Up until this quarantine situation, I was paying for 15mbps (down, 1mbps up) of internet at my house. Specifically using Consolidated Communications (the company that took over for Fairpoint a while ago). It was DSL, and it was adequate for my needs. I paid about $43/month for it.
Once I saw the writing on the wall for the next month (or more) of life at home, however, I quickly decided 15mbps wasn’t going to cut it. I’m a self-confessed technophile, and it’s rubbed off on my family. Here’s a list of internet-consuming devices in my household:
- 4 laptops
- 1 desktop
- 3 iPhones
- 4 iPads
- 2 smartwatches
- 1 Nintendo 3DS
- 1 Nintendo Switch
- 1 PS3
- 1 Apple TV
- 3 Kindles
- 3 Kindle Fires
- 1 Internet phone
I might be forgetting a couple. Mind you, a lot of those devices are older (quite a few hand-me-downs on that list), but they all at least sip some internet. And when an Apple system update comes down the pike? Fuhgeddaboudit. We were already to the point most evenings where I’d go around the house, pestering the kids to make sure they’d turned all their devices to airplane mode, just so I could ensure Denisa and I had a decent picture when we were streaming video in the evening.
15mbps wasn’t going to be enough. I could either cut out some devices, or I could increase the speed. Seeing as how the internet has suddenly become the main avenue for my job, Denisa’s teaching, and all the kids’ learning, simply cutting devices wasn’t an option, either.
It was time to pony up the money.
Because I live in rural Maine, my options are limited. I could increase the speed of my DSL to 40mbps, which would bump the cost up to around $65/month. Or I could switch back to cable, going with Beeline, which offered 125mbps (8mbps up) for $79. I used to be with Beeline years ago, but I left them because their internet speeds tanked each evening, when everyone was online. This time, I asked around on Facebook to hear what other people were using locally. Some of the other internet hungry folks had gone back to Beeline. Yes, it was almost twice what I was paying now, but it was a serious speed increase, as opposed to the DSL bump, which would be only modest.
I wanted them to come sooner, rather than later, because quarantine. I wasn’t sure how long companies would be allowed to send crews out to futz around with people’s internet. Maybe it would always be considered essential. Maybe it wouldn’t. I’d rather not test it. I called them up Friday, and they were here on Tuesday.
Overall, I’m already very pleased with the upgrade. During the day, I clock speeds of around 145mbps down, 9.5mbps up. More than what I’m paying for. Up in my addition, it’s slower, because the way I’m getting my internet up to that part of the house is over the power lines, but it’s still 20mbps. (I’m going to look into figuring out a better way to extend the internet across my property. When I have time to focus on it, which isn’t now.)
The best part about it all? I can stop pestering the kids to turn off their devices. Everyone can use the internet, things can autoupdate without me having to ration things out, the internet quality has been excellent.
I’ve run some tests in the evening, and there are still periodic times when the speeds slow down inexplicably, but even when they slow, it’s not an issue, because everything’s so fast in general. All the updates that have to run, run overnight. All told, I’m happy. Not happy with what I’m paying, but it comes with the territory, I’m afraid.
Out of curiosity, what do you pay for the speed you’re getting, wherever you are? Go ahead, make me insanely jealous.
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