American Glory BBQ – revisited – web shenangins??

After my original note on the arrival of American Glory BBQ up the street in the 300 “restaurant” block of Warren St., I was astounded by the stream of comments in response. After the number of comments passed five (it is now 15!!), I became suspicious that some, perhaps most, are being posted by people other than mere patrons of this establishment. This single posting has drawn more comments than any in the three year history of my website (in its earlier six years there was no comment capability on the site). The most recent commenter even comes right out and alleges that some of these comments have appeared verbatim on other websites. I have not investigated this allegation. Nevertheless, I admit to my doubts.

Leaving all of this web daring do aside, the restaurant remains a welcome addition to Hudson. It brings more life to the street. Soon, I will go for a meal. Swoon, next door continues to live up to its status as a legend. I hope that American Glory BBQ will turn out to be a legend too.

American Glory BBQ - Warren St. Hudson NY

Another in the Mid-Hudson Cable Internet Service Saga

Last week I went through another period of glacial internet service.

With teeth clenched I called the service line at Mid-Hudson and was connected with a technician. I described the problem and he fiddled some dials on his end.

“How many computers are hooked up to your network now!” Well, at the moment two plus our Vonage VOIP telephone box. He asked me to turn off one of the computers. I ran to Karen’s computer and turned it off. With the technician still on the line he called out the ping speed as the computer went offline. Back down to 30 to 40 milliseconds (from between 1500 to 2250 milliseconds, a crippling ping speed). Quite good.

He claimed that there must be something amiss on that computer. Since then, we have not had a new bout of slow ping rates. I am waiting. Meanwhile I am also making inquiries among my more tech savvy to find out if it makes any sense that a computer on the internal network in the house could cause such terrible ping problems??

At any rate, this time Mid-Hudson came through with some useful service.

Mid-Hudson Internet Service Turns for the Worse – Much Worse


Just when I was getting used to a fairly responsive internet service from Mid-Hudson Cablevision, this morning’s chase after emails brought me back to “1 Mississippi 2 Mississippi”. So I have run a few test via SpeedTest.net.

Here are the results:

IP_ADDRESS

TEST_DATE

DOWNLOAD_MB/s

UPLOAD_MB/s

LATENCY_MS

SERVER_NAME

DISTANCE_MILES

24.105.233.232

Mar 30, 2010 1:15 PM

8.41

0.17

278

Clifton, NJ

100

24.105.233.232

Mar 30, 2010 1:17 PM

9.66

0.03

1744

Boston, MA

150

24.105.233.232

Mar 30, 2010 1:19 PM

8.09

0.07

2119

New York, NY

100

24.105.233.232

Mar 30, 2010 1:21 PM

6.78

0.05

910

Seattle, WA

2350

24.105.233.232

Mar 30, 2010 3:49 PM

9.43

0.05

1519

Granby, MA

50

24.105.233.232

Mar 30, 2010 3:51 PM

9.52

0.03

1639

Clifton, NJ

100

24.105.233.232

Mar 30, 2010 3:53 PM

8.18

0.08

2181

Seattle, WA

2350

24.105.233.232

Mar 30, 2010 3:54 PM

9.45

0.17

22

New York, NY

100

24.105.233.232

Mar 30, 2010 3:55 PM

9.49

0.04

1007

Washington, DC

300


M-H has definitely optimized for Download Speeds, BUT the latency (this is the old “1 Mississippi 2 Mississippi” count after a mouse click) has gone from 50 to 60 to the horrible waits shown here. Finally, the upload speeds are anemic. They should be 0.4 to 0.5 MB/s.

A Pleasant Corrective to Mid-Hudson Cablevision’s Reputation Here

Some new technicians from Mid-Hudson Cablevision arrived this afternoon and performed further testing on the lines and boxes outside of the house. Not quite sure what they did, or did not, do, but, happily, the results of their ministrations are entirely positive.

The internet connections are now responsive, even snappy.The latency numbers for links to NYC, Boston, or Washington are now under 30 milliseconds. Even links to San Francisco and Seattle are under 100 milliseconds. Uploads are now a presentable 400 to 500 KB/sec. Some download speeds are well over the advertised rates of 5 MB/sec.

The Vonage telephone line no longer sounds like a fuzzy version of a bad horror movie echo chamber. I conducted a 30 minute conversation without any dropouts or auditory boomerangs.

Lets hope that Mid-Hudson can maintain this service level.

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 []