It's pouring down rain. I'm waiting for the internet service person to come and upgrade my internet service. All hope is swirling down the storm drains.

I don't know why I didn't do something about my slow internet service before this week. I guess my use of big chunks of internet bandwidth to send things to clients was sporadic and unhurried enough that it was less arduous to just maintain the status quo and keep moving along with what I was used to. But the game plan changed when two clients, Dell and Ottobock Healthcare, booked me for photographic and video projects next week. Both events are tied to short deadlines and, after each event, there will be a small window of time in which to edit images, and b-roll video, and upload them (successfully) to a far off public relations company for near immediate distribution to various news media channels. I have no worries about editing down the images or creating the approximately 290 megabyte H.264 video component to send but I did start to worry about how long it would take to actually upload. I uploaded about 800 large files (approx. 20 megabytes apiece) about 16 Gb, on Saturday afternoon and it took the better part of eight hours to complete. I know that I'll be uploading a fraction of that amount next week but we have to make allowances for various technical setbacks and re-starts. And I'm always a bit leery where client deadlines are concerned. We haven't yet installed our back up broadband.......

(I do have a back up plan but it consists of sitting and having too much coffee at the local Starbucks while I steal their meek wi-fi....).

When I got my bill for my very meager, copper strand, broadband service yesterday I decided to act. Every recent arrival to our neighborhood had gotten hooked up to a fiber optic connection with at least 100 Megabits per second upload speed and most are paying about 33% less than I. It was time to join the crowd. ( I resisted previously mostly because my supplier, and the only other supplier to our neighborhood, used to take advantage of their near monopoly by insisting that we bundle any new internet service with television services and I am morally and constitutionally opposed to paying for something that comes through the air for free. Besides, who in their right mind wastes time watching television programming? Only compulsive sports addicts and news junkies... as far as I can tell....). 

I called the service center and used all my sense of long term customer privilege, and channeled my full sense of (unearned) entitlement, and negotiated for the new service, at the new, lower price, and resisted the push to have paid TV foisted upon me. I was successful in getting the order set up the way I want it. Now we need to get all the wiring and hookup done. 

As my two hour appointment window started to close, around one o'clock, I got a call from the technician. He was running late but would arrive within the half hour. He arrived along with the first wave of a downpour, complete with thunder and lightning. Yes. He must climb the phone pole to effect the installation. The rest of the work can be done in the house.... But there is still the pole. And there's rain. And thunder. And lightning. He's busy wiring everything he can in the interior space and we're waiting out the rain. 

I am an eternal pessimist where new services are concerned and always expect the worst. But the optimist in me hopes to be very pleasantly surprised. I'll let you know when we have rejoined the modern world and have internet service that's at least as fast as the neighbors. Maybe, if we all wish together, we can have terabyte level service like most S. Koreans enjoy. Our dream of being a first world nation....hmm.
view from the studio.


Michael Matthews said...

Yeah, we had fiberoptic internet service provided by AT&T in northern California nearly 20 years ago. Bulletproof. Moved at the speed of light. Now we dwell in the land of coax and cable system provided internet. Often inusable. Oh well, real estate is a lot less expensive.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

4:52 pm. Installation complete. Now uploading at 115 mbs and downloading at 85 mbs. Cool. Happy. Yippee. Everything works.

Frank Grygier said...

Now you can watch Youtube in 4K.

Ray said...

I'm kind of surprised that a successful and accomplished professional photographer would be satisfied with basic over the air TV. High Def. is just way better. I would think you would be seriously offended by the picture quality, especially knowing things could be so much better. Maybe you don't watch TV at all, God bless you, but regular TV is like being out of focus with the contrast turned way down.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Ray, not a fan of TV. I have a 4K 60 inch set and watch Blu-Ray disks a lot. I know the difference. I just refuse to pay extra for crap. And, when watching the news on PBS I don't really care if the reporters are crispy.... as long as they are smart and engaging.

Frank, Roger that. Works great.

typingtalker said...

Kirk wrote, "Maybe, if we all wish together, we can have terabyte level service like most S. Koreans enjoy."

Wikipedia tells us, "It is important to note that 100 Mbit/s services are the average standard in urban South Korean homes and the country is rapidly rolling out 1Gbit/s connections or 1,024 Mbit/s, at $20 per month, which is roughly 142 times as fast as the world average and 79 times as fast as the average speed in the United States.


Tera vs. Giga and bits vs. bytes.