Mid-Hudson Cablevision – a monopoly on bad internet service in Hudson and beyond

Back in September I wrote my first complaint here about our internet service from Mid-Hudson Cablevision (MHC).1 The situation with our internet service has only gotten worse. I wrote a letter to the President of MHC in December. This elicited a call from a higher level technician who told me that he had looked at my account and “made some changes” that should improve the service level. Since then, I have had times where I quite literally counted “1 Mississippi 2 Mississippi” between the click of the mouse and any response from the target server.

So, I dug into the situation and continued to gather data and more information about what constitutes good internet service. Turns out that download speed is only a part of the story. In my case the “latency” – that’s the response time to get a target server to respond to a request for a page or other information – is also critical. In addition, latency has great effects on services like Skype.

The upshot is that the  latency (ping) for service at my house over the last month has been running nearly 2,000 milliseconds, and, for the entire period I have been testing since August 2009, the latency averages 568 milliseconds.2  As MHC’s own technicians have said, and is widely cited in discussions about latency on cable internet systems, latency should be below 100 milliseconds and excellent is 25 milliseconds.

To add to the insults the advertised download speeds of 5 MB/s are still a distant dream and recently the upload speeds, typically 10% or so of the download speeds, have barely gotten over 0.05 MB/s.

MHC amazingly has now begun to offer:

“DOUBLE YOUR SPEED for only $ 5.00 more per month (up to 10 MB*)”

“TRIPLE YOUR SPEED for only $ 10.00 more per month (up to 15 MB*)”

PT Barnum would love these offers.

So, where does this leave me. Given the monopoly status of MHC, I am not holding out much hope for some miraculous cure. Internet service is a cash cow for cable companies. It operates over the same infrastructure as their TV services so it only requires the head end equipment necessary to connect to a trunk and manage the distribution of services. MHC has taken a futher step to insure the cash cow. They only offer internet service bundled with a cable TV service. Some deal!

i am now searching around in the state county and local governments for some agency and/or some politician interested in this issue. I am sure that I will return to this topic soon.

  1. a hint about how sloppy MHC is can be seen at the top of every page on their website, No Page Titles. Not even a rooky web developer at the local community college would be so sloppy []
  2. This is based on more 250 tests []

6 thoughts on “Mid-Hudson Cablevision – a monopoly on bad internet service in Hudson and beyond

  1. I just recently moved to Ravena from Oregon. I though Comcast was bad but MHC takes the cake. I am currently paying $10 extra for the up to 15 mbps. At first it was working like a dream for the first few days. However, getting frequent disconnects and getting the less than 1 mbps for downstream and sometimes getting up to 5 mbps on a burst.

    I’m kinda pissed off so far and I will call over and over again like yourself until we get some answers.

  2. MHC only gets away with their crap because Verizon is equally criminal.

    MHC hides behind their ‘burst’ claim, and ‘relative frequency.’ In other words, the lousy service they offer for their basically abusive price of close to $60 p/mo. will be 2 or 3 times less lousy if you pay the premium. But, if you actually check it out, the 2X claim is a complete fraud. The 3X claim at least provides a less crappy modem.

    What we need is to break their monopoly and force the pigs at the Greene County trough to open up the bids to alternative providers.

    Other MHC abuses: they have one operator to respond to complaints. Don’t bother calling from 4:30PM on during weekdays, or they will bump you to the queue and keep you holding till they’re gone at 5PM (or 4:45). I’m sure they pay their workers as well as they provide service.

  3. Jill,
    Thanks for this information about where to lodge complaints. I will repost.

    Mark

  4. Mid Hudson Cable sucks! For the first few months it was awesome, but ever since they started offering double or triple speed connections my internet has mysteriously gone down the crapper. Most of the time it takes twenty minutes to load a 5 minute youtube video or I’ll be playing a game on xbox and be dropped from the game or lag, which if you’ve ever played a video game than you know it sucks. The worst thing is that I called to complain and they refused to help. If you are considering getting MHC and checked here first, don’t do it. At this point dial up is faster.