Monday, March 14, 2022

At the mercy of Comcast

Comcast is my Internet Service Provider. That's not really a bad thing. The service, branded as Xfinity Internet, is actually reliable. I never have to call with issues, and unless my electricity is out, it's always there. Well, nearly always.

There have been situations where Internet went out, but that has always been a tree falling and taking out a line. Never Xfinity Internet service just going out. It's been an external force acting upon it, and they do a good job getting back up and running. I have no complaints about my Comcast service in regards to Internet service.

So what's the problem? They're the only feasible option I have.

Oh, to be sure, there are other options, just not any good options. AT&T is available, right? Wrong.

That was a surprise, as AT&T Internet had previously been available here. However, what was available was the 3 Mbps service. Now that's not even an opttion.

Satellite is an option, but HughesNet, ViaSat, Windstream are options, but they have really small data caps. They would actually be good enough for anyone who isn't a gamer or a streamer. I'm not a gamer, but I am a streamer. The data caps would make it cost prohibitive.

Then there's the new kid on the block, the other satellite service called Starlink. Elon Musk's service is available here. There's a long wait for it, but it's available.

My sister and brother-in-law use that service, and they're happy with it. They said setup was easy, and service is fast and reliable. They're paying twice what I'm paying for Comcast, but that's because I'm only paying $49/month, which is less than many pay. I'm not special, I'm just not paying for faster service than I need.

So, I do have one reasonable option when it comes to an alternative to Comcast. And it has a long wait.

I haven't pursued Starlink for a couple of reasons. First, Comcast does provide reliable service. I have no problems with their service at all. 

Second, the price isn't bad. Whenever I'm talking with someone about Internet service -- they bring it up, I don't -- most around here are surprised that I am only paying $49/month. They all have higher and faster plans.

Third, that long wait. Now I could cut down on the wait by getting in line. But that's $99 to get in line, then another $500 when I get to the front of the line and the equipment is ready to ship. And that's to replace a reliable, relatively cheap service.

It all adds up to the cost of alternatives meaning that Comcast is my only feasible option. And I don't like that. But as much as I don't like not having any other feasible options, the option I have is actually a good one. Comcast makes my Streaming Life possible, and at a good price. I just don't like not having a choice.

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