Connectivity woes (and a little science)

Last week my usually robust and reliable broadband DSL connection experienced a work slowdown. Being organized, I started to document “speed” and populated a spreadsheet. After a day of download “speeds” ranging from 1.40 to 2.18 Mbps, I called ATT.  After 15 minute wait, spoke to a tech and replicated the troubleshooting, pinged the line (all was “fine”) and then brought in a line engineer who found a noise issue, did some tweaks and performance improved for a short period and then back to dismal performance, way below the expected 3.1 – 6.0 Mbps. We Lleft it as a wait and see if performance improved.

Fortunately there are now options in broadband and I checked out Clear, an internet connection via wireless 4G. This Clear retailer offers a 48 hour demo to check coverage since we all know the wireless disclaimers: actual speed may vary.  The Clear modem worked well in the house however I only could achieve three bars consistently.  I used the Clear modem during a GoToWebinar presentation that used VOIP. It worked well with very few audio hiccups. During the session I ran a speed test with results of 2:41 Mbps. With the modem on an extension cord and out in the front yard I did get five bars.

The ATT performance issue resolved itself  (after a tech visited the utility pole on the street) and performance is back to expectations, 5.81 Mbps as I write this post. So Clear is an option but only if they can provide an outdoor modem with a better line of sight to the cell tower. According to the retailer, outdoor modems are “in the works.”  So, do I look into the ATT fiber solution or stay the course with twisted pair DSL?

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