The Downsides of Digis

matthew's picture

Update: Today, October 14, 2008, a Digis repair tech came out to make sure they'd taken back their antenna from off our house as a result of this blog entry. He actually had a copy of the discussion with him, and informed my wife that a Vice-President had received a copy of the email chain entitled "[Motorola II] 5.2 freq dishing?", looked up the linked blog entry (this one), and become very unhappy.

The truth hurts, Digis. If you were to modify your overbearing bandwidth-throttling policy to match twenty-first century needs, you would serve your customers better.

As many of you know, I recently moved from Tooele, UT to Riverton, UT. These two homes are, in fact, less than seventeen miles away from one another, but require approximately one hour to travel between due to the intervening mountain range.

Someone should build a tunnel.

My wife and I had been happy Comcast customers for two and a half years since ditching Qwest, who withdrew more than $300 from our bank account for phone service we didn't have. Although their upload speed was crap, Comcast had the bandwidth necessary to make our Vonage line run without any glitching, and also provided some QOS measures to ensure that even if we were downloading something or watching a video from the 'net, we could still use our phone.

In hindsight, I guess we were living in broadband nirvana. Our VoIP phone just worked. Our internet connection just worked. We'd had a problem the first summer with overheating in the network gear in the switching cabinet down the road due to a string of 100+ degree days, but it had not recurred the following summer. My kids could watch Flash cartoons on the 'net, send emails, surf web sites, and so forth, while I could download ISOs for the latest Linux distribution and my wife could listen to our voice mail in her inbox. Every so often, we decided to sit down and watch fully-legal streaming movies or TV shows from iTunes or Netflix. I caught up on all of "Heroes", even though I never sat down in front of my TV to watch, by watching the show from my Netflix player on my computer.

I think this is fairly typical use for a modern broadband-connected household. We have not used P2P file-sharing apps in our home since I got a Cease & Desist from Universal for downloading The Hulk in 2003. We're not bandwidth pigs, but the home broadband market of 2008 is a whole lot more bandwidth-intensive than the home broadband market of 1998, and we're along for the ride.

After our move, I called Comcast to ask about service in my area. After a lot of questions -- mostly involving "which development is your new home in?" by clueless salespeople who couldn't understand that our new home has been here since 1991 and there was nothing around when it was built -- and a truck-roll from Comcast, we were told that service was not available to our home. And that, because we live on a private road, service would not be available unless we arranged an easement and payment for running the line.

Well, crap. That option is out the window. A few of our new neighbors are opposed to making our private road a public road, and the city of Riverton seems more than content to continue charging us taxes for services like secondary water that we can't use unless we work with our neighbors to get an easement for the service. Alas. I need to meet all my neighbors this summer and see what we can do about getting this dirt road paved, with easements in place for various utilities, because the current arrangement isn't ideal.

I set about investigating broadband options. These were quickly reduced to three possibilities:

  1. Qwest DSL. My mother had this. It was fine, it was reasonably fast, a little expensive. If I didn't have an intense distaste for Qwest due to the aforementioned bank-account theft, I'd have just picked them and been done with it. I can have my choice of ISPs on DSL for an additional fee, so there's some choice there.
  2. Hughes broadband satellite Internet. I used to sell Internet based on this service when I worked for Interactive Satellite Internet Service back in 1995. There's something they don't tell you in the TV ads: latency is killer, and often uploads are quite slow. At around half a second round-trip-time, this kind of latency in broadband is fine for streaming video and typical household uses, but I do remote-console work and online games as two of my main broadband activities. Nope, that one is right out.
  3. A little ISP called "Digis High-Speed Internet". The ads looked great. They had referral deals, reasonable costs for the equipment rental, a bit of a high initial set-up fee, but it wasn't Qwest. I read the Internet FAQ on their web site, and became aware that they throttled connections after a certain amount of usage.

All right, I think I found our service. The throttling was of no concern because, as a fairly typical family with an Internet connection, our usage wasn't like those people who leave BitTorrent going all day to seed infringing videos and stuff. My mother is involved in trading stocks, so maybe her ticker will suck up some bandwidth, but that kind of usage is very typical these days.

We installed the service. I eventually put in a call to tech support because my uploads seemed to be throttled (they weren't, I just had to re-set QOS on my router), and everything seemed perfect for about a week. Fast up, fast down, working as expected. Wow, this is a great alternative to DSL!

Then one day, our phone sounded choppy. I wondered about it, but it cleared up the next morning. Callers said that we sounded fine, but on our end we couldn't hear them. Then randomly, again, it went choppy.

I'd seen some behavior like this on Comcast if I hadn't prioritized packets well on my router. I double-checked my QOS (Quality of Service) settings. They were in order. Why was I getting this random choppiness?

One four-hour call to Digis tech support later, and I learned that I was hitting their bandwidth throttle every day. According to Digis, typical usage of their service is less than 500 megabytes, so they throttle once at 500MB, reducing performance from 5 megabits down/2 up to 512kbps down/256kbps up. Again at 1GB transferred in a 24-hour period, they shut your connection down to 256kbps down, 128kbps up.

This throttling arrangement -- whatever hardware they are using -- does not honor QOS for VoIP. Which means that if you're getting throttled, your Lego Star Wars video is getting in the way your conversation with his great-grandmother. In our case, since QOS is working right at our little router, she can hear me perfectly, but all I hear from her is out-of-order gibberish.

This type of throttling is not gentle traffic shaping like I'm used to. It is a punitive degradation of service. And I strongly suspect that Digis sets their caps this low in order to mask very real problems they have with their uplink and Canopy deployments: namely over-selling available bandwidth. It's the most logical explanation for such diminutive throttle levels. They lack the capacity to handle peak loads from subscribers, so they throttle to ensure that their under-sized pipe is not overwhelmed.

It's basic ISP capacity planning, but in this case, execution is faulty. In the first place, bandwidth has gotten so cheap that you should simply purchase enough bandwidth to handle your peak loads, rather than squeezing the customer because you don't want to invest in your infrastructure.

I have not experienced performance this slow since I was on dialup. Seriously. I used to have two phone lines and use SLIRP (with the endorsement of my ISP) to join them so that I could get 108kbps connections. That old connection that I did in like 1995 seems faster than Digis when I'm throttled.

