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CenturyLink Hates Poor People

CenturyFinkCenturyLink will offer only 1.5 Mbps internet at my house and in a tiny circle of surrounding residences. The area happens to be a mix of private residences and housing authority townhouses for the poor. My back door faces a street with a strip beside it reserved for utilities: it’s fairly modern and all cables are buried. I’m at most a mile from the nearest DSLAM, which should be good for at least 19 Mbps DSL. So my conclusion is that CenturyLink must hate poor people.

Because if that isn’t it, we’d be forced to conclude that lazy salespeople ignored the dozens of phone calls, emails, and availability searches made on their website about my address over the last 4 years, or they consulted an inaccurate database populated with data from confused technicians about ailing infrastructure. We might be surprised that they wouldn’t lift a finger to stop the $720/year going to their direct competitor Charter. In fact it kind of looks like an incompetently managed company that doesn’t care about returning money to its shareholders. But it couldn’t possibly be that. It must be that CenturyLink hates poor people.

An Overdue Overhaul

Shiny Penguin

Tux, the Linux mascot, by Larry Ewing

When searching for a host for this modest, experimental website, I found Go Daddy, and I got sucked in by a combination of cheap pricing and the promise that I’d be working with a leader in the industry.  After having been with them for a year, I feel like I’m qualified to comment on the quality of service. One good thing is that even with the enormous security hole that my WordPress install on a Windows operating system made, and even though I shared the same virtual server with a bunch of other users, my account was never breached or compromised.  Why would a hacker bother?  Page load times as measured by Google were 6 or 7 seconds, although in my experience it could take 20 seconds or even time out and error.  On Memorial Day I had Go Daddy switch my site from a Windows server to a Linux server. It took about an hour, and all I had to do afterward was to follow the instructions at the WordPress Support Blog. My site is definitely faster – 2 second load times – and the time-out errors have disappeared.

So it was not my ISP but the operating system slowing things down.  Go Daddy serves up my pages relatively quickly.   Is Go Daddy perfect?  Well, there’s the non-stop spam.  Not the spam to my website –  hell, I’m happy to see comment spam — the spam from GoDaddy.com to the email inbox I used to sign up for the service with.  And the almost-pornographic advertising campaign and the buggy, inscrutable site management interface.   But if their support team continues to answer support questions and migrate blogs  on national holidays, I’m sticking with Go Daddy.

I’ve also switched to a newer version of the free Swift Theme from Satish Gandham (congratulations on your marriage, Satish).  The version number I was on 5.62, and I’ve upgraded to 0.2.2.  I presume it’s actually 6.2.2.  The new version doesn’t appear to have a built-in social media widget,  so I added the AddThis plugin.  Which I then discovered had a bug that where the widget box truncated a comment box,  so I had to select the AddThis option that opens a popup window for the social gadget of your choice.  I’m not found of popups, but it’ll do until I find something better.