back in the 21st century.

The short summary of the last four days:

Internet out. Dark Ages. Agony.

The long summary:

Hughesnet crapped the bed again.  Satellite service went out on Sunday morning.  Four phone calls to various tech support gentlemen with Indian accents did not resolve the issue.  Tech support says a technician is needed on site, which means a blanket charge of $125 just for the guy to show up.

However, luck would have it that Robin got information about a competing wireless Internet provider.  We scheduled an installer to come out and see if we get signal from their wireless tower, and they just stopped by.  I watched with no small amount of trepidation as they walked around the house with their portable testing equipment, checking out lines-of-sight and measuring signal strength.

Guy came back inside and said, “Looks good.”  And lo, a shaft of light came down from the heavens and illuminated him in a saintly glow.

The long and short of it: I just prepaid for a whole year, and now we have an unrestricted wireless Internet connection that’s not interruptible by bad weather.  It’s half the monthly cost of Hughesnet, gives us a half-megabit pipe for downloads and a 256k one for uploads, and comes with DSL-like low latency of ~40ms.  I can download all I want without megabyte caps, their speeds actually match the advertised bitrates, and we can double our download rate by switching to their Small Business plan if we ever feel the need for more speed.

Now I’m going to make lunch for the kids, and then I’ll sit down and take great pleasure in calling Hughesnet and telling them to cancel the account and shove their “service” square up their asses.  (Maybe I’ll use the dish as a target backer for my rimfire range.)

More to follow…


24 thoughts on “back in the 21st century.

  1. NYEMT says:

    “Ah – yes, I am Rahjid, and I would be pleased to be helping you in resolving your deefficulties. First off – have you tried rebooting your compooter?”

    Glad you’re back. (D.T.’s fading..)


    • Mopar says:

      NYEMT: Naw, they use names like John and Sam so you don’t know they are in India, despite the accent.
      Marko, welcome to the 20th century! 🙂

  2. mpk19 says:

    Thought you might have run into a border patrol checkpoint that didn’t take kindly to your bumper stickers! Glad it was just an internet thang. For future reference when dealing with satellite companies and get the “foreign connection” ask for the disconnect department. You will be transferred to a local department, and they have the authority to make concessions such as, waiving the fee.

  3. Eric says:

    Use the old dish to see if you can “curve” the path of the bullet!

  4. Kristopher says:

    Heh … figured a cellular ISP would eventually creep its way out there.

  5. Tam says:

    Stand down the rescue birds. We’re getting transmissions again.

  6. BryanP says:

    Low latency? Well, I guess you’ll be scarce for a few more days then. You can actually play Warcraft properly again.

    If you don’t mind my asking, which service is it? I always like to know what options are available.

  7. wombatoverlord says:

    From what you have written about HughesNet, I believe it might be appropriate to test just how bullet-resistant their dish is.

    Failing that, just destroy the thing. Sledgehammers are very satisfying…

    • Kristopher says:

      Hughes is better than dial-up.

      You use it until something better comes along.

      I’m sure they will be selling service to people living in wildernesses long after 2050.

    • Shrimp says:

      My parents had Hughes for a while. Not at all happy with them, either. I don’t remember who they switched to, but I do remember that they switched, and my dad had a new target for his M1 Garand.

  8. kbyrd says:

    “…wireless Internet connection that’s not interruptible by bad weather.”

    That’s not quite true. They are likely using 2.4Ghz-frequencies which are readily absorbed by water. A really have rain or snow over the distance between you and their tower could affect your signal. It’s usually no where near as finicky as satellite, but it’s not weatherproof.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      I guess I should rephrase that to “…wireless Internet connection that won’t cut out for half a day because a gnat farts in front of the transceiver.”

  9. og says:

    If you paint the dish with Super 77 and smooth on a (shiny side up) layer of tinfoil, and point it at the sun, it will turn the LNB’s into flaming piles of ouch.

    No, I would never do such a thing.

    • Sigivald says:

      Oooh, that reminds me, I need to do that to the reflectors in my (30+ year old) car.

      Reflective paint, she don’t last so well by a diesel exhaust….

  10. minimedic says:

    Found your blog via Cranky Prof.

    And you’re so added to the blogroll. =D

    Great stuff. Keep writing!

  11. Murgy says:

    Well, I wouldn’t toast that dish just yet…you *could* keep it as a fallback position, just in case Ye Locale Internets doesn’t work as advertised.

    Though the idea of a solar powered marshmellow melter is oddly intriguing….

  12. ibex says:

    I’m so happy for you!

  13. Sharon says:

    From Googling I saw that people have trouble leaving Hughes. Get the guns out in plain site.

  14. joated says:

    “don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”

    (The rest of the song is full left wing voodoo, but these two phrases are truth.)

    BTW: Merry Christmas to all in that breezy, freezy New England heat sink/money pit of yours.

    Be sure to use your new high speed connection to track Santa’s progress this evening.

  15. T.Stahl says:

    From the news I saw about NE-USA, I just thought you might be covered under ten feet of snow and busy shovelling your way out.

    Well, as long as DHL will make it to your doorstep some of these days to deliver a certain package of certain content. *conspirative grin*

  16. Assrot says:

    I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


  17. aczarnowski says:

    Congratulations! I think you’ll like it living here in the future.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Marko.

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