I want somebody to give me a broadband alternative to satellite. Now. One of the disadvantages to living out in the middle of nowhere is that there’s no cable, no DSL, no nothin’. So I’m stuck with satellite if I want broadband. The reason satellite sucks is that it’s not that fast (most of the time it’s like an ISDN line in space), its upload speed is no faster than dial-up, its inherent lag (because everything is routed through a satellite in space) means I can’t frag others in online games, and — this is the salient point — it goes out when it’s raining (the signal can’t get from the satellite). It’s been raining all month long. No other utility I have blithely takes the day off when it gets wet outside. Even the satellite TV works, and it’s coming from the same satellite. Yes, in really bad weather, the satellite TV will go under too, but listen, if the weather is bad enough to knock down the TV signal, it’s time to go to the basement with your granola bars and water and hope your house is still standing in an hour.
It is absolutely ridiculous that I live in the 21st century, yet my Internet connection can be hobbled by abundant moisture. For days — I’m on the second straight day of interrupted service, thanks to the rather extended cloud front I’m sitting under. I’m on dial-up right now, in case you’re wondering, and of course, that’s a horrible solution. I need my phone. And, frankly, doing research on the Internet on a dial-up connection is do damn slow I might as well just go to the library in town (where, incidentally, they have their computers hooked up to a cable modem. Hmmm.). Point is, satellite Internet sucks and blows, and Starband (my provider) will lose my business the exact instant another broadband option becomes available, even if it costs more money.
Alas for me, nothing’s on the way. Time Warner isn’t bothering to put cable down my street, we’re too far away from the exchange for DSL, and while other options are being developed (they’re testing broadband from power lines down in Cincinnati), it’ll be a couple of years at least before any of that comes my way. In the meantime, I am stuck with the worst possible way to be online, broadband-wise. Stupid me for residing in bucolic splendor. It’s enough to make me want to move back to the suburbs.
All right, I’m done venting. Go on with your lives.