A Genuine Labor Day Miracle
As I just noted on Twitter:
For reference, the old “top” speed of my DSL was 6Mbps, and mostly operated at between 4 and 5. This was fine when I subscribed in the early part of this century, but has become increasingly untenable in the age of streaming. The new package boasts speeds of “up to 40mbps,” and subsequent speed tests to the one I posted on Twitter see it getting closer to that; the one I just did had the line at 29.7Mbps down as, I guess, the line gets uses to pushing more electrons down the pipe, or whatever. Honestly if I get something in the 25Mpbs range on average I’ll be happy (for now).
Ironically, the way I found out that my provider CenturyLink had finally upgraded DSL service in the area was that I was in the middle of writing a whiny post about how awful my DSL line was, and went to the CenturyLink site to confirm once again that the “high speed” internet they were pushing in my area was capped at 3Mbps (I had gotten my 6Mbps line before CenturyLink bought out Qwest, from whom I had initially gotten the line; I was grandfathered in). When I entered my address, the CenturyLink site told me they could now get me 40Mbps.
Bullshit, I thought. I’m actually going to call their service people and confirm this is bullshit. Because this is how little I trust CenturyLink’s marketing people at this point. So I called and stayed on hold for almost an hour to get them to admit that this was bullshitty bullshit they were foisting on me.
But when I finally got hold of a service representative, not only did she confirm that, indeed, a 40Mbps DSL speed was available to me, but that also if I switched over to it, it would actually be cheaper than my current tops-out-at-6-fucking-Megabits-per-second line. Would I like to switch over?
Reader, I did.
The upgrade was scheduled for Wednesday, but apparently some industrious CenturyLink worker wanted to be paid time-and-a-half on the holiday, because I was informed a little while ago that the upgrade just happened. And now I’m cruising the internet at (runs a speed test again) 38.9Mbps! Calloo! Callay!
Obviously this makes me happy, because now I suddenly have internet speeds that mean there’s a chance I may no longer need to kludge my way to faster speeds for a while. As many of you know, in addition to my (previously) shitty DSL, I also have a mobile phone line that I got expressly to be an internet hotspot. It was faster (usually between 10 and 30Mbps), but it was also data capped at 100GB per month. I originally had it as a backup for when my DSL (frequently) went out, but over time I used it as a second internet connection specifically for my office, so that I wasn’t slowing down the main line for Krissy when she was working from home, or the rest of the family when they were watching something on Netflix. Now, potentially, that second line can go back to being an emergency backup and travel hotspot.
I should be clear that “up to 40Mbps” isn’t a great, or even an actually very good, broadband speed; right now on Twitter people are posting speed tests showing their 250Mbps connections and one person from Germany just smacked down a 1Gbps connection, which is ludicrous. 40Mbps is, however, eight to ten times faster than my previous usual connection, and actually adequate for streaming and downloading things, which the previous connection was emphatically not. I will be delighted to download a video game in a couple of hours instead of having to set it to download overnight over a couple of nights, which is a thing I’ve had to do up to this point. I might be able to participate in a Zoom session and not look like a pixelated mess. I can actually now use the Internet the way it’s currently being used by people — still slower than most, but with enough speed to get it done. That’s progress, here in rural America.
So, anyway: Wheeeee! More internet speed! One less thing to complain about. Don’t worry, I’ll find something else soon enough. And this was one time, at least, where planning to whine about something actually ended up improving the thing I was going to whine about. If only it worked like that all the time.