Broadband, REAL Broadband

For many years now we have paid the price for cable. Not cable TV but cable access to the internet. Cable is good, reliable, but expensive especially if it is not included as a package deal with cable TV.

Cable modem speed is around 1500kbps download and 300kbps upload. Since we do more downloading than uploading, we never considered the lower upload speed a problem. The worst thing about cable internet access is the high cost, but it can also slow down in speed during peak hours, and our local ISP has changed hands about four times

We looked into DSL several times but never followed through. It was either not available in our area, too much trouble to fool with, or did not offer any cost advantage over cable.

We started with Direct TV many years ago. My son got a Direct TV installation package for Christmas from a friend and never used it. He gave it to us. We installed it and made it work but it only had one reciever and no PVR capability.

We upgraded to Dishnetwork and got the second, and third, recievers as well as PVR capability. The cost for that was higher than what we were paying for Direct TV but still much cheaper than going to real cable TV. The only problem with Dishnetwork was the free installation cost us $50 and they did not provide us with all the local stations. Seems we needed a second dish to do that and they found excuses not to install it. We finally gave up and told them we did not want the local channel package. We had and still have a perfectly good outside TV antenna that does well for local station reception. No point in paying someone for something you already have.

About six months or so ago our neighborhood was wired for optical fiber. Originally only the telephones were connected to the new fiber optic cables. Later and very recently ATT offered wifi internet service and cable TV packages that were about half the price of anything available elsewhere. The U-Verse 100 package is what we got along with an extra receiver to support the TV in the bedroom. That way if one of us wanted to see a favorite program on one TV the other could watch a differenct favorite program on the second TV.

The ATT internet is not DSL. They call it broadband and it runs at 1500kbps download and 900kbps upload. About three times the upload speed of the cable modem. The ATT wifi works fine but the wireless modem/router also has wired ethernet ports and usb ports. It all comes out of the big box they provide. The box runs off the fiber optic box outside through catagory 5 cable. The settop boxes for the TVs run off the wireless modem/router which also provides wifi for desktops and laptops equipped with wifi capability.

The ATT solution is about half the cost of cable modem and dishnetwork combined, provides the same service, and seems to be faster than either the cable modem or the dishnetwork stuff. No more loss of signal when it rains.

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