When we moved to Chattanooga six years ago and tried to set up an ISP, we discovered that our area only had dial up. Seriously. Only dial up. Thankfully, a couple of months later, DSL was ready and we switched. And that was great. Sort of.
Except for all the buffering. Forget streaming. Unless you want to do it at 2am. Still, it was better than dial up.
Then fiberoptic cable came to town. Articles showed up in the newspaper. Chattanooga was now the internet hot spot of the United States. We now had access to the fastest internet around. So we signed up.
So the EPB (I have no idea what the initials stand for. Maybe Electric Power Board.) technician came out. He put a sign in our front yard proclaiming that we were now a techo family. We had the fastest internet around. I think it was supposed to make our neighbors jealous. Honestly, I don’t think our neighbors cared.
After lots of cables were laid, we were hooked up. The technician gathered us together for a speed check. We formed a semi-circle around him and waited with bated breath. The data speed appeared. The technician cleared his throat. “Let’s do this again.” So he did. Our breath was less bated. Again, we got horrible numbers. He said, “Um.” I said, “Why are our numbers so low?”
Him: You have plaster walls. They cause trouble with wireless signals.
Me: But we’re in the same room as the router, so it doesn’t have to pass through or bounce off the walls.
Him: Yeah. So if you want high speed interest, try plugging your computer directly into the Ethernet cable.
(We did. The speed didn’t improve.)
Him: Hmm. Uh, when you all get a chance to record your internet speed on our website, don’t do it okay?
Me (wondering how many other people he asked not to record their internet speed): Okay.
So our internet speed is okay. We can stream. Usually. However, there is great gnashing of teeth when the guys are streaming Yankees’ baseball games and A-Rod comes up to bat, and the spinning circle of buffering purgatory comes up. So it buffers for thirty seconds or so. Then the game pops back up. And the guys discover that A-Rod hit a homerun, but we missed it. And we missed the replay too. (Yes, I know to the Yankees/A-Rod haters out there that’s the ideal way to watch a baseball game. But not at our house.)
We’re getting by with our high powered internet provided by EPB. (Maybe it stands for Exaggerating Promises Bureaucrats.) And we’re enjoying Julian Smith’s “Buffering Tonight.” Obviously, EPB is his ISP too.