18 December 2011

time to dump suddenlink internet access?

friday (16 december 2011) morning we were listening to the ksyl talk back 970 with fred & bob program, when news reader and station engineer, dave graichen interrupted to mention suddenlink internet access service and that

"they're one of the first cable companies in the country that are going to start charging you if you go over a certain amount of downloads if you have their internet service, it really, truly sucks and if you're not aware of what they're going to do it's really going to cost a lot of money for folks -- especially if you are one of these people who uses netflix or any any one of those services that you download movies -- you'll go over your limit very, very quickly ... so get ready."

link to audio page
naturally this caught our attention because we use suddenlink and we like to upload lots of video clips and high resolution photos and audio clips.

it turns out that a day or two before we had received a letter from suddenlink that we hadnt opened yet because it clearly wasnt the bill and we just assumed they were pestering us again to switch our phone service over to them.

click picture to enlargesource - suddenlink december 2011 mail out

as you can see the letter has a link to "visit" to learn more from: suddenlink.com/allowanceplan/

we dont use netflix or anything similar to download movies from, so that's not really a concern but we do enjoy watching youtube clips and programs on hulu as well as listening to audio .mp3 files and according to the below monthly activity examples graph these all (as well as emails) count towards the monthly usage allowance.

we love the wording in how suddenlink chose to open their letter: "to further enhance your internet experience, a monthly usage allowance will be put into place for all residential (non-business) suddenlink accounts in your area, effective in the next few weeks."

we know that we're not that smart so we hope that someone preferably from suddenlink corporate would explain how exactly by placing a monthly usage allowance on our internet access -- that is enhancing our internet experience?

according to the suddenlink.com allowance plan web page here you can monitor your internet usage "by logging in to your online account at suddenlink.net, choosing 'my account,' and then choosing 'my internet usage summary.'"

we've had cable internet or broadband since the summer of 2005, it was cox then and for the previous five years we had msn dialup and was pretty pleased with msn apart from the obvious drawback of it tying up the telephone line. we've also been pleased with suddenlink.

however, we'd never registered an online account with either cox or suddenlink. we dont even have a cox or suddenlink email address.

registering an account is pretty easy though -- you'll need your statement in order to get your account number and pin from.

after you do that click on "my internet usage summary."

we already knew that we had the cheapest available internet access plan of 10.0mbps and according to suddenlink's letter that plan now "entitles" us to a 250 gb monthly allowance.

source: suddenlink.net my internet usage summary

there are a variety of ways that you can check your internet usage.

this is our internet usage for the period 01 december - 17 december 2011
source: suddenlink.net my internet usage summary
this is our internet usage by the month from may 2011 - 17 december 2011.
source: suddenlink.net my internet usage summary
it seems that suddenlink is being truthful in that our internet usage from the information available is well below our new 250 gb monthly allotment.

this may seem all well and good for now, but one thing we've noticed over the course of our 11 1/2 years of being netizens is that the internet is constantly changing. back then most websites were simple .html affairs that only required a couple 100 kb to download.

now most websites are extremely complex and many contain video and audio and other programs all of which have to be downloaded in order to navigate and/or display properly. so it's possible that in the not too distant future someone could use up 250 gb in a matter of days or weeks just from normally navigating the web.

it's unclear to us whether or not the louisiana public service commission had to approve this new monthly internet usage allowance. if you go to their website and look under the telecommunications tab you can see that it hasnt been updated with news and so forth in years.

yesterday we received a couple of retweets in our timeline marking what would have been the occasion of the late comedian bill hicks' 50th birthday. one such retweet was a tweet by keith olbermann which was his tribute to hicks containing containing several clips of his stand up act -- one in particular, in which hicks tells marketing people that they should kill themselves; we couldnt agree with more.