Posts Tagged ‘Satellite’

Re-Hash: Internet Woe’s

Ok so my home Internet is still down. Fortunately I have some posting ability at work.

Here’s the scoop as it were.

For the last year I have had HughesNet. I have a download limit of 350 Meg every 24 hours. I exceed that, either via E-mail, video, downloading, or what have you and they knock me to “dial up comparable”

It was supposed to be 1.5 meg down. I never came close to seeing that speed. But I will admit what I had was better than dial up. Credit where credit is due. However the Turbo gateway constantly went down, we experienced outages in all sorts of weather, and several network related outages as well.

But this past weekend it went out. And when my Dish Network came back, the Internet didn’t.

So I called’em up, to figure out what was going on.

Right about here is where the bobsled to hell started.
They wanted to charge me $150 to come out just to find out what was wrong with my system. Seems they could not figure out what it was over the phone, and all of the fancy lights that they have in the modem wasn’t telling them anything.

I was paying almost $90 a month for the last year for this service.
In any other ISP broadband, DSL, cable, etc. folks will come out and trouble shoot your system and it is all part of the plan. I worked for AT&T and I worked on U-verse. I know how that goes. Unless the customer lit the modem on fire and used it for polo practice, we fixed it. Customer abuse versus wear and tear of faulty equipment, all understandable. Not so here.
Here we have absolute disregard for keeping a customer, just a desire to sell their equipment with a massive start up cost, a installation charge that warranties nothing and no maintenance of any form save yourself.

So after over an hour of arguing with a tech support rep who tried to tell me there was no way to test coax (It was at this point I asked for a supervisor) I was told that it didn’t matter what I did or said, the only thing HughesNet was willing to do is give me 30 days free. Which means I would still be out $50 for the repair.

By this time I confess I was hoping mad. Between being treated like an idiot (TSR: “Sir, I don’t know who you were working for before but there no way to test the integrity of Coaxial cable.” Me: “Your joking right? How do you think Cell towers work?” TSR: “Uhm……”) and finding out that absolutely none of my equipment or installation was covered in my obscene cost per month with the ridiculous amount of restrictions: I canceled the service.

I was then sent to a CSR who tried to convince me to stay with them, and who told me if i canceled I would be subjected to a $79.99 fee for disconnection. (Me: “Let me get this straight, your going to charge me $150 to send someone out here to find out whats wrong with a service that doesn’t work yet your going to charge me $79.99 to flip a switch on a service that already doesn’t work? And you have the audacity to ask me why I’m canceling my service?”)

Within 4 hours of cancelling my service I have a MiFi unit on the way from Verizon. My wife and I have had their cellular service for over ten years now, and I know from first hand experience what to expect not only from their Customer Service but also from their technical support. Having worked on their towers I know how their coverage is as well. I feel confident in this choice.

I also feel confident in knowing I’m saving about $20 a month and I don’t have that 350 meg limit looming over my shoulder like a Gorilla.

So if any of you rural folks out there are considering going to a Satellite ISP, take some time and research some other opportunities first.

DUI Satelite

About a month ago, a TV communications satellite lost control and is drifting like a drunk driver, and is now headed into a collision course with another satellite with the same frequency threatening to disrupt cable service.

LONDON — A TV communications satellite is drifting out of control thousands of miles above the Earth, threatening to wander into another satellite’s orbit and interfere with cable programming across the United States, the satellites’ owners said Tuesday.

Communications company Intelsat said it lost control of the Galaxy 15 satellite on April 5, possibly because the satellite’s systems were knocked out by a solar storm. Intelsat cannot remotely steer the satellite to remain in its orbit, so Galaxy 15 is creeping toward the adjacent path of another TV communications satellite that serves U.S. cable companies.

Galaxy 15 continues to receive and transmit satellite signals, and they will probably overlap and interfere with signals from the second satellite, known as AMC 11, if Galaxy 15 drifts into its orbit as expected around May 23, according to the two satellite companies.

AMC 11 receives digital programming from cable television channels and transmits it to all U.S. cable systems from its orbit 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the equator, SES World Skies said. It operates on the same frequencies as Galaxy 15.

“That fact means that there is likely to be some kind of interference,” Yves Feltes, a spokesman for AMC 11 owner SES World Skies, told The Associated Press. “Our aim is to bring any interference down to zero.”

He would not name any of the cable television channels or providers that could be affected or say how long the interference could last.

DirecTV Inc., the largest US satellite TV company, said it will not be affected. Comcast Corp. said it was monitoring the situation.

-AP Associated Press

I had heard it said many years ago that we had more “junk” satelites  (non working satellites)  in space than working ones.  It is simply too expensive to retrieve the broken birds, so they leave them in orbit.  I always thought it would be those that caused problems, but in this day and age of catastrophe, of course its the working ones.  Just as NASA is canned, we need them more than ever with this kind of situation, and I’m sure this is not the last time this will happen.




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