Sunday, August 05, 2007

Enhanced Internet Experience

We had been with Sprint Broadband since about 2000, and we have been really happy with the service. About a month ago, however, we suddenly started having serious problems -- timeouts, unable to connect, download speeds so slow I was convinced that they were handwriting the packets and delivering them via camel train.

We've had minor issues in the past. We think that it's related to either a) the power lines between us and the tower, or b) everyone around us getting Mesa Networks antennae, which are rumored to cause interference with everyone else. Each time before, they've been able to tweak things or move the antenna a bit and thigns went back to normal for a while. This time, though, no joy. No matter what he did (on three separate visits) got us reliably connected. Since I work at home most of the time, having a connection that's fast, reliable, and consistent is pretty important!

So we swapped over to Qwest DSL, which offered us a much faster connection. We went from 1.5 Mbps to a possible 7. In reality, we're getting about 5 -- but still! Enhanced Internet Experience!

I got to do a brief 'told you so' dance about our new DSL connection, though. One of the requirements is that you have a special filter on all phone lines (DSL comes over the copper phone line, and you need to filter out the higher frequences so taht your phone still works). The Adorable Husband put filters on all the phones we use, ad disconnected (he thought) all the others. Our phone was still full of hissing and popping. I was sure that we still had a phone somewhere that wasn't filtered and he argued ith me that it wasn't necessary to filter ALL the phones, only those that you might talk on. As long as the filter was one the phone you were using, you'd be fine.

Well, hah! I was right. We had forgotten the telephone connection from the cable box downstairs and once I unplugged it not only did the phones clear up immediately, but the download speeds on our connection went through the roof! Yeah!

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