Over Christmas, the wireless ISP link at my vacation home failed. It took 2.5 days to get the rural ISP to fix the relay point upstream… and I had to “re-educate” technicians about the problem several times.
Looking at the lost productivity, even factoring out Christmas as a day off (despite my plan to give myself the gift of scrubbing my email inboxes of messages that I’ve read, then marked as unread), I’ve lost a ton of productivity. It’s a big setback considering the deadlines and timetables I’m working on.
So, I’ve decided to have AT&T’s $10 the-FCC-made-us-offer-it service installed (which runs crawls at 768 kbps down/128 kbps up). Already 1.5 years into their 2.5 years of the forced offering, I think that AT&T might actually wise up and keep offering the plan after they don’t have to anymore… especially in this economy.
With home offices becoming more and more mission-critical (again, especially in this economy), a couple of days of lost productivity can justify a year’s worth of $10/month DSL service as a backup plan.
Plus, there is some indications that AT&T does actually now appreciate the offering that they so much resisted offering. For example, AT&T now offers Wi-Fi roaming, even on the $10/month plan. Why offer Wi-Fi to customers that AT&T thinks are barely profitable? I suspect AT&T wants to keep the plan, just doesn’t want to tell investors that they like offering it. Then, at the end of the FCC-mandated 2.5 years, they can showcase to investors that they have tons of customers on it, and that it wound up being a profitable venture.
Over the past eight years, the FCC has surprised me quite a bit… we’ve gotten net neutrality, national broadband mandates, and broadband for dial-up speeds. That’s a track record that I hope carries over to the next administration.