Now, the reason it feels so much slower is pretty clear. Whatever the throttling product is they have in place seems to follow a "first in, first out" algorithm. If you are just surfing the web, there is not a substantial loss of service. However, if you have a download in the background -- like Windows Update, the last one of which was over 300MB for my aging Windows XP computer -- that download ends up taking priority over any other traffic because it was the first thing going, and the part taking up the majority of the connection when it's otherwise idle. Subsequent pages actually time out because it takes so long to retrieve them with a background download going on.

I tried negotiating with them: "Can you just prioritize VoIP traffic so that my phone doesn't get all choppy when you throttle?" Short answer: no, "bandwidth is bandwidth" said the tech after an hour on the phone and even more time spent talking to his supervisor. "Can you implement QOS so at least my incoming telephone traffic is not waiting on the throttle to open so that I can hear callers clearly?" The tech's less-than-helpful response was to tell me that if I needed more bandwidth, they could provide unrestricted bandwidth for the first (if I recall correctly) 12GB per month, with an additional $5 per gigabyte cost after that.

Hmm, let's think about this. A VoIP call is somewhere near 100kbps. That's bi-directional, so a total of 200kbps/sec. That's around 90 megabytes per hour, plus overhead. Admittedly, one would have to be a heavy talker to hit that cap on VoIP alone, but an hour or two per day on the phone is pretty typical for our family. That's about five and a half gigs per month, just telephone traffic. Which would leave only four and a half gigs available for everything else we do on the Internet, until we start paying extortionate prices.

If I wanted some other plan than the "attach a vacuum cleaner to your wallet" one proposed above (last month's total transfer would have bled us of a total of $135 using that brilliant ploy), according to this tech, I needed to purchase a "business" level of service. He transferred me to the voice mail of the business services rep. This rep called me back a couple of hours later, told me that business service was around $100/month, and that it still throttled connections. In this class of service, however, it throttled them after your first gigabyte of transfer. The second level -- the punitive "Dear lord I wish I were on dialup" setting that can't handle background transfers -- kicks in just like the personal plan, but at 2GB per day.

Yeah, that's useful. Crank your business customers down to ISDN speeds. If Digis stakeholders ever read this blog, here's a clue why your "business" class of service isn't selling well: it's not business-class service to expel your bandwidth-policy diarrhea on your customers the moment they transfer a total of 2GB of data. I could lease a business T1 line in downtown Salt Lake City for prices similar to your "business class" service, and be guaranteed 1.644Mbps both ways, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a bandwidth cap of around 537.51 gigabytes per month. That happens to be the theoretical maximum throughput of a T1 for a 31-day month. This would be a better option than your service, and equally cost-effective.

Take, for instance, this web site. I transfer somewhere between 4GB to 20GB every single day between several web sites. This is a reality of living in the twenty-first century. And usage is only going to continue to grow, not stagnate at 1998 "a hundred megabytes per day or so, max" levels. Right now, the Digis cap means I can't watch an entire Netflix movie without it invoking the cap somewhere in the middle. My daughter can watch perhaps an episode or two of her favorite anime before the throttle is invoked, causing lag so bad she has to go do something else for half an hour while her show is paused so that she can actually watch it without constant sputters.

For the near term, I think I should save my $5 a day and downgrade my service to their "high speed" instead of the "ultra high speed". I hit the throttle threshold halfway through the day anyway, and I may as well save some money rather than paying for "ultra high speed" internet that, truly, is anything but.

Digis, I'm pissed off at you.

Almost enough to be very nice and ask Qwest to come back to me. But like an abusive girlfriend who's bad with money, if I took her back, she's not going to have access to my checking account again.

Almost.

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Sammy G's picture

Referral and Personal Test-Use Is Key

Matt, your extraordinary and lengthy post is tremendous because, at a broader level, it highlights a key metric when selecting any type of variable service, support or item for home use -- get a personal referral and personally test prior to purchase. It's easy for some items, like a car. For others, such as broadband, it's not so easy. I'm really glad you took the time to write down the entire story, because it raises the caution flag for me as I contemplate getting MPLS' new high-speed wireless service. I need to try it out and talk to other users before signing up.

Thanks, Matt, for sharing.

matthew's picture

They checked out...

Digis checked out OK. The key things to look for in a WISP (Wireless ISP) are usually technology-related. I confirmed that they use the Motorola Canopy system (very rugged, reliable, few shadowing issues, works reasonably well in urban areas), that they had a fast head-end, etc. Some friends use a similar system in the next county over, and they've never had a problem to speak of.

The thing I didn't check is at what levels their throttling is invoked. In fact, you can't get this information at all through usual pre-sales channels. Also, they aren't forthcoming about the fact that connections are run through a network-address-translator, which means I can't connect back to my home system from an outside system. That's an extra $5/month service.

The underlying technology works well in the right environment. Their deployment was excellent and very professional. The signal strength remains good despite all weather conditions. The only thing that sucks is this throttling issue and the no-public-IP-without-fee policy. I suspect they have over-sold their bandwidth, but the throttling masks the problem and probably means better profits for them.

A) Their service is $40/month. If I want a public IP, I pay $45/month.
B) Bandwidth is throttled.
C) Peak throughput exceeds that of the only reasonable broadband alternative -- DSL -- available in my area (1.5mpbs only).
D) The alternative costs $44/month, includes no throttling, and a public IP address.

The alternative looks good -- except that lousy 1.5mpbs thing -- but I'm going to see what I can do to manage within the bandwidth restrictions of Digis as well. They have a no-refund policy on their $150 installation charge (now I understand why) so I'm going to see if I can make the best of things).

If you do go for a WISP, make sure you get a money-back guarantee in writing.

--
Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

matthew's picture

The $225 experiment

So with disconnection fees, Digis will have cost me $225 total for crappy service for two months. I consider it an experiment, and for the cost, a valuable lesson in using untried technology in a mission-critical environment (telephone, in this case).

I called Xmission and ordered 1.5mbps DSL service from them (with Qwest as the owner of the line). Sure, the peak speed will be about half of what Digis could do, but I know that Xmission prioritizes VOIP traffic appropriately, doesn't throttle, and friends with this service have had zero service issues.

Downsides: I pay $27 a month to a company I despise and never wanted to do business with again. Total cost is $4 more per month than Digis.

Upsides: I get around 800kbps upload speeds, a static IP address so that I can shell to home from work or whatever, and I'll mostly be dealing with Xmission (local, friendly, responsive, fast) rather than Qwest. My four bucks a month buys me a happier wife who can talk on the phone as much as she likes without being irritated at it... and, by extension, me.

