Looking Disconnected

I have had an ongoing issue with internet connectivity. I thought at first that it was our modem or router. I was wrong. The internet provider (THE internet provider that has a near monopoly on internet service in my area) is I suspect limiting data. I have come to that conclusion after multiple times having my connection dropped/cut/shut down while Sparky is watching Netflix. I was watching Netflix and Sparky was online at his computer (a mere 2 feet away) when he was kicked off. He was a wee bit peeved (I grossly understate his reaction). This is when we started investigating. Seems that there are several neighbors who have experienced the same thing. Sparky called the service “hotline” which was less than helpful (understatement). In the fine print on a bill a couple months ago they mentioned that if we wanted “faster internet” we should sign up for a more expensive plan. I get that they want to make money. However they didn’t mention that “faster” meant that they were going to slow down and limit the existing plans.

I have to have internet. Well, not really. I do a lot on-line and with the physical distancing it has become an essential means of interaction with the world. I enjoy my online friends. Even if I am busy I like to touch base at least once a day. With a spotty connection that becomes difficult and frustrating. It is also necessary as I must enter my hours worked through an online portal. I want to be paid! It took me nearly 7 hours to enter my time as I kept getting booted just as I was ready to hit the Submit button. This made me angry, angry enough that I’ve been researching the alternatives. So far there just aren’t any feasible alternatives. Perhaps I need to take my laptop and sit in McDonald’s parking lot… And I would too if it weren’t so blazing hot outside!

71 thoughts on “Looking Disconnected

  1. That is terrible. I would be spitting feathers too. I don’t blame you for saying you would go and sit at McDonalds! We used to do that!

    And by the way, we had our first McDonalds since lockdown yesterday! Woo hoo. I am not one for that kind of food very often, but it saved us cooking as we were late home. Boy, did it feel good to do that more normal thng. It tasted like nectar! I hope you can get something sorted Val.

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    1. Thanks Lorraine! I love McDonald’s fries! If McDonald’s dining area was open I’d be there in a heart beat. As it is I keep getting booted off. Three times already today. I’m learning to type fast so I don’t lose comments!

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      1. I am a Filipino and we have very famous fast food chain that’s been giving Mcdonalds a headache here…
        But, boy i am probably just one of the very few who preferred Mac donals over our local fast food giant…and yes we share the same delima herr in terms of connectivity, we have the slowest internet connection.

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          1. We have 2 internet providers here but even with that, its still really very slow…and with the online classes, its making the classes even more difficult..

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    1. None of our McDonald’s have the dining areas or inside counter open – not even the restrooms. It is drive thru only. I work in the lab but have to enter data and send it to the investigators and of course enter my time in the payroll portal. It gets very frustrating…

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    1. That would be unacceptable in the extreme! I thankfully don’t work much from home (data entry and sending it). It usually only takes me ~ 10 minutes to do the entry but has been taking up to 2 hours to get it sent! I wish there was an alternative but currently none exist… Glad you can work from home – that drive must be a killer when you are tired!

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      1. That drive was a killer at the end of a demanding day, especially if it was during inclement weather. It pays well, and is honestly a joy for me to engage in the work, though. In my younger years (before 60) I managed those days much better than I do now, I have to admit. The drive on a nice weather day is a good one. I honestly enjoyed it for the lovely landscapes and interesting urban portions.

        Not only am I a gratefully employed Senior, but I am a “spoonie” (thanks to fibromyalgia), too. I was usually wiped by the time I got home, having left 10 hours before. I had very little energy to do more than make a meal. Some days, I didn’t manage even that much and stopped to buy one. I was considering asking for 6 hour days by this year, and God made it happen – AND He gave me a reason to work from home that my employers would cooperate with.

        I pray a lot for those who are in dire straights due to the virus; but I am one of those who’s life actually improved from the new life constraints. Living alone, I had to ask for medicine to manage depression with the loss of social events and contact; but I love having the energy to complete household chores, now that the depression is being managed along with fewer work demands!

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        1. I have a niece who is a “spoonie” too. She has been diagnosed with a variety of thing and they keep changing the diagnosis – first Epstein-Barr then fibromyalgia, then chronic fatigue syndrome, maybe it is all of the above… So glad the coronavirus was able to get you the working conditions you wanted and needed! This is the first positive story I’ve heard! It gives me hope!

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  2. Mother nature kicked me off last night. But I was trying to shut down at the time. I switched from TW to save $ and that last a month. Back to TW price.

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    1. We were looking at alternatives but all of them “rent” bandwidth from Comcast… so it would be out of the frying pan and into the fire. They try to get you to bundle phone, internet, and cable TV with a “special” deal. The fine print says that the new rates are only good for a few months and you end up paying more. *sigh* It is all a scam!

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  3. I am having the same experience and just go into the office to work now….that can be choppy too but it’s better. I am looking into upgrading data plans for the sake of connectivity since I am not seeing any friends or family in person. Internet companies must be making a lot of money these days….

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    1. I’d upgrade if I believed that the service would be better. I think I’d still have the same issues and be a bit poorer! Sadly I do not have the option of doing computer work from my place of employment…

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        1. Hehe! No I work in a building without windows with sand filled cement block construction. We don’t get any reception – cell phones, radio, internet… As far as safe from tornadoes yes, but they aren’t keeping people home as all the work is done in person and most computer work does not require internet connection. But since I’ve retired I have the luxury of picking and choosing my projects and to some extent my hours…

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  4. We are in the same situation. Only one choice other than satellite internet. And the one choice calls every couple of months wanting us to get a phone line and raise our bill 30 a month. After we say no they slow it down. Same company in the towns twenty miles away is already 30 a month cheaper. Why should I have to pay 90 a month when they pay 30 there.

