Friday, April 17, 2009

Signals from outer space

It is pouring rain here.

Not a little drizzle, certainly not a smattering of rain: This is a full-blown downpour.

We should get between four and six inches of rain today. This, of course, is followed by the usual tornado watch, massive thunder storms, very likely power outage and more of the same tomorrow, but so far, I can still get an internet signal.

If you are used to living in a town or a big city, your internet options are plentiful. You can choose from cable, DSL, or even the dreaded dial-up. But out here, there's nothing. Even the phone lines are so old that with a dial-up, our service is even slower than its normal snail's pace.

When we first moved in, a guy from Sprint came out to fix a few old phone lines right at the house. So I asked if DSL was an option for us. He just laughed and said that, in order for the company to run the line, it has to be going somewhere. We are literally the last house on the line. The power and phone lines stop here. I guess that means so do the improvements.

After going without internet for a while and jonesing like a true internet junkie missing out on all the free samples of cat food and cheesy YouTube videos, we got HughesNet.

I gotta be honest, they're not happy with me right now because I need to pay my bill, but I can't complain about them. We have gotten a signal in terrible weather even though they tell you it will go out during storms.

Even after Hurricane Rita we received a signal and didn't have to have a service call until the roofers took it off and then put it back on. The wind hadn't hurt it at all.

We pay around sixty-five or seventy dollars a month for their lowest speed, and it is just a tiny bit slower than our cable connection was in Las Vegas.

The only problem is their Fair Access policy, which only allows you to upload and download a certain amount of data in a twenty-four-hour period. If you go over the limit, they jack up your connection for twenty-four hours. To be fair, however, we have only gone over the limit a few times in the five years we have had service with them. For the most part, HughesNet gives quick and reliable service.

If anyone is wondering, I was not paid or asked to write this (which is too bad, because I could use the money to pay my internet bill).

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