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Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

matthew's picture

Canceled today

I canceled the service with Digis today. After routing through regular drones, I finally got to the cancellation department.

"Hello, this is Kendra, how can I help you?"

"I'd like to cancel my Digis service."

"What is the name on the account?"

"Matthew and Christine Barnson." I spelled out my last name, because everybody wants to spell it Branson, Barnsen, or Bronson. Maybe I should change my last name to Bronson, just like Charles.

"What is the reason you want to cancel?"

"Digis' throttling policy."

"I'm looking at your connection right now, and it doesn't look like it's very good. Have you spoken with technical support to ask them to help troubleshoot your connection?

"I've spoken with them four times, and each time the problem boiled down to hitting your throttle limits. The connection was otherwise perfect each time. The reason the connection isn't very good right now is because the dish is unplugged because I knew I was calling to cancel this morning and already have a new ISP. The connection quality was great; the throttling sucked."

"OK, were you told about Digis' 1 gigabyte plan?"

"I think, maybe, but please explain it to me," I replied.

"Well, the 1 gigabyte plan is that your first twelve gigabytes per month are included free with your subscription. If you go over twelve gigabytes in a month, each extra gigabyte is only $5."

"Kendra, there's a word for a plan that costs five dollars per gigabyte: extortionate. If it was 1/10 that price, it would still be more than twice as much as other local ISPs charge. Please relay to whomever collects cancellation information that Digis is the only broadband ISP in the Salt Lake area with an oppressive throttling policy that makes it impossible to download Windows Updates or play legal movies from Netflix without invoking the throttle and reducing bandwidth to the point that it is nearly unusable. A company implementing a throttle at such low limits, and implementing it so incompetently as Digis has, cannot appropriately call itself a broadband provider that matches today's broadband needs."

"OK, I'll tell them. Have a nice day."

"Wait, that's it? We're cancelled?"

"Yep."

"Umm, thanks. You have a good day, too."

"Bye."

The fact is, if Digis offered something like their competitors -- 100GB per month transfer, $20 for each additional 100GB -- I would gladly pony up the extra $15 or so per month. The low price point isn't the selling point for me: the ability to live the lifestyle I like is. This lifestyle includes streaming movies, VoIP, and VPN so I can work from home. That isn't a lifestyle I can live with a company that throttles my bandwidth down to 256kb/sec if I transfer a gigabyte in one day.

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Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

Digis limits

Thanks for the blog. I had a friend talking about Digis at work yesterday while I was quitting, and I'm moving soon and thought I'd look into the option. I read they had bandwidth limitations, but they wouldn't say how much anywhere. Thank you for blogging it!

I currently live on USU campus and they have a 5GB per day limit, which i felt was fair...but am moving to Erda soon and thought I'd look into other options while deciding what to do. I can handle moderate limitations, but the above listed limitations are RIDICULOUS for the price! What's the point of broadband at that rate? Like you said, there are EASY ways to legally use up more bandwidth than that every day.

Sorry to hear about your problems with Qwest. It really sucks when you get stupid reps for any company that just don't use common sense, etc or just go be scripts or whatever. I just quit working for Qwest yesterday after working there for years (found a new good paying job in Erda) or I'd offer to see if I could personally fix it for you. It might be too late now, but how long ago did it happen, and what happened? No promises, but I might be able to escalate it to have someone to make it right. If you don't care anymore since it's ancient history, it's all good, just thought I'd offer. :) You have my email.

Again, thanks for detailing this info out to those of us who wondered the limitations!

matthew's picture

HTH

Happy To Help.

In Erda, you have "Wireless Beehive", I think, rather than Digis. I used to live in Tooele City, only a few miles away from Erda. There should also be Comcast in the area, though I'm not positive. It depends on your house... my new home is nominally within Comcast's service area :)

Anyway, Wireless Beehive has a reputation for treating people fairly, but it may be wise to call them and find out if them implement specific throttling thresholds or not. I think, if I recall correctly, they guaranteed a particular speed (like 265kbit/512kbit/1mbit), and would let you burst above that level for small items like web pages and whatnot, but would throttle you down to your paid-for rate after a few seconds or if traffic was otherwise heavy on their network.

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Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

I realize this is the

I realize this is the digital age, and everything is being put on the Internet. However, many things should NOT be... such as TV. Why would you try and put something on a 2-way medium (the Internet) that is only a 1-way service (TV)? Same with telephone... why not just get a cell phone (or even "add a line" to your existing plan for $9/month) and use that to talk to Grandma every night? Instead you are trying to cram all this stuff on a connection that was designed for web browsing and email service.

It's no wonder the cable companies are now implementing a cap on their service each month, regardless of what package you buy... people like you are trying to save $5/month by combining everything onto this single connection. Wait until the day comes that that connection goes down for 2-3 days because someone cut the line in the ground, and you are without ANY service (internet, phone or TV) for 3 days. Then that $5/month you are saving won't look so good.

There are many other things you don't realize or understand about wireless technologies and bandwidth. The wireless provider can't just "buy more bandwidth" because it's now cheap... the real cost is getting that bandwidth out to every wireless tower. Some radios that deliver high-speeds for tower connections can cost $25,000 or more (for each link). How many $35/month accounts does that ISP have to sell off that tower just to pay for the backhaul link? Then you add in tower rental, costs of other equipment on the tower (cable, battery backup, access points, etc.) and you begin to understand the issues. The cable companies and telco's didn't pay for most of their infrastructure, they had it built for them by the Government. Many of them still get million dollar "grants" each year to put cable and fiber in the ground, and then they still get to charge each customer. So, in reality, you are paying Qwest each month, twice. Once on your phone bill, and once in the taxes you pay (locally, state and federal).

Forget Digis, Use us for the fastest bandwidth

If you had happened to read the online reviews of Digis on dslreports.com you would have saved yourself the hassel.

They use apparently good equipment, but their engineering is not that great and their draconian throttling kills most everyone that wants normal speeds.

We are Rapidwave and service a lot of Riverton.
Same Canopy platform, but much more back end bandwidth, we don't over subscribe and have no set throttle limitations.

Download like you did on Comcast with no worries!

We'll switch you over for free.

