I hate to complain about this service, as the technicians who’ve come out have been very nice, but here’s the truth: I have very slow Frontier DSL internet service. Performance will be “fine” (fine equals about 80% of the speed I’m supposed to be getting) much of the time and then just seriously cut out throughout the day and evening. You really notice when you’re trying to watch a movie on Netflix or a Hulu video, etc. I should clarify that last statement. I really notice it no matter what — watching a movie or video is practically impossible. Heck, blogging right now is utterly terrible. With Netflix, the Silverlight software figures out what speed and quality to play, sets up a buffer, plays swimmingly well for 20 minutes or so (mileage varies) and then bam, you get the “Your internet connection has slowed message…” and 5-10 minutes later your up and running again. Lame. This will often happen multiple times throughout a movie. I’m constantly managing the buffer and pausing the movie so it doesn’t crap-out and restart the whole process.
I’ve called Frontier multiple times — as this is far and away the slowest and most sporadic broadband Internet service I’ve ever had. I’m pretty sure that takes us back to the Clinton Administration. Not sure, but it’s been a long time. The routine is the same — they tell me to go to speedtest.frontier.net and run it. Yada, yada. The test usually comes back at an acceptable level, which is frustrating. They’ve sent two technicians out who haven’t found a problem with the lines or the modem.
The technicians who come out keep asking me if the slowdown is “time of day dependent”. My response is “not always,” but it does seem worse in the evening — which makes sense, as that’s when the bulk of folks are streaming lots of zeros and ones. However, I’m not streaming movies during the day, so daytime slowdowns would be a bit less noticeable I would guess.
The last technician that swung by said that all of his tests indicated that the line from inside the house up to the road was fine — and his money was on a bandwidth issue. As in, someone with an infected PC somewhere on Frontier’s DSL network is stealing all my bandwidth. He said he would run it up the chain of command. I should have asked him what next steps were for contacting me, but I was in a trance it would seem and nothing concrete was established for a follow up. Ball’s in my court.
As a bit of an aside, what doesn’t make sense to me is that DSL providers love to throw around in their marketing materials that unlike cable broadband, DSL service doesn’t suffer from other users hopping on the network. As far as I recall, it’s basically DSL’s ONLY play as cable generally beats the snot out of DSL speeds hands-down. And evidently it’s perhaps not even really true. I don’t claim to be an expert in this area, just know what I’m experiencing.
So where am I with all this? I’m not really sure.
I think it’s time to call again as things are really creeping right now. It’s so bad that it inspired this post. And I happened to grab a doozy of a screenshot showing just how bad it is. For those of you that didn’t notice, that’s a download speed of 48kbps! Wahoo! Surf is up. I might as well plug in the 56K dial-up modem and see what free internet service I can get that outperforms this baby.
Is anyone else experiencing similar service? Frontier, if you’re reading this, drop me a line.
Things are looking up on the DSL front in our neck of the woods. Frontier darn near tripled our speed with a hardware upgrade. Yay! This is pretty respectable: