On Monday Ken Starks published an article on Internet access in his neck of the woods, which is outside the Austin city limits. That got me wondering how much most of you spend each month to have the ability to read articles on FOSS Force, watch the latest episodes of your favorite TV shows and check in with your friends on your favorite social network.
Here at FOSS Force we pay $35 monthly for a 4Mbs DSL connection with our local telephone company. Believe it or not, that serves us just fine. I suspect this is because we’re only about the third subscriber from the nearest switching station and we’re probably getting much higher speeds than advertised. All I know is that we can watch multiple movies and videos on multiple machines just fine, with no jerks or freezes. We certainly have more than enough speed for our normal work around here, which mainly consists of writing articles and posting them to the web, reading and sending email and spending way too much time avoiding work by playing on Facebook.The only problem we’ve had with this service is with the way DNS is cached. We discovered this problem a couple of years back when we moved FOSS Force from a reseller account we’d had since 2003 to a VPS. The DNS change propagated within a few hours and we were able to access the site on the new server, but at about the same time every afternoon we suddenly found ourselves accessing the old server, meaning we couldn’t get any work done. We fixed that problem by moving all of our computers to OpenDNS. Problem solved.
At our old location in Winston-Salem, which we vacated in May of 2012, we used Clearwire for which we paid about the same as we’re paying now for DSL. Although we never ran a speed test, I’m reasonably certain we weren’t enjoying anywhere near the speeds we were promised. To watch a YouTube video we had to let the whole video download first to avoid constant pauses and our Vonage phone was at times practically unusable. With our current phone company provided DSL, Vonage is indistinguishable from a land line.
Back in December the phone company notified us that we were eligible for a free upgrade to their newly laid fiber system and would receive 12Mbs for the same price we’re paying now. If we didn’t take them up on this offer, which ended at the end of January, we’d have to pay $60 monthly for the 12Mb service if we signed-up later. With some regret we passed on this offer because it would require letting them dig a trench from the road to our building. As the trench would pass directly by our sixty year old septic system we decided not to chance it.
I would think that by now Internet connections would be much less expensive than they are. After all, back in the early days of the Internet storage and memory were much more expensive than they are now. If memory serves, the computer I was using back in 1995 had 4Mb of RAM and a 100Mb hard drive. My how times have changed.
How much are you paying for your Internet? Take our poll and let us know. I’ll also be interested in reading your comments. Do you think your service provider is gouging? Or do you think the prices we pay are within reason? Let us know.