$49.95 for 4-5Mbps download and 1-2Mbps upload speeds that you see most of the time if not double that on burst.
Oh, and we have a full 30 day money back guarantee. We don't have to tie anyone to some stupid contractual install fandangled plan because people actually like our service and stick to it.

Call us, 801-705-9096.

Canopy, P2P, and Wireless Beehive

There are a few things that the "general public" needs to understand about broadband connectivity, especially when comparing wireless ISP's, cable providers, and DSL service. Not all of them are the same, even if they all use the same (or similar technology). I will preface this by saying I know of what I speak; I've worked in the telecommunications industry (phone, ISP, WISP) in sales, support, and engineering since '95.

My first point deals with Peer to Peer. The majority of Internet users are content consumers, not content producers. Accordingly, most residential networks & equipment are designed with more bandwidth allocated towards the content consumer. This is desirable 90% of the time. With an average split of say 75/25 or 80/20 at the head-end, the average P2P use of just one person can saturate the system's available upstream bandwidth relatively quickly. By artificially setting the upload to something small, like Comcast's 384K, adverse effects that the outbound traffic has on the system are reduced, giving other users sharing that same node or AP enough breathing room to do their own thing.

Now, Canopy. Canopy gear is designed to throttle at the radio itself, depending on how it is programmed by the provider. The radios have built-in token buckets that determine how much data can be downloaded for the initial burst before throttling down to the desired rate actually takes place, a factor again decided by the provider. Rapidwave and Wireless Beehive could probably give you a better run-down on how this all works, but I think John Q. Public frankly isn't going to care--he just wants it to work and be fast.

Ultimately the ISP is responsible for providing an overall enjoyable experience. Poor QoS implementations are the antithesis of what QoS really stands for: Quality of Service. It sounds like Matt got neither Quality nor Service.

And to Travis, you also need to understand that yes, although wireless gear can cost a lot, cable and telco gear costs much, much more. $25,000 can buy you a few Canopy AP's, but you'd be hard pressed to build a DSL shelf with that small amount. And the myth that the cable and telcos have free access to government money to do whatever they want needs to be dispelled. Government help comes in the form of loans, which have to be paid off, and grants, which require some kind of return investment on the part of the grantee, such as building and staffing a community center or similar impositions. Grants are readily available to any would-be broadband provider: telco, cable, or wireless. There are hundreds of discussions in email archives on this topic alone, so I'll end it there.

Either way, the future of communications services is that everything that can will come in via IP (or similar). Whether it's fiber, copper, cable, or wireless, content providers and content consumers will migrate to what works for them in their area. Although current wireless technologies severely limit what media end-users can enjoy when compared to other technologies like fiber, digital cable, satellite, and VDSL, the wireless networks still work and work well (when designed properly).

For what it's worth, Wireless Beehive does not currently enforce monthly bitcaps or set usage limits; the system throttles to the limit paid for after the initial burst bucket of a few megabytes (5-10 depending on service) is exceeded. I have them at home and have nothing to complain about. In my own rudimentary testing I can conclude that it works exactly as advertised.

Any provider who says they haven't ever considered usage limits in today's P2P and movie-intensive world is lying. But implementation and enforcement can be tricky and expensive, and there are still other options available. Just read about the cable companies and their "experiments" as of late to get a good idea of the issues involved.

Excellent run-down, all-in-all, Matt.

There is no way you are

There is no way you are going to allow a $50/month account unlimited, 5meg download with no caps, no throttling, wide open access. Even in the big carrier hotels (Seattle for example) bandwidth costs are $10/meg. So you are going to lose money on this customer just to say "we don't do that"?

Doesn't seem like very smart business.

matthew's picture

Way off-base

Travis, you're way off-base. Let me count the ways.

...everything is being put on the Internet. However, many things should NOT be... such as TV.

Admittedly, high-bandwidth mechanisms like over-the-air digital TV and cable-based on-demand TV are very appropriate for delivering bandwidth-sucking content like television shows and movies. However, those companies which are not stuck in the nineties have generous bandwidth caps -- 200GB per month or more -- that allow for distribution of high-bandwidth media.

IP telephony, video, and other multi-media are here to stay. Digital distribution is the right tool for the job.

Same with telephone... why not just get a cell phone (or even "add a line" to your existing plan for $9/month) and use that to talk to Grandma every night?

My employer, UltraMegaCorp, has embraced IP telephony across the globe to reduce costs and improve integration. I can go to India, hook up my VoIP adapter, and have conversations with co-workers in the States as if I'm sitting at my desk in Salt Lake City, Utah.

It's not just "talking to Grandma"... it's conducting business with speed and portability unmatched in history. VoIP is also here to stay and the right tool for the job.

It's no wonder the cable companies are now implementing a cap on their service each month...

Comcast's monthly bandwidth cap before they begin throttling is 250GB.

Digis' monthly bandwidth cap before they begin throttling is 1GB per day, then they throttle you the rest of the month once you hit 12GB.

See the difference in scale? I think Comcast's limit is perfectly sensible, personally. Digis' limit is effing RETARDED.

Wait until the day comes that that connection goes down for 2-3 days because someone cut the line in the ground, and you are without ANY service (internet, phone or TV) for 3 days. Then that $5/month you are saving won't look so good.

Happens with telephone service, too, and if you use DSL that's exactly how you are screwed. That's why I never advocate VoIP for home connections unless a consumer has a backup communication method like a mobile phone available. Additionally, Netflix has the same DVD distribution method in place regardless of their download service; if I really, really wanted to watch a movie, hey, look! I have three chosen from my queue sitting in the mailbox!

There are many other things you don't realize or understand about wireless technologies and bandwidth. The wireless provider can't just "buy more bandwidth" because it's now cheap... the real cost is getting that bandwidth out to every wireless tower

Actually, I'm very familiar with Motorola Canopy gear and the technologies underlying wireless IP. Digis screwed up. The problem isn't their wireless towers or the Canopy system, which do just fine under load. It's their nimrodic throttling policy that needs fixing, and that policy stinks of inadequate head-end bandwidth, not a failure of Canopy technology to cope with their user base.

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Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

matthew's picture

Wholesale costs

Even in the big carrier hotels (Seattle for example) bandwidth costs are $10/meg...

What are you smoking? My company's bandwidth cost is pennies per gigabyte. Even if you're an Xmission customer on lowly T-1 service in downtown Salt Lake City subscribed to $600/month service, with an unlimited plan your costs are under $1.50 per gigabyte. Nowhere near $10/megabyte.

