Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bad Telephone Service

And What I Think About It...

Our telephone lines are a mess. Half the time, we can't even get a dial tone. When there is a dial tone, sudden pops and bursts of static occur constantly, disrupting conversations and internet connections. When I was talking to Keely tonight, we were suddenly disconnected and then there was no dial tone for forty five minutes.

I called this afternoon and complained to a machine and the machine said it will be fixed by Thursday.

I don't talk on the phone a lot, but I am fond of being able to use it when I have a mind to do so. Using the internet has been impossible, until about 10:30 this evening when suddenly the line noise abated and the internet began staying connected for up to 10 or 15 minutes at times.

Though the disconnects are annoying, at least I've been able to read the e-mail and make a few of my normal rounds. Bad is better than impossible.


Trixie said...

I wonder if there's some sort of weather influence... I remember when I was a child and the TV reception was affected during the summer when we had "sun spots" or "solar flares." Boy, those were the days.

Genevieve said...

I don't know, Trixie, but I have wondered if it might have something to do with the humidity. We sometimes have this sort of a problem when it's been raining heavily. I've always thought something gets wet that shouldn't.

About the weather, I agree with the little lady on the Kroger parking lot who told me we'd better not stand around out there long or we'd turn into baked chickens.

RunAwayImagination said...

I suggest you call Michael Ramage, who is the ConnectKentucky Project Manager for Christian County. His phone number is 877.781.4320, and his email is mramage@connectky.org.

Here is the URL for the Strategic Technology Plan for Christian County:


Here's the plan (from http://www.connectkentucky.org/projects/bbexpansion/default.htm):
"Governor Fletcher’s Statewide Broadband Initiative, called the Prescription for Innovation, is a comprehensive broadband deployment and adoption plan that will leverage state, federal, and private investment to blanket Kentucky with high-speed Internet access by 2007. The initiative will encourage citizen use of computers and the Internet and provide every Kentucky community with an online presence for improving citizen services and promoting economic development. Full deployment in Kentucky is expected to result in 14,000 jobs and $5 billion added to the gross state product annually."

Genevieve said...

I went to the Connect Kentucky website and filled out a form that stated I had no broadband.

Yesterday, I got an e-mail from Michael Ramage stating that land-based broadband was not available in my area of Christian County yet, but I could get satellite.

He mentioned a farm program that has just been started that will pay part of the installation and monthly fees. We don't qualify for the subsidy since we aren't farmers, though.

I am going to check on the installation price for satellite. If the installation is not exorbitant, it might be affordable if we dropped our current telephone service and got Vonage via over satellite internet.

RunAwayImagination said...

We looked into satellite broadband a few years ago before it was available in our neighborhood from Comcast and BellSouth. At that time the receiving equipment that I would have to buy cost about $600.

I've heard that VoIP may not work optimally over satellite due to the latency (delay) induced by the distance between the satellite and the receiver.

Here's a site that discusses this issue: http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/VOIP+over+Satellite

Here's another discussion: http://forums.broadbandinfo.com/direcway/satellite-voip-18.html

I would research this thoroughly before putting down $600.

RunAwayImagination said...

I would complain to Kentucky's Public Service Commission about your poor phone service. I worked for the phone company serving the Washington, DC area for 29 years, and I can tell you from experience that the phone company pays attention to consumer complaints, especially when they come through the PSC. Or at least the Bell company I worked for did.


ConnectKentucky is a private-public partnership dedicated to increasing the deployment of broadband service.

The KY PSC, on the other hand, is part of state government and regulates the providers of wireline phone service. So, if you are getting poor phone service, you need to talk with the KY PSC.

You specifically need to talk with the KY PSC's Consumer Service Organization. Their website is http://psc.ky.gov/agencies/psc/consumer/consumer.htm.

Here's a clip from their Consumer Service page: "CONSUMER SERVICE PERSONNEL STAND-BY READY TO ASSIST YOU with your questions by calling toll-free 1-800-772-4636 (press 1 when you hear the recording) between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday. You may also contact the Commission by calling (502) 564-3940, fax us at (502) 564-1582, or by writing to us at P.O. Box 615, Frankfort, KY 40602."

Give it a try and let me know about your experience.

Genevieve said...

Actually, they had it fixed before the time they said they would, and it has been working fine. I will remember your advice, though. It seems to me that often when we get a lot of precipitation we get a lot of line noise along with it. I have always thought that there must be a place in the underground cable that is getting wet.

We are not going to put up $600 for satellite equipment, I assure you. It is just not going to happen. We usually connect at close to 48 to 50 Kbps and double or triple that rate with an accelerator. So dial-up could be much worse, and at least it's practically free (about $8 per month.)

Genevieve said...

I might call the Commission and complain that I can't get DSL because of our phone lines!

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