), guess who gets the distinct pleasure of sitting through this complete nonsense? People like me. And because Comcast completely crapped out on me almost two years ago, forcing me to return to AT&T’s DSL in my home, do you know that one day last week I had that distinct pleasure of sitting with a phone glued to my ear for over 10 mins twice in one day–once at work, and once again when I got home and thought I finally was going to be able to relax?
Now, with other companies, you get automated bullshit. And with other companies, you do have to sit on hold for a customer service representative. But I have not run across a company that makes you sit and wait as long as AT&T does.
But what choice do I have? What’s better out there? 3G is no better than dialup, and 4G isn’t available everywhere. Fiber optic is too expensive (hell, DSL and Comcast are too expensive) and you can’t get that everywhere. I live in the South of the US, which means the weather is too bad to try to get internet through satellite. Hell, during most summers, we’re lucky our TV doesn’t go out every week because of the hard rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes and various hurricanes. I can live some days without TV during the summer, but I can’t do that with the internet.
What’s interesting to me is how, without fail, DSL works great when I first get it and Comcast works great when I first get it…and then they both hit a point where they just turn to shit. It’s not always the modem, either, and when it’s not the modem the people you reach at these companies don’t know what the hell it is. Working in IT, I’m more sympathetic to not always having the answers than I used to be. But still, I don’t want to call every week with the same problem. I don’t want to have people in my messy house that I have to clean up or rework my schedule because someone from Comcrap has to come into my house again. I don’t want to have an issue that, despite all the calling and all the guys coming out, is never resolved. But that’s exactly what happens with AT&T and Comcast. I only know so much myself. If the issue is with wiring, the phone line or stuff outside/in the ground, there’s nothing I can do about that.
Apparently, Apple needs to quit coming out with all these different iPhones and iPads that really don’t seem that different from each other, get into the networking industry and further revolutionize itself by becoming the first internet service provider that’s not completely full of shit. If anybody can do it, hey, I trust Apple with it. But I need and want more viable options than AT&T and Comcast in my area.