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We have lived here for almost 8 years.
Over the past almost-8 years, we have been paying for so-called high speed internet.
Which we have largely not received. Certainly not even remotely consistently.
We have also called tech support innumerable times, accompanied by great frustration: foreign technicians who have to follow a checklist which has nothing to do with our issue, who disconnect us, hang up on us, put us on hold and don't come back, or just say I'm so sorry Ma'am, but 1 Mbps is good enough, you don't need a technician to come visit, you don't need a new modem, goodbye.
Actually, we have had technicians come multiple times, because whenever it rains our internet either totally dies or fades to indiscernible speeds (can't even load a blank google page: that is bad internet!). They find a bare wire, deal with it (when it is not raining) go away happy and... and the next time it rains, away goes the internet. (When the ground is sodden because of massive rains, the issue remains sometimes for days. However, calling for a tech in hopes they will be here soon enough to see for themselves how bad it is-- is futile-- because it takes so long to get someone here)
There is clearly not just one area of vulnerability in the copper wiring system! But to get a technician out again, we have to go through the whole process again, on hold, dealing with a "tech" who is apparently paid to run thru a checklist and make customers go insane-- and often by the time we get someone who pays attention and has authority to help, it is no longer raining and the speed is up to an eye-watering 1 Mbps and they say, hey, that is good enough. No, actually, it is not. Frustratingly, it takes all afternoon and at the end of the call, if I even get a person with authority to do anything, I am annoyed, frustrated, and still have lousy internet.
Apparently, we are located near the max distance at which DSL can extend, from the base station. Thus even though we pay for speeds up to 3 Mbps, we have never actually seen that. On a good, dry day, when no one is home (commuter town) and using the internet, we are lucky to get 1.5 Mbps. Most of the time, when my children are trying to do their homework or apply to colleges, or even (a really frustrating process) download updates to apps or software)-- or when their dad is trying to work from home-- or I am trying to get some work done--- it is well below that. (tested it on Ookla a bit ago: 1.3 Mbps)
A few days ago-- a dry day, after a long spell of dry days: it was .11 Mbps. Yup I kid you not. 11/100ths.)
Turning it off and on again after 30 seconds helps, sometimes. Sometimes not.
More annoyingly it normally only helps for about 10 minutes then back down to lousy it goes. Almost as if there were a malicious gremlin who cranks it way down as soon as he lulls us into a false sense of relief.
When we bought the house we were told that Fios was all over the town-- that, in fact, Verizon had contracted with the town to install it everywhere. Natural assumption, when it wasn't in fact available at our house yet, was that Verizon was still working on it. So we waited. Signed up to be notified when it was available. (What a hoot THAT is: total waste of effort).
Nope. One day we realized- huh- there were no installation trucks anywhere in town, but lots and lots of "sign up for Fios!!!" ads.
So we called-- ah, sorry-- not at your house, bye. We wrote letters, called, talked to friends and associates who work for Verizon or who are somehow knowledgable, bugged our town who confirmed, yes, we do have a contract with them, but they are done installing, it should be at your house-- oh, it's not, huh? So sorry, I guess they aren't going to put it everywhere after all...
Ultimately I had two conversations with a VP-- we were told that the engineers didn't want to install it on our road and that was it. End of conversation. Huh? The engineers make policy at Verizon??
What really blew my mind was the VZ technician who was repairing a wire on one of our calls, who said, "why didn't they put Fios in here? I know they had a contract with the town to put it in!" I explain about the **bleep** engineer explanation. He: "There is a nice conduit already in place, all they have to do is run the fiber cable thru it, an easy installation. You should call and get them to come out and do it"
Anyway, at this point, I am even more frustrated when I realize how VZ has trained me-- I see no point in calling and complaining because it will take 4 hours on the phone, I will probably get no help or resolution and all I will have to show for it is a massive headache. Plus, it is dry now, and as soon as I turn the modem off and on (an early checklist item) it will spike to within our "agreed upon" limits (Big difference between 1.1 and 3 Mbps!!!!!!).
For a few minutes it will spike anyway-- long enough for them to say, well, it seems to be fixed! in a cheery voice and hang up. Until the gremlin turns it way down again...
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