Connecting to the Internet

Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I have seen quite a number of articles that discuss Comcast and Net Neutrality (or their lack of). As I have said in the past, I currently have a Comcast cable modem running at 6.0 Mbps. I also have Comcast Cable TV service that costs about $65/mo. The issue that I am starting to have with Comcast is that believe that they have a vested interest in keeping my connection speed configured in a way that prevents me from fully enjoying streaming video online and ultimately canceling my Cable TV subscription.

For example, if I try to watch streaming content on Joost or Netflix WatchInstantly, both services hang or get a little choppy after a few minutes. I used to think that they problem was with the streaming content provider, but more recently I have started to wonder if the issue is with the way Comcast brings the content to me.

Ideally, I could go with another company for my internet service. The problem is that my only choices are: Comcast Cable or DSL (Verizon, Earthlink, etc).

I do not want a land line phone, so DSL is going to be a problem. Even if I did want one, as I wrote yesterday, Earthlink DSL does not really make any sense for me. I think that Earthlink is just a value added reseller of the 768 Kbps DSL service that Verizon will happily sell to me for half the price. The "value added" in this case being some type of magical compression technology that allows the Earthlink marketing folks to sell the DSL as being a 1.5/3.0/6.0Mbps service.

The problem that I have with compression is that I remember a time about ten years ago when the modem hardware hit the logical limit of 56k and there were no more dial-up modem upgrades coming out (with the exception of just making the modems smaller). Many of the dial-up ISP's offered "compression" technology with theoretical speeds of 2 or 3 times faster than 56k. I simply did not find this to be the case and this did not leave me with much faith in compression as a true speed boost.

I need more options.

Why does Earthlink still send me mail?

About four years ago, I upgraded my internet connection from Earthlink DSL (768 Kbps) to Comcast Cable (6.0 Mbps) . Since then, every month or two, I receive mail from Earthlink asking me to come back.

While I appreciate that Earthlink might not know what kind of service I switched to, I still have to ask why they spend money trying to get me back. Unless they think that I switched to dial-up, how can they even try to compete for my business?

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