By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Into the fast(er) lane

Media Nation is in the midst of upgrading from EarthLink DSL to Comcast cable. I haven’t grasped how to configure our Airport base station yet (or whether we need to upgrade to Airport Extreme), so I’m posting this from the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers, one of Media Nation’s numerous satellite bureaus. But the iMac is working just fine.

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  1. Anonymous

    Dan, will this change improve the way we view your site? Sometimes items are posted at a certain time (according to the post), but I cannot see them until much later in the day.

  2. Dan Kennedy

    No. This will improve my life, not yours. 😉 Sorry.Are you using an RSS reader? I find that some — especially Web-based ones, like Bloglines — take quite a while to update. If you’re reading Media Nation on the Web, you should be seeing the content as it’s posted.

  3. Anonymous

    Anon 12:29 here. No, I don’t use RSS. I notice this here at work (big organization is its own provider) and at home with Verizon DSL. Not that this is a crisis.

  4. MeTheSheeple

    Anon: Hold down shift and click reload; that might do it, by forcing your computer to get a fresh copy of the page rather than checking cache. (If it works, you can likely adjust a setting to check pages every time.)If that doesn’t work, you may be behind a corporate caching proxy. Don’t worry what that means technically; you can’t do anything about it anyway.

  5. Anonymous

    Why the change?What prompted the Earthlink to Comcast decision?

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Cable is much faster than DSL — four to seven times faster — and, in this case, cheaper, since EarthLink was really charging a premium.

  7. Peter Porcupine

    There was Federal legislation – not sure if it passed – which would allow the line owners to charge a premium to the others they had to allow to transmit service. For example, Verizon may own the line, but it has to allow Galaxy and Earthlink to transmit, even though they are competitors. The Federal legislation would have allowed Verizon to charge a surcharge to them.Since Comcast and Verion own ALL the wires, my suspicion is that eventually ALL other competitors will be passsing along that surcharge. And when tehy are gone, the cable owners can jack up the rates.Which is why I say with Verison’s mezza-mezz service.

  8. Tony

    Thanks for posting this, Dan. I’ve been thinking about my utility/household bills for awhile now and I’m just bewildered at the cost of everything. I’ve also been thinking about switching from Comcast broadband to Verizon DSL because the savings of the bulk packages. At least up here in New Hampshire, it seems pretty substantial. Right now, we’re paying a cumulative $185 for Comcast cable, broadband, and Verizon unlimited phone service. And, our cable service doesn’t offer that much which we actually use. It’s just too much. Technically, the last thing we want to get rid of his the fast Internet. But in order to keep that at the least expensive rate, you have to buy all the other services which we don’t use or need. By switching to Verizon via that $99 deal, I could potentially save more than $1,000 per year. Over a five year period, that is the difference between buying a new low-end sedan or upgrading to a hybrid, which would save me a ton of money on gas for my 150 mile per day commute to work. It seems to be a lot of money we’re paying for phone and TV services which we rarely use. I’ve also been thinking about just going down to very basic cable and saving $50 a month. However, I lose C-Span and the cable news stations, which is the only thing I watch. Ironically, the three shopping channels are taking up room on the very basic service – spots where C-Span should be – since they are free to all the cable stations. So, I have to decide: Lose news and C-Span and save $50 per month, or keep spending $600 a year for the right to watch the watchdogs of Congress and the Senate, and listen to insiders yell at each other on news channels. Yikes!I’m beginning to think that the ala carte option which has been bandied around D.C. in the last few years is the way to go. At least this way, I would only pay X amount of dollars or cents for what I want to watch – the local stations, C-Span, the four cable news stations, and OnDemand options. Surely that would amount to less than $60 per month! So I’ll close with a question: What is a subscriber to do about all of this? Does anyone have any advice on how I can get what I want without paying as much as I am now?

  9. Anonymous

    Anon 12:29 here again. It looks like I’m behind the “caching proxy.” At least I know what’s going on now.

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