Internet Service in Hudson and the Surrounding Area – more about Mid-Hudson Cable

Mid Hudson Cable Internet OfferThis offer from Mid-Hudson Cable showed up today in a bank statement from The Bank of Greene County. Mid-Hudson always gets my attention but almost never for good reasons. This ad is a continuation of their finger in your eye approach to customers. Note that it offers “DOUBLE” and “TRIPLE” your speed for Internet service without ever mentioning what it is that they are doubling or tripling. This is simply a further progression in making it hard to find out what exactly you are paying for or even what it is they are promising to provide.

If you pop over to their website you can find this (my screen grab from today with added red arrow), that says that the regular residential service package provides “5 meg”. From other advertising I know that this is likely to mean 5 MegaBits/second (MB/sec) a meaningful identifier.

Here is the rub. In almost two years of experience with Mid-Hudson I have never experienced this level of service nor the 10 MB/s for which I am now paying in an effort to get my service level up to something useful. In fact, after hundreds of measurements over the last year, I can tell you with some assurance that “5 meg” really means 3.8 meg. And, if you use the Internet services during the peak hours of late afternoon and into the evening, the service level is significantly lower.

Mid-Hudson Cable screen grab 05232011

All of this has led me to think that Hudson and Columbia County needs an Internet Service Provider that is serious about both providing service to everyone and at world competitive levels of service. I had thought that perhaps when the contract between the City of Hudson and Mid-Hudson comes up for renewal that we could put some real teeth in a new contract. Yesterday CCSCoop published this story, “Mid-Hudson Cable Gets Icy Reception in Greenville” that included the following: “

The non-exclusive contract between the town and Mid-Hudson is for “video” service only, meaning for cable television and not internet service, explained Pat Johnson, senior municipal consultant with the state Public Service Commission (PSC).

“I think you are all here for the wrong reason,” Johnson told residents, emphasizing that by state law the cable agreement cannot include conditions for internet even though Mid-Hudson provides both.”

So this appears to leave us in a situation in which Mid-Hudson has a de facto monopoly on high speed internet service in the county (Verizon only offers DSL service which is, for technological reasons, limited to below 1 MB/sec service levels) without any regulatory or contractual leverage.

3 comments for “Internet Service in Hudson and the Surrounding Area – more about Mid-Hudson Cable

  1. Chris
    May 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Mark, we have Verizon DSL and get 3mbps regularly according to online speed testers.

  2. markorton
    May 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Chris,
    I guess my technical info on DSL is a bit dated. When it was first offered ten years ago the maximum download was 785KB/s. Nevertheless, since we are 17,500 ft from the Verizon switching office (I just called them), they can only offer 1.5 MB/s. DSL is very sensitive to the distance from the office. The good thing is that you have a dedicated line to the office so you probably don’t suffer the degraded service common on a shared line like the cable system when lots of people are accessing. My objective is to get to the 21st century where download speeds are measured in multiples of 10 MB/s. For instance my brother has Verizon Fios (fiver optic service) in NJ and he gets download speeds around 60 MB/s.
    Mark

  3. chris
    May 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    17,500 feet? That’s over three miles. Odd. In any case, yes, the distance does matter. Our speed is probably more like 2.5 mbps, actually, now that I double-checked, but virtually no lag for anything but high res video.

    Verizon is raising their prices, so I just checked online and they are re-doing their internet plan options. Looks like they are offering 0.5-1.0 mbps at the lowest price, but they would like us to pay more to get the speed we already have at a lower price than their current cheapest option. Hm.

    Why don’t we do universal broadband access and cut Verizon and MHC right out of the equation? Maybe we could get speeds like they have in the advanced nations, too.

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