Saturday, March 7, 2009
Wild Blue internet rant
I live in a third world country. It's called rural Louisiana. That's why I haven't been able to upload my blog.
10 nights ago I tried to get online to do a minute amount of research on OTHR - no luck! I rebooted the router, rebooted the modem, then again, the router. Restarted the computer, rebooted the router. Okay, so it wasn't the router. There were some heavy grey clouds which is all it takes for Wild Blue to go down, not even grey clouds.
So I called Wild Blue to find out if our satellite was out.
Two months ago, I went through a similar situation. I was at my maximum downloads for the month, was told I was in violation of FAP, the Fair Access Policy. So I raised my package to the Pro version which got me out of FAP purgatory immediately.
Well, it happened AGAIN! The representative said in her condescending voice, "you have a violation error, that's why you can't get on. You are allowed 17000 MB and you've gone over 109%." (19Gs)
I said, how can that happen?
She said, "I don't know," still patronizing, "but these modem reports are accurate. Do you download a lot of music or play games online?"
That's what I don't understand. I don't download a lot of files, don't spend a lot of time on YouTube, though I'd like to. No, so how is this happening?"
Tech Support girl: All I can tell you is that your modem records the history of your acitivity.
Me: I realize that, but when did it happen. Where's the detail? Can you tell me where the overage is coming? What type of activity?
Tech Support: I don't know. But in about 7 days you should be down below the limit.
Me: Is that all you can tell me?
Tech support: I really can't tell you any more.
Me: When is my contract up?
Tech Support girl: Oh, let me check, but we don't want you to leave Wild Blue.
Me: Then you better get someone who can answer my questions. I mostly do email, blogs, chat, download computer updates to the tune of about 1000MB a month, a couple Audible downloads, another 200 MB, where is the rest of it going?
After several minutes she comes back and gives me a few dates to look at my history and gives me the bad news. My contract doesn't end til Dec. 09.
Yesterday, I spent almost 45 minutes with a tech support person trying to determine where the overage is coming from. I had a thought - I've been trying to network more, visiting more blogs.
Her first question: What is Google reader? What is an rss feed? Sheesh.
After I explained, we determined that there are some surprising bandwidth suckers.
Chat - big bogger
Yahoo Mail - Most of the time I couldn't even get yahoo open and then all I could do was compose a message not view any - the ads, chat, calendar, etc bogg it down.
Google reader - BIG time drain and other blogs that have heavy video or high res content.
You Tube, not so surprising.
News channels, anything streaming.
Automatic updates to operating systems, virus scans, Powerpoint email attachments, and software downloads behind the scenes.
Doesn't take much to go over 70% of 19 gigs every 30 days.
This on top of the information Google Meister, Leah, sent me the other day on google reader, themed email, importing your mail into an actual software email program like outlook or in the mac's case Entourage. This can be done with gmail but costs extra with yahoo. Google mail is surprisingly less draining so I guess I'll be swapping all my groups etc. to gmail addresses.
Aren't you glad you have real high speed internet? My aunt in D.C. just swapped over to Verizon, a complete package with home phone, cell phone and internet for $69. I'm paying almost $300 for that and don't even have unlimited internet or cell phone minutes. Where's the equity in this? We already drive farther and live in poorer communities.
$80 a month; it's a crime to pay that much and get this kind of service. I may have to spend a day a week at the library downloading updates and checking on fellow writer's blogs.
I'm at the conf in Shreveport so I hope my bandwidth is back to normal when I get home. Of course, my speed will be back but I won't be able to go anywhere. Yesterday it was finally down to 74% - 70 being the magic number.
And I'll bet when they say high speed in the stimulus package they mean satellite. Get ready, rural American for a step above dialup. No speed and plenty of limits.
UPDATE - STILL at 74% 24 hours later. I'm getting a lawyer.