Russell's Blog

New. Improved. Stays crunchy in milk.

Comcast melts in the rain

Posted by Russell on April 20, 2010 at 10:57 p.m.
For reasons I do not wish to fathom, my internet connection from home sucks whenever it rains. When I try to imagine why this might be the case, it calls to mind some truly horrifying images of what might be going on in Comcast's wiring closets.

How much does it suck? Well, here is a histogram of 200 ping times from my house to a machine at UC Davis, about 3000 feet from my front door. For comparison, I simultaneously collected 200 pings from my colo machine, which is 3000 miles away in Boston. The inbound and outbound packets from the colo go over Level3, so I've labeled it thusly.

Now, I wouldn't really expect a residential cable modem connection to measure up very well against a colocated server in terms of latency, but this isn't just a failure to measure up. This is just a regular old fashioned failure.

What ticks me off the most is that I pay $636 a year for this crap, and that my only alternative is AT&T DSL. I'd rather shave my tongue with a used bayonet than see a penny of my income fall into the hands of AT&T. Why does broadband suck in America?

I believe, Sir, that I may with safety take it for granted that the effect of monopoly generally is to make articles scarce, to make them dear, and to make them bad.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay
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