Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010: A Broadband Odyssey

I just discovered that I got linked from a blog called Stop the Cap which appears to cover internet broadband issue with an editorial position against usage caps. They linked to this blog from a post covering broadband in Lawrence so it is kind of cool that a national blog not related to Jayhawk basketball has discovered our little town!

Anyway, if you are visiting from Stop the Cap, welcome! I started my blog as a way to document a side-by-side comparison my family made of our local cable provider, Sunflower Broadband, with AT&T's VDSL service, U-Verse. The links on the right cover the highlights, but after trying both services, the end result is that we went with AT&T for Internet, and Sunflower for television. Even if you don't live in Lawrence, hopefully my blog will be a good comparison between cable and VDSL for anyone through the country who can choose between the two technologies.

We made the decision in late September, and in the four months since then things have been working out well. We continue to enjoy our Sunflower television service on our TiVo (and on my Mac using a QAM tuner box) and our U-Verse internet has been nearly flawless, with a single pair of glitches over a day in mid November, and other then that no downtime whatsoever with consistent and fast speeds.

Of course there are no use caps on U-Verse in Lawrence. This hasn't turned my family into bandwidth hogs, but it is really nice to be able to veg out to Hulu, utilize online backup services, or download massive software updates and games without worrying about the meter running.

I don't think AT&T is perfect (hey, I have an iPhone too!) but they have been good to have in Lawrence as they have spurred competition. Sunflower has responded by raising their bandwidth caps from 50 GB per month on the Gold plan to a better 120, definitely an improvement for their customers, and hopefully both companies will continue to improve their respective offerings.

Thanks for visiting, and I'll keep writing occasionally about our experiences with broadband here in Lawrence.

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