Archive for July 7th, 2010

Ah, Qwest

I think I’ve mentioned before just how much I loathe Qwest, our regional local telephone provider. They provide a technially lackluster service and appalling customer disservice at mildly extortionate rates. For phone and DSL service, though, they’re basically a monopoly here, and it’s not as if any of the alternatives – yech, Comcast – are any better.

We lost phone – and internet – service late Saturday night, and eventually got it repaired early Monday afternoon. The cause? Yet another dead short in the trunk wiring, requiring us to be moved to a new line pair… for the second time this year, and I’m pretty sure the sixth time in the last two years. Even now, our internet service is pretty marginal – the signal-to-noise ratio and attenuation are just – just! – within the maximum allowable limits. For now.

The only upside to having to deal with Qwest is the linesmen who periodically get sent out to fix our line. They’re, without exception, older guys who’ve been with the company for years, and actually know what they’re doing. The funniest part is that they will all happily volunteer the fact that Qwest is evil and horribly mismanaged, and has absolutely zero interest in modernizing its urban infrastructure. (Our local wiring is 1940s paper-insulated copper. That runs two blocks over to a 1960s plastic-insulated trunk, which runs three blocks and two sets of splices to the neighborhood terminal/junction/point of presence thingy, from which more 1960s wiring – and more splices – run to the central office.)

Any chance we’re ever going to get some modern wiring over here that isn’t falling apart?

“Not for ten, fifteen years,” the latest guy says. “Minimum.” If we lived in a certain very affluent suburb, things would be different. But here in the big city, we’re just going to have to suffer.

Thanks for everything you do, Qwest. You’re the most awesomest evil telecommunications monopoly in the upper midwest, yes indeed.

Published in: General | on July 7th, 2010 | No Comments »