Saturday, March 24, 2007

Censored: In the Belly of AT&T

I have discovered the most efficient blog censorship in the world, and I have been gagged. My Internet connection completely disappeared days ago, and AT&T, my Internet Service Provider has been keeping me busy. The past few days I have slithered on the floor like a snake unplugging and replugging cable connections, spent 45 minutes on hold ("all agents are busy") for premium tech support, had great globs of mud tracked across the driveway, had my DSL connection officially dropped to 25% of its former speed, been deprived of meals, and more.

I have spoken to "Dairy" (Methinks the young lady in Chennai meant "Terri," and if she didn't have my customer records, I would have told her my name was Priya), a man in St. Louis, a lady in Chicago who told me the problem was a filter problem and closed my "trouble ticket," and someone in Little Rock, Arkansas who liked to share, with frequent yeps, uh-huhs, oh yeahs, and the unusual information that it was "time for a chocolate break," but apparently only for him, not me. After all of this, about all I can roust up is Google Talk, and that's about it.

For this brief interval (after using an old fix, turning off the computer, turning off the modems, turning them all back on, etc.) I am able to access the Internet and this blog, but if the trend continues you, dear reader, will be lucky to read another post beyond this one.

As for me, I have pretty well exhausted the free time I have, spending my time at what seems like 24/7 on the phone (or on hold) with tech support. While AT&T has promised to send another service person (formerly known as "lineman") to look yet-again at the outside problem, things seem pretty serious. As I have been informed, this connection is 19,000 feet from the central office (what? that's less than 5 miles, folks, not even 10 km.) and due to that there appears to be very little hope.

Update: As of Monday morning, I still have a connection and its stable. Unfortunately, knocked down down to 330 Kbps download and 270Kbps upload, anything that resembles the world wide web in all its glory remains merely a memory. To add to this indignity, all weekend long I listened to TV ads touting AT&T Internet as "fastest in Illinois." Well, maybe before, but I feel like the poor stepchild here, folks, and I'm not happy.


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