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Final Fix & Last Chance

March 26th, 2003 - 2:50 pm

The repair guy for my broadband connection finally leaves, after replacing my rooftop transciever. Transciever? Yeah, I’ve used Sprint Fixed Wireless for over two years now.

Back in the Dark Ages (my dial-up access days), I swore to Whomever I would go with whoever brough me high speed first, so long as it wasn’t Those Bastards at US West (now known as Those Unprintables at Qwest). Cable modem speeds were good, but I was wary about going with Indicted. . . er, Adelphia Cable, just because, well, they’re a cable company. Anyway, Sprint got here first, so I signed up immediately.

The idea is great. Bypass the “last mile” to my home (owned by either TUQwest or Indicted Cable) by putting up an antenna farm on Cheyenne Mountain. Broadcast a wireless internet connection at 2.4ghz, a frequency almost entirely unaffected by weather. Put transcievers on peoples roofs, and a “modem” (really a tiny DHCP server) on their desktops. Instant broadband without the distance limitations of DSL, or the expensive upgrades the cable companies had to do on their infrastructure.

So I was a very happy surfer there for a few weeks. Until the Massively Recurring Packet Loss Problem first manifested itself. For reasons unknown, my connection gets worse and worse over time. Fifteen minutes with tech support usually does the trick, but sometimes they have to send over a real live technician to do whatever it is he does so frequently here. Then everything is fine again forever, or at least until the connection goes to hell every few weeks.

Last week my connection got spotty. By Monday, I was suffering packet loss of anywhere from 20-30%. So today they sent someone, and he got the problem down to 5%. For not quite four minutes by my watch.

Just after he left, I ran another ping to Sprint’s local server. 16% loss, and seek times I don’t want to talk about right now; it’s sad to see a grown man cry over his Coke.

I’m done. I’m finished. I’m on the outs with Sprint. I know all the by-the-book pros and cons between cable and DSL, but I’d like to hear from anyone in Colorado with real experience with Qwest or Adelphia.

Just click on the “Drinks” and let me know.

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