Sunday, July 26, 2009

"What we need is speed ... greasy, lightning fast speed ..."

A print screen from Saturday morning testing of Comcast's broadband speed in New Hampshire. Note that when tested, it blew away most everyone else in the world.
Of course the quote, if you don't recognize it, is from "Rocky II," where trainer Mickey, played by Burgess Meredith is lecturing Rocky about how slow he is and in order to beat Apollo Creed, he needs to get the lead out.
Anyway, the CWA has been on this campaign called "Speed Matters" for quite a while now, making the case that the entire nation should be wired with broadband. They are, of course, correct. I took the test last year and Comcast turned out to be quite slow at the time. However, yesterday, after being prompted by an email, I took the test again, and the results were much, much better, as you can see from the print screen above.
So, where does that leave us? Well, lots of folks in the country still don't have broadband (or can't afford it, which is just as significant a problem) and average speeds in New Hampshire are still pretty slow, reportedly. For the most part, I'm pretty happy with Comcast's Internet service. Sometimes, like when it rains, the connection can be spotty. But when I have a problem, the customer service folks are very helpful. Cost, is a different issue.
Ideally, I'm waiting for the day when we don't have to pay for cable television and, instead, can just get all the television we want piped through the Internet. We are almost there, at least in theory, since users can sometimes get whatever show they want, here and there.
But, at some point, something has to break, especially if the depression continues for any great length of time. Close to $100 monthly cable and Internet bills are fine when times are good but not when times are bad. Some are suggesting it could be another three to five years before things turn around, with the head of the Federal Reserve saying that it could be a "jobless" economic recovery. Note this week that the Dow headed up over 9,000 for the first time since January, as well as the highest weekly gains since 2000. Well, big deal. That's Wall Street, not Main Street. The economic recover needs to happen on Main Street whether Wall Street likes it or not. So far, that isn't happening, and one has to wonder whether it ever will. Will it be long before everyone starts shutting off the cable and Internet to make ends meet? Haven't some already done that?

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