My Satellite Internet Provider From Hell

I couldn’t post a blog yesterday. Wanna know why? Because I have the worst internet service on the planet, that’s why.

It’s called HughesNet locally and it’s a satellite system. Since we live in the boonies, you have to be directly on a main drag in town to get cable. The rest of the hinterlands are left to rot. We live about a football field away from one of these main drags, but we would have to pay a trillion dollars and offer them our eldest son to get them to run a line down our street. Apparently cable lines are made from diamonds.

So here’s the deal with HughesNet satellite. They know you’re desperate, or you wouldn’t be asking for their service to begin with. Since they have the bully stick, they immediately begin to pound you with it. You are allowed 200 megabytes a day, except between the hours of 2am and 7am. You know what 200mb gets you? Try about four YouTube videos. Or two online video games. Know what you can’t do anymore? Let your computer automatically download updates, or leave your browser open, or check your friggin’ email or live a normal online life. But they do have a handy little program that lets you know when you’ve passed your daily threshold, which makes a big red stoplight appear in the right hand side of your monitor. Do you think they expect you to go over their ridiculous limit?—they only built an entire program just to let you know you’re screwed!

When you’re red-lighted, your internet slows down to an unusable crawl. The only site you seem to be able to get on is HughesNet itself, where you can buy a “get out of internet jail free” token for $5.00. The $70.00 a month we’re giving them isn’t enough, we have to shell out an extra five bucks every time we cross the imaginary line in cyberspace. We’ve honestly had days where we woke up in the morning and the light is red. No one has used the internet yet, but somehow we’re in violation. It’s like getting pulled over for speeding in your driveway.

But at least the internet works well! Unless there’s a rainstorm, or a snowstorm, or wind, or there’s a cloud in the sky or someone in the house sneezes. Whenever any of these acts of God occur, our modem gets kicked offline, which means you have to restart it in order to reconnect to the internet. That happens–and I’m being conservative here—a hundred times a day. It’s so annoying that it makes me want to call WildBlue, the only other satellite service available…oh, wait, we already tried that and they couldn’t find a signal where we live. We don’t need to play Monopoly, we’re living it every day.

So we suck it up and try to play by the rules and hope when we get up in the morning we’ll be safe. Oh, and we complain to each other. That seems to help. And we tell everyone we know, “Don’t use HughesNet, they are a rip-off!” If we can save one poor soul from this nightmare, we’ve done our job. But they’ll probably just say, “What the hell, I don’t have any choice. How bad can they be?” Not bad at all—if you’re up at 2 in the morning. Otherwise, consider yourself warned!

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