The Block Island Times

Rainy Day Internet Blues

By John Barry | Aug 07, 2011

It's a rainy Sunday on Block Island. Good day to stay in.

My plan was to make a big salad with the fixins I bought at the Farmer's Market yesterday, veg out on the couch and stream some Hulu TV. I'm currently in the middle of a flick called "Who is Harry Nilsson and Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him." Apparently I'm going to remain in the middle of it, because everyone on Block Island has the same plan as me, minus, perhaps, the salad and a different movie.

My internet service today is pretty much non-existant. I have gone from  a 2.85 Mbps (megabits per second) connection down to a lousy .22 Mbps. I'm stuck with a blurry scene of Harry Nilsson, mouth agape in the throes of singing Good Old Desk.

A .22 Mbps connection is about good enough to do a Google search and garner some results, but it isn't going to stream any Hulu content.

To be fair, my service has been diminishing all season, but not to this point. This is one for the record books.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is all we can get on Block Island unless you want to pay for 3G, 4G  or Dish TV service at about $69/month or more, with a cap on how much bandwidth can be consumed. Personally, I don't want to be limited and can't be, as I transport large graphics files all day long and use the net as my movie and TV service.

Verizon DSL, which is really the only option on Block Island if you're a year round resident like myself, just does not cut it in the summer months. DSL is supposed to be a single entity line. Unlike cable service which is a shared pipe, DSL is traditionally a direct line to and from your house. This isn't the case on the island. Here, we all share the bandwidth. And on a rainy day such as this, it is painfully obvious how much we share it.

I called the regional Manager for Verizon last week to let her know my speeds were diminishing. Hopefully that was one of many she received from here. She assured me that they knew there was a problem and that they were working to fix it. I'll be calling tomorrow to let her know it is more broken than it was last week.

In the meantime, I just installed the new Lion operating system on my 27 inch iMac. I guess I'll just play around with it and discover all the new features it has. Hopefully none of them require a fast internet connection.

This rant was courtesy of a rainy day on Block Island.

UPDATE: 7:57 AM, Monday, August 8 and internet speeds are back to where they should be. Thank you, Verizon.

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