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    1. Yep. There is no rhyme or reason to the rates. I suppose they have some algorithm that shows them how much they can gouge people before they decide to give up the internet and just work from their phones…

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            1. True and yet there is not a thing we can do about it. At least not with this administration’s stance that corporations are people and should be free to make lots of money… I’m angry and shouldn’t turn this into a bigger rant than it already is!

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  5. Maybe you should find out who supplies McDonalds internet, since everyone who wants a fast and reliable connection camps out in their parking lot. The company we use has a monopoly in our area, just as the company we used at our old house did. I think their coverage areas are designed to not overlap, so everybody has to just take what they can get and pay through the nose. We still have interruptions from time to time, even with the fastest, most expensive plan. Calling customer service is a waste of time for the amount of help you get. A few times, at our insistence, they have deducted the cost of a day’s service from the bill. Good luck. Internet is how we must connect in the COVID era. It is shameful that companies are taking advantage of our misfortune. πŸ™‚

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    1. It is exactly the same here. If I truly believed the more expensive plan would translate to better service/ more reliable service I’d do it. But from what the neighbors say that isn’t the case. I really wish I had a choice!

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    1. The monopoly on service is not being enforced since there isn’t one provider that covers the whole of the US. The companies have parceled out the states into territories for internet service and they don’t overlap and therefore don’t compete for customers. It is the consumer who loses!

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  6. The internet can be very addictive, which is why Big Tech can pretty much do anything they want with no consequences if they do wrong!

    Btw, I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I should have the post up within the hour!

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  7. It sucks when you don’t have a choice. I had Charter. Then they kept dinking around and my neighbor, whose husband is the boss of the local rural electric company which is quickly becoming a local alternative internet provider, hooked me up. At the time there were only 4 customers in Monte Vista using this ISP. But, they’ve been awesome and the option is spreading. The funniest thing was Charter kept sending me emails (that I couldn’t get) telling me my service was down… πŸ˜€

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    1. You lucky duck! I wish I had an option like that – I’d jump ship in a heartbeat! Funny how that works. I get booted off and the computer wants to run a software check which comes back that I need to connect to the internet!! Absurdity at its best.

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        1. Yes. It is completely bonkers – which is what it is making me! Took me a half hour to connect to write this. I still haven’t been able to read and comment on other blog posts! I did get to read yours on my phone but WP won’t post any of my comments from my phone… it is a conspiracy to keep me off the internet!

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  8. We have two options here, and I think the competition must be good for them because our actual service is excellent, despite the fact that they are rated the very worst and second worst companies for customer service in the country. I don’t know how the price compares to other areas but for my money, it’s a bargain. I would pay two or three times as much because it’s so convenient. That said, if I ever have to interact with them (Frontier) they ALWAYS mess up. It has always taken three calls to get anything done. When I finally got my mother-in-law’s service set up (it took three tries), the technician disconnected my service at the pole. It’s no wonder they have filed for bankruptcy.
    LOL “Sparky was a wee bit peeved”. I can only imagine the tirade you had to nod in sympathy with. Men like to vent.

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    1. Hehe! I’m glad we don’t have Frontier. I know some people who do and it is the same story as you relate. Sparky was very unhappy. Of course mine went out too but he doesn’t do as much on line so he isn’t as quick to figure out how to reconnect and reboot the modem… Yes it did cause a little bit of a tirade!

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  9. We must be like you. Our only option is Comcast. I’ve learned what to do when the “deal” expires: phone them and threaten to quit. It takes forever and you have to listen to their annoying “music” but they eventually find another deal for you for a year or so. Then you have to do it all over again. So far it’s worked for me.

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  10. seems many of us are having similar problems … my usual provider was brought out by another and my connection/speed have been woeful since! Nearly swapped provider after only ten days but as a friend pointed out … I hope to relocate in a few weeks and their service might be better in that location.

    I’m doubtful but will hold off and see … meanwhile this morning WP switched me to block editor and with all this going on I have zero interest in learning a new system just now! So am taking an enforced break until ….

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    1. So sorry to hear that block editor is giving you problems. I think there is a work around. Type your post in a word document and than just copy and paste into the editor. It all goes into one “block” and you are set!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness! Thanks for this info. It is a relief to know it is a real thing and not my imagination! I’m going to run one of the programs to see if it is a case of throttling and document it before I throttle the Comcast people… And I’m going to go over my billing and contract with a fine tooth comb or a magnifying glass… This mouse is getting ready to roar!!

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  11. I so relate! I bought “the new plan” recently and it is actually slower than the old plan! Do I need to get a different router? Maybe….but who knows with the internet! When they have a monopoly, we are certainly stuck with what they have!

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  12. Many internet companies are out to get money and not help. Been there done that. Our area has a company that provides Fiber connection to the homes. It is an expensive first month bill, but after that it is the half the cost or less for what we used to pay other companies. It is locked in for life. This service gives us the communications signal over optical fiber all the way to our homes and offices. Weather related problems are never a problem any more, because the Fiber is underground. I have our, computers, phones and TVs with them for almost three years with no problem what so ever. We pay about 85 dollars every month.
    Just saying. If you have a Local Fiber company around, you might want to check that out.

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    1. That would be true if the library was open to use a computer. Currently you can go in, browse the books and check out. They removed all the furniture and the computers are not available… Perhaps soon but not yet…

      Liked by 1 person

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