If you amortize your costs correctly and run a large enough pipe with a discount carrier (or two or three), you can run unlimited internet service over high-bandwidth connections without taking a loss. Local carrier Xmission has been doing so profitably for years.

Digis' tyrannical bandwidth policies smack of poor business management and unrealistic profit expectations. Or possibly extreme cost-cutting tied to executive bonuses. They are totally unreasonable as they stand.

If Digis were to carry a soft bandwidth cap similar to Comcast's -- 250GB/month -- customers would have no reason to look elsewhere.

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Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

Bandwidth

The $10 a megabit he is referring to is the size of the pipe not the aggregate throughput in a given time frame. And yes it is available for prices in that range but more typically hovers around $20-$30 a megabit for the more reliable service providers. And yes these prices are specific to the Seattle Westin.

"Adult Panda Movies" and "Chinese Swear Words", now I have seen it all, what kind of sick pervert are you? :)

Jason

matthew's picture

Pervy...

"Adult Panda Movies" and "Chinese Swear Words", now I have seen it all, what kind of sick pervert are you? :)

Just sick and perverted enough :)

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Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

The $10/meg was a

The $10/meg was a measurement of speed (10Mbps) not transfer amount. There is a big difference. Let's run the numbers so you can see how this works. I'm going to use $20 per Mbps, because that is even very CHEAP bandwidth (we currently pay over $40 per Mbps on our OC3's):

Using Comcast's 250GB per month, that comes out to 771Kbps (77% of 1Mbps) running 24 hours per day, 30 days per month. So, just the "hard" cost of the bandwidth is $15.40 per month (using $20 per Mbps). If we use $40 per Mbps, the "hard" cost of just the bandwidth is now $30.84.

That does not factor in tower rent, employee costs, building costs, equipment costs (not just the Canopy AP's, but all the backhaul equipment including routers, switches, battery backup systems, etc.).

I have been an ISP since 1997. We currently provide DSL, wireless and fiber-optic internet services. I can honestly say that I would not want you as a customer. You say you would pay your fair amount for reliable, fast service, yet for what you are doing and using it for, the fair amount on my network would be $100 per Mbps for as much as you want to purchase. :)

Yet you could buy a nice 1Mbps wireless for $39/month, DISH Network TV for $39/month and a cell phone package for $19/month and have better service all the way around.

matthew's picture

Economies of scale ignored

Travis,

As I'm sure you are aware, ISPs have economies of scale and over-sell their bandwidth. The theoretical user hitting 250GB/month -- which, by the way, I've never come close to hitting even on my little 1.5mbit DSL line -- won't use that evenly over the course of a month. You buy a pipe big enough to accommodate the peak needs of your users, within reason, and guarantee a reasonable minimum transfer speed.

Wireless Beehive, despite their faults, does it right. They sell you a minimum guaranteed speed package, and allow you to burst above that. These are tiered levels of service that you pay extra for, but you're guaranteed your base speed. And you pay around $50/megabit for that level of guaranteed service. That's just fine; nice burst speeds are a bonus, not a requirement.

My DSL connection is similar. Xmission is very fair, and so far neither they nor I have any complaints regarding my usage (though, of course, faster would be better).

Digis does it wrong. They:
* Clamp users to ridiculously slow ISDN-like speeds when throttling.
* Refuse to apply QOS downstream to throttled connections.
* Do not offer tiered residential service. Even Comcast has this figured out now, offering higher upload and download speeds for a premium price.
* Sell their service at the equivalent of $360 per megabit once throttling is invoked (12 gigabytes of "burst" bandwidth, the rest metered at an eventual bitrate of around 128kilobits/sec). I'm sure, Travis, that even you will agree that this price is ridiculous in today's broadband market.
* Charge a ridiculous price per gigabyte for "business" or power-user accounts. The cost for our theoretical 250GB/month user would be $1,190 every single month.
* Force users to use NAT. Even if one elects to have a "public" IP and pay the extra $5/month for the IP address, it's still just a DMZ-style forward to your IP address and not truly a public IP.

Travis, I'm just as picky about where my money goes as you apparently are regarding your customers. That's just fine. My point remains that you can get dramatically superior service at a much lower price with just about any ISP in the Salt Lake area other than Digis.

They aren't just a crappy Internet Service Provider on objective merits, but Digis sucks relative to their local competition, too.

If you were my ISP, you could take that fact to the bank.

That said, if Digis were to reform their policies -- perhaps along the following outline -- I might be willing to reactivate the dish currently sitting idle on my roof:

1. Implement a sane, consumer-friendly, easy-to-understand bandwidth-monitoring regimen. Follow the example of Comcast, Sisna, and Xmission, by setting a reasonable limit of somewhere around 50GB to 100GB per month. Monitor and warn over-users; after repeated excesses, invite users to take their business elsewhere. Despite my family's usage, I'm well below that statistic according to my MRTG graphs. 12GB per month before reducing service to barely-usable levels is insane.

2. Implement tiered service levels akin to Wireless Beehive that are based upon a minimum standard of service. Hell, just change the advertising to indicate that the "$35/month" service is only 128kbits/sec service. What they're doing now by glossing over the draconian bandwidth limitations borders on false advertising. Put up a $50/month 512k/sec and $70/month 1mbit/sec service option, and I might get back on board.

3. Eliminate the over-use of NAT. If a user pays $5/month extra for a public IP, make it public in every way rather than a faux connection through a DMZ redirection. Better: be competitive with others in the area by including a static IP as part of your basic package.

4. Get some QOS experts in-house, and prioritize UDP (particularly SIP or legacy VOIP) over everything else, particularly when users get dropped to their guaranteed level of service.

Look based upon where the hits are coming from on this page, the fact that Digis sucks has been circulating around various inboxes. I don't know whether you work for Digis or not, but I do know wireless internet service can be done right.

Digis simply does it wrong.

--
Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

I can assure you that I do

I can assure you that I do not work for Digis... and that I was not defending them or how they handle their customers.

I was defending the entire ISP business model. Some of your first posts had very inaccurate information. Every single ISP does over-subscription (including Comcast). That's how it works. The idea is to over-subscribe enough to make money, and keep the customers happy at the same time. It's a balancing act that we deal with on a daily basis.

