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Ask not for whom the bell tolls

Well, I haven’t posted in a while.  Part of it is that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.  I have a lot of ideas but none of it has really crystallized into something coherent enough to put to words.  I’ve also got quite a bit of other stuff on my mind and have had to devote quite a bit of my mental energy toward other issues.  I hope to have something within the next couple weeks.  In the meantime, I’ll share with you the other reason I haven’t posted in about a month.

So, I haven’t had Internet access in about a month. I’ve been continuously fighting with the cable company to fix their issues, and have had several technicians visit the house, measure the signal, and declare that everything is fine.  Then, five minutes after they leave, it’s down again.  However, I’m exaggerating; it actually was down again before the Mediacom van was out of sight.  Sad.  So, if you’re thinking of getting high speed Internet service, Mediacom is one I’d avoid.  As someone that works on computers, I can understand how frustrating intermittent problems can be.  Sometimes you literally have to start replacing everything starting from one end and keep replacing stuff until you find whatever it was that was causing the issue.  That’s frustrating, and expensive, but when you provide a service and charge money for it, you do it anyway, because that’s just the right way to do business.  If you lose sight of the fact that your customers have to be satisfied with what they’re paying for, you soon won’t have any customers.  As someone with an MBA, I can tell you, there’s more than one right way to do business, but ignoring your customers is not one of them.  Cable companies don’t exactly have a stellar reputation for great service.  Except in urban areas, they’ve traditionally had local monopolies, meaning the customer doesn’t have any choice but to pay for their service.  However, they’re in for a rude awakening, and soon.  They already have competition for television customers in the satellite TV companies.  They’ll soon have competition for high speed internet service as well.  Most of us have smart phones that transfer data over the cellphone network wherever they are.  It won’t be very long before the towers are built and the capacity exists to sell Internet access over the same network.  It would take a lot of money to run new sets of wires all over the place.  It takes a lot less money to build a couple towers.  The day of reckoning is coming for cable companies.  When alternatives exist, lovely phrases like “we don’t have a truck available”, or “be home between 1 and 5”, are just not gonna fly anymore.  When that day comes, my guess is the stubborn, sluggish, old cable companies will be bought by their younger, more responsive, wireless competitors, who could surely make more productive use of the wires that never seem to work right and the trucks that there never seem to be enough of.  My advice to Mediacom, Comcast, and all the other companies that have given the cable industry such a wonderful reputation is to beware, for one day the bell will toll for thee.

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