Happy morning after everyone! Those of you who know me realize that breaking down the digital divide has always been a passion. In the past, I have worried that many minorities lack access to the internet and to communities like DK because they either lack infrastructure, or just don't know about them. But now I am dealing with a challenge that is not only effecting my community: it's impacting me.
What do you do about a bad ISP, especially if it enjoys a complete monopoly on service in your area?
Ironically, this morning I googled "How to Deal with a Bad ISP," and the first thing that popped up was an ad for Windstream, the bad ISP that serves my rural northern NM community.
Windstream has got to be the worst ISP in the world.
I have been paying for Highspeed internet service for years, but periodically (and in the last five months, usually) in the evenings, when I am most available to blog, the speed slows down to .25 MB. Often, it just stops. I've called and successfully demanded refunds, and had them send technicians to my house. The technicians come to my house during the day (necessitating my absence from work), and determine that the speed is fine and the signal is very strong. They tell me I should not be having any problems at all since I am across the street from the ISP's main office.
During the day, I work. My employer allows me to blog as part of my job, but of late, I just don't have time.
Our ISP is also the only long distance telephone service in town. For a month and a half, the county I work for was denied long distance phone service. I have no idea why. I don't know if the culprit was us or Windstream. But it really sucked. We all had to use our personal cell phones to do our jobs.
I used to use smaller local ISPs, but Windstream was able to drive them out of business by blocking access to phone service. It has long been the only telephone company in town. At one point, I when I ran a non-profit, I had to wait over a year to add a phone line.
To my chagrin, my problems with my ISP have made me the world's most unreliable IGTNT diarist. During the day, when I have a connection at work, I am so busy that I forget to check defensereleases.gov. At night, when I remember, I often can't. Some of the responsibility is mine, since I have now grown out of the habit.
I miss the DK and IGTNT communities and would like to come back! l like being reliable!
Does anybody have any ideas? Is there anything at all I can do about a Telecom that takes my money but doesn't provide a meaningful service?