You have many valid points about Digis. Coming from the owner of an ISP, some of your points I agree with and some I do not. ;)

matthew's picture

Inaccurate information

Travis,

You may want to double-check who wrote what. I've only talked about my personal experience with Digis, and kept my replies focused principally upon their throttling policy that is completely out of line with local competitors. While we did not agree that my usage pattern was desirable and/or typical, your only factual disagreements appear to be with the Rapidwave ad posted as a comment by some drive-by commenter on my blog :)

Truth be told, had you not responded to the Rapidwave fellow, I'd probably have yanked his/her post as too much advertising. As it is, though, I'll let it stand since it sparked an interesting discussion regarding the economics of running an ISP.

In my early days, I helped build a small-town ISP from the ground up where we closely monitored connection times, average latency, and dialup modem pools. Although the knowledge is somewhat dated, I still feel for the local ISPs who struggle to make it against the networking behemoths intent on controlling the market by underselling or buying out the little guys. My current work involves integrating UNIX server operations for a world-spanning wide-area network of clustered supercomputing environments. All along, I've been very aware of what it takes to build a competent network riding the fine line between over-built and under-performing.

My point from the first post on has been that the business which is the topic of this blog entry -- Digis -- has messed up somewhere along the line. They offer a product which does not perform as advertised, and is entirely sub-par compared with competitive offerings in the local market.

I appreciate you stopping by.

--
Matthew P. Barnson

--
Matthew P. Barnson

Oh geeze, thank you so much

Oh geeze, thank you so much for the blog post. I'm having ridiculous problems with Digis lately. I live in St.George, and from what I understand, one of only a handful of people that have Digis this far south. For over a year I've been pleased with Digis, only getting 3.5 Mbps (Speakeasy) download, but thinking that was typical....
I've spent the entire Christmas/New Years break on the phone with them, asking them what in the heck is wrong with my internet. They just give me any excuse to get off the phone. St.George has a HUGE lack of broadband ISP's. I too refuse to settle for Qwest's 1.5 Mbps speed. And Baja sends out lazy ex-cons that refuse to not run a cable up the side of my home.

I honestly don't know which provider to chose, but I do know I'm canceling my Digis today. I was never aware of the throttling they have, and for some reason, I take that very personal. Who are they to say I can't play Wow and stream HD movies?

Thanks again,

Erick

matthew's picture

HTH

Happy to help, Eric. It seems that whatever you choose, you're stuck with some problems. Qwest and Comcast share the singular defect of being huge multi-national faceless corporations that really don't care about your individual problem as a corporation. An individual tech might take an interest, but good luck getting the same one twice. Small-time providers like Digis have to take shortcuts to compete with the bigger guys, and those shortcuts bite them in the butt with power-users like their draconian throttling policy has.

I wish I had good advice for you. Xmission has always been fair to us and struck a nice balance between price, availability, available technical help, and speed. Unfortunately our area is only on 1.5mbps service, too, via DSL. I settled for that rather than suffer through bandwidth caps that reduce my internet connection to unusability.

--
Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

matthew's picture

No dice in my area

Called your sales line, and no dice on rapidwave in my area (Riverton/Herriman border). Alas. It seemed the best option; we're still stuck in DSL hell.

--
Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

Thanks for the Info

Just wanted to stop by and thank you for all of the information you have put together regarding the throttling done by Digis. My parents have Digis out in the Eagle Mountain area and have been somewhat happy with the service until a few months ago. They rarely use the internet for more than email but have recently been loading books from the Library system for travel. I have been on the phone with them more than I care to admit and still had not been able to get an answer to the reasons why my parent's phone sucked.

Now I know and Digis has lost a customer. Rapidwave will be getting a call.

matthew's picture

Put it on the sales page...

Well, apparently enough customers got fed up with Digis' throttling policy that Digis is now advertising it as a "feature" on their web site:

Unlimited transfer with Speed Protection Throttling.*

Yep, they even give it a nifty name to sound like they're giving you something special, instead of taking away something compared to every other ISP in the area:

Speed Protection Throttling of connections is performed to prevent abuse and preserve access speeds. Throttling is done on a daily basis and varies by plan. Contact your sales or customer care agent for more information.

Yeah, they're not going to come out and say "We're going to throttle your connection to unusable levels the moment you try to do anything productive with it". Prevent abuse, indeed? Transferring half a gig per day is not abuse; that's just regular Internet usage in the modern era.

Now where did I leave my ax? I need to spend a little more time grinding it. Lousy local ISPs giving terrible quality of service and pitching it as a feature...

--
Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

Rapidwave coverage area

Matthew,

I'm interested in who you talked to from Rapidwave. We do have service and customers in Herriman, Riverton, Bluffdale, South Jordan and parts of Draper and Sandy.

What SHOULD have happened is the sales rep should have escalated your sales ticket and a site survey SHOULD have been scheduled.

If you're still interested, try calling the phone# listed below and then press 4. It should ring through to my cell and I'll get someone (or myself) out to check LoS (Line of Sight). If you have LoS to our tower in Herriman, you should be good to go on our network.

Regards,

Justin Burt
Rapidwave, LLC
801-705-9095 press 4

matthew's picture

Spoke to Justin Burt

I just had a conversation a few minutes ago with Justin Burt, co-owner of Rapidwave. According to him, we do have service in Riverton, and he will give me a call tomorrow when he leaves to come to a site survey at my home himself.

So far, really impressed. Justin talks a great game, has a clear picture of what it is that people hate about Digis, and obviously aims to avoid the problems they suffer.

Notable bullet points from the conversation:
* Every access point has a point-to-point backhaul to their network.
* They don't backhaul any non-customer-facing traffic over customer-facing networks. In other words, they don't use the Canopy access points to try to shuttle everybody's network access, and reserve the Canopies for "last mile" communication to the customer only. This has profound performance implications.
* Throttling is implemented based upon one's subscription level; as a residential customer, I will be throttled to 4 megabits per second. Of course, due to distance, interference, and potential line-of-sight issues, I may get less than that. We'll have to see. And QOS is maintained regardless of one's throttle level, which is important; as long as my calls don't suck, I don't care if I only get 1 megabit per second.
* Rapidwave under-subscribes each AP to a maximum of 75 customers in order to ensure that the QOS features are evenly implemented. Apparently the Canopy access points can only apply QOS to the first 100 connections; avoiding over-subscription to an individual access point allows Rapidwave to guarantee timely packet delivery on time-sensitive data.
* QOS is implemented across the entire network. From their head-end routers all the way to the customer's, both downstream and upstream QOS is applied to allow SIP and other critical traffic to have top priority. This is critical for VoIP.
* Rapidwave plans to implement prioritized residential VoIP in the near future. No specific timeline, but there are efficiencies to having the connection point of your VoIP provider sitting just across the access point from you rather than in Chicago or New Jersey across the public Internet.
* Customer turnover on Rapidwave has been less than 1% over five years. That's a superb retention rate and bodes well.
* They can service my area due to their acquisition of, I think it was, "PCM Communications", a small ISP that was going out of business several years ago.
* Justin's confident enough that if they can serve me without line-of-sight issues, he doesn't have any reservations about me posting a review later :)
* If we can re-use the existing cabling run to my roof, Rapidwave will waive the installation fee. If we have to put the antenna on my two-story garage to get line-of-sight, though, it'll probably still cost me.
* We may not have line-of-sight to my house.

I'll post a follow-up regarding installation and initial testing when the time comes.

--
Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

Thank for the info, and help please

Thank you for the blog info, I live in springville, and over the past 4 years each one of my WISPs have been consumed by digis. I am not able to get a wired connection... Do you or any of your reader know of any options for me out in springville?

Thanks again
Jeff

Digis throttling..

Funny I ran across this blog today...

2 weeks new Digis customer here (yes, I should have checked out DSLReports first)...

Life has been great w/ gaming, etc... then today I decide to check out the latest OpenSuse 11.1 distro so download DVD, and LiveCD.. Oooops... last download is going really sloooooooooow and my gaming experience (counterstrike) starts to stink.

I do a little research and find this blog... has to be my problem.. bandwidth throttling... !@$!%

Contacted Rapidwave and they are not available in Davis County yet.. Nor is Comcast available in this area yet... and Qwest.. well, we WON'T go THERE...

Downloading two legal distros and my bandwidth is hosed... sigh

We'll see if the speed returns after midnight tonight. Not sure if I can live with this mickeymouse policy.

Can't wait for Rapidwave or Netopia to be available in our area.

matthew's picture

Rapidwave Install

Just had Clint from Rapidwave come by the house and install service. They are pointing at a tower in the opposite direction from Digis. So far, I'm getting 8.5mbit down and 1.5mbit up, although I understand that's faster than the rate I'm paying for.

I installed the latest Sveasoft firmware for my WRT54G router so that I had all the latest QOS improvements and hacks. I then cut over the network to use the new connection.

I'm simultaneously watching the latest episode of one of my favorite shows on Netflix in near-DVD quality, have a download of the latest Ubuntu Linux distribution going in the background, and made several telephone calls from my Vonage IP-based telephone.

I'll provide a full review after I've used the service for a month or so, but so far they've proven good on their claim that their network is optimized for VoIP even under heavy load.

--
Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

Irritated with Digis, too

Matt,

Thanks for the informative post. I built a new house in a (relatively) brand new development in Davis County. Comcast is not available, and nor is Qwest, so we unfortunately had to go with Digis.

Installation was great, and the installer about had a heart attack when he found the network infrastructure that I had designed into my house. The installation was literally plug-n-play for him.

However, I run a small software consulting firm from my home and I naturally need a little bit of bandwith to host our own internal project websites/services that need to be available from outside my home's internal network. More importantly I just need to connect to my SOHO network, and I'm finding that the IP I have is not a public IP. Also, I had an unusual month for bandwith last month and I must've hit some kind of cap because they cut me off completely at the end of the month. No internet at all for about 1 1/2 days. Great! So, if Digis executives read this: I'm hitting the market because you jerks worked draconian policies into your fine-print and now after paying for installation I'm the one that is screwed. Thanks a lot! And by the way, I will not pay extra for features that are included with your competitors' services.

All of these sophomoric controls and regulations, including throttling and non-public IP addresses lead me to believe that Digis is under water and struggling to grow, so they're squeezing their customers. This is the second wireless Internet company that I've had significant problems with. The first one died, and I hope Digis rolls over and dies, too. The technology is too expensive for these startup companies so they screw their customers to stay solvent. Buyers beware.

Anyway, thanks for the info. I'm going to see if I can't get our neighbors together and put some pressure on Comcast to lay some cable out here. We're not remote; I think it would be worth it for them.

wispwatchdog's picture

[Motorola II] Digis 5.2 Dishing

It is interesting that the tech that came to your house had a print out about this topic.

Here is the origin of the above topic.
A nationwide group of Motorola WISPS was discussing what should be done about Digis illegally dishing (using a reflector that looks like a satellite dish)a frequency that is necessary for cleanliness due to the nature of its use. Consequently, the FCC was contacted and came to Utah to investigate allegations that Digis is involved in the dishing of the frequency 5.2 and 5.4 which is illegal under the FCC law because it could cause interference with radar operations including national defense radar. The investigation is still ongoing as of today.

What is amazing to me is that the poor customer who thinks they are just receiving internet service, is allowing a company to put a device on their home that they could be potentially fined for! This is how this company treats everything....total disregard for others.

For those that want a choice other than these idiots here is a link that will show all the Wireless Internet Service Providers in Utah.
http://tinyurl.com/cv4e5o

Always watch the Bull!
~D

Always watch the Bull!
~D

Digis your days are numbered!

Thank you everyone who has reaffirmed my feelings against Digis, I have finally found people who know how I feel. I live in West Layton and I am sick of this only having 3 options for internet service. I first switched from dial up to high speed internet when a company advertised for 1.5Mbps Down and Up, that was great for the first few weeks, but the owner of the company was so new to what he was doing that there were constant disconnects. I'm beginning to think I was the reason why he quit/sold the high speed clearfield business to Digis because I was a customer who actually called when the speeds or service were down because I had a somewhat competent knowledge of what bandwidth speeds were. I don't usually like to complain about a company unless they really rip off and mistreat my friends and me who are customer's of that company. The fact is Digis has in its mind that the majority of internet users barely use their internet service and that is why they can put these bandwidth throttling policies in place. This is ridiculous, I to like the advancements of the internet, how I can watch a shows I missed by going to hulu or watch a movies I've never seen by going to Netflix, but when I have to plan my day when I have time, according to Digis throttling policy, it is ridiculous. I will admit I don't know that much about how to become an ISP or how many things are actually required and regulated for a customer to receive internet service, but I do know this, when I pay $40 a month for high speed internet and I have to have a bandwidth meter on my computer so I make sure I don't download too much so I can watch a movie on netflix on my big screen when my whole family is home, there is a problem. I know that Layton is expected to have Utopia FiOS in the area soon after much debate with the city, and I have heard recent reports that parts of Layton already have the service, and what I want digis to know, is that their days are numbered in Layton, once Utopia has completely placed all its fiber lines in the ground I will make it my personal vendetta to find all my neighbors who are Digis customers and I will help them personally switch to fiber. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers just want internet service that serves us, not enslaves us.

Help Me To Get Away!

Sweet, now I know I have a reason for frustration felt over DIGIS, I know there is hope for a better experience!

PLEASE, I want to switch off of Digis as soon as I can, what other ISP should I choose? Right now I'm looking into xmission and rapidwave. 1.5Mbps is plenty since all I've been experiencing with Digis for the past months has only been 256kbps!!!!!!!!!!!! (Due to their abhorrent throttling policies). Of course, we're paying around $44 for Digis currently, so anything around that would be perfectly fine.

I live in Highland, UT by Freedom Elementary.

Thanks so much!

matthew's picture

Rapidwave

I've been with Rapidwave for several months now. Comcast beats it silly in download speeds, but it beats Qwest cold. And Digis isn't even a contender in the "decent broadband" category: they are only, and solely IMHO, a competitor to dial-up.

So if you're in an area served by Rapidwave, they are a good choice. Xmission is also a good local ISP, and other than the fact that they only provide over DSL, which is a problem for VoIP telephone service like Vonage, they were just fine. My wife and I despise Qwest for stealing $300 from us many years ago, lying to us about resolving the issue, and then being impossible to work with after that, and never want to do business with them again.

The basic issue with Vonage and Qwest DSL is that Qwest, in the interest of performance, has huge buffers on their Stinger units at the head-end of the DSL links to shove data down your pipe as fast as possible. The problem is that this approach makes it impossible for quality of service guarantees -- necessary for good Voice Over IP service -- to do their jobs. Rapidwave, on the other hand, prioritizes VoIP packets on their network, and it shows. Our Vonage voice service has been flawless since we switched and implemented QoS on our home router.

--
Matthew P. Barnson

Cutting Off My Air Supply

Just got off the phone with Digis. We've known for a couple months that we were running up against their bandwidth policies, but we don't have many options in our area. We upgraded our plan and we still can't use our VIOP phones after 1pm on any given day. Every time I call they tell me that they have reconfigured it and it should be better but they recommend that we switch to the unlimited plan. So we started looking into it, and here's what we found:

They throttle daily, but they couldn't tell us our daily usage. They recommended that we call their support line every day at the same time to get our total monthly usage, and then subtract the total usage from yesterday to come up with today's total. As ridiculous as that is, we did it.

Lo and behold, we hit our bandwidth cap half way through a Sunday. I called and asked for an explanation from the Digis techs: we are closed Sunday and our phones are answered server side on the weekends so they don't even ring. They offered two possible explanations. (1) Our computers have viruses that are downloading even when the office is closed, or (2) one of our neighbors has hacked our connection. I explained that our computers are all powered down on the weekends and that our wireless network is secured and we change the key monthly. He replied, "in either scenario you are responsible for all traffic from your location."

His response was rehearsed enough that it seems to me that he's heard of others in my situation. Considering that they can't offer me any daily reports, and that my traffic is steady on Sundays, it looks to me like they may be throttling regardless of my actual usage. I'm going to start monitoring it myself while I look for a new provider, but are there other explanations for our Sunday bandwidth report?

~~~~jazz

Why use the Internet for TV?

Why use the Internet for TV? I use it because I like to watch things on demand, and because - for now - there are fewer to no commercials. I don't need, or want to spend money on 300 channels of which I will only watch a few. I use cell phones for my voice communications, but I think I just ran into the throttling issue. Netflix and Youtube are buffering a lot. I wasn't told about the throttling either. I was under the impression I could get up to 7mpbs downloads every day, for the entire month, and that there was no cap on the amount of data downloaded. Digis just needs to be up front with it and let their customers know they will hit the wall after they watch a few shows that month.

matthew's picture

Backhauling over wifi

One thing Digis neglects to tell their customers is how cheap they went to outfit their towers. Digis is backhauling their network over wifi and canopy. That's right. They aren't paying for fiber-optical links to their towers like Rapidwave and every other ethical wireless Internet provider is doing. They're using the same wireless stuff to backhaul their network to their head-end!

You can see why this creates a problem. Imagine you're using a tower that uses a Canopy-to-Canopy link. This is a broadcast medium, not a discrete one. So if you send a packet to the tower, it's re-sending that packet using the same broadcast frequency range to talk to the next tower in their network. So imagine that there are fifty customers on a tower. Every packet each of them sends is broadcast again, requiring twice the bandwidth because it's being sent twice.

It's not just a problem with their head-end. It's an infrastructure issue. They cheaped out on infrastructure, and it's biting them in the butt. The only way they can survive is to lure in gullible old folks who only turn on their router to send an email... those types might have a prayer of not hitting the 12GB cap.

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Matthew P. Barnson

matthew's picture

Status update: Still with Rapidwave

So 18 months later... we're with Rapidwave still.

I've blown the former Digis-style bandwidth cap here and there (no such cap exists on this ISP). I've P2Pd here and there. I've streamed movies (legitimately), used VoIP, played games, downloaded ISOs... no bandwidth caps, none in sight, and I'm a happy customer by and large. On rare occasions the network gets very busy and slow. About my only complaint at this point is that we switched from Vonage to MagicJack, and MJ's quality is very sub-par compared to Vonage. But that's not Rapidwave's problem.

I've stopped worrying about my signal strength or running frequenty bandwidth tests to see what we're getting that night. My kids can watch videos on Megavideo with minimal buffering. Occasionally my wireless router crashes -- it's very old, time to replace it I think -- but that's about it from a reliability standpoint.

If you have the option in your area, use Rapidwave, not Digis.

--
Matthew P. Barnson

matthew's picture

Delightful...

Delightful. After years with Rapidwave, who buys them?

DIGIS.

Goes to show: crappy customer service, horrendous oversubscription, and rampant profiteering from your customers pays off, apparently. The hunt is on for a new ISP as a back-up plan if Digis acts like they did when we were a customer before.

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Matthew P. Barnson