Bad broadband business

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By Richard Parcia There I was doing a virtual version of a ?prone? position. My peripheral vision was clear and I was moving slowly so the ruffled grass and leaves won?t give my position. I am on a hunt for a nemesis that has terminated me five times in a row by way of a single headshot only done by a recon character ? that type who just lurks behind mole hills and dark corners waiting for sitting ducks to reveal themselves. I was that sitting duck. Five times over. Now in a crawling position, I am five meters away from the character that painted the words loser on my forehead and on my ass. I patiently moved for 30 minutes. Slowly, I did my clandestine approach. I wanted a sensational attack that involves a virtual knife to send the message that the prey has become the hunter. Patience and James Bond moves have brought me at arms length of the target. This is it. Time to send that message. Time to validate that vengeance is sub-zero in nature. I lunged. Bam! My Internet connection goes down. What the @#$%#!? The game is Battlefield 3. The scenario is a multi-player environment that has restored my faith in online gaming. It won accolades from different sectors as the best in its class for 2011. Go get your copies and find out why Frostbite 2 technology is the best thing since coffee. However, this is not about the game. This is about a problem in the Philippines that has perversely succeeded in becoming a norm. It is so accepted as a reality just like poverty that one is forced to look into the good book and find out if, just like povery, it will always be with us. That affliction is bad Internet service. Bad is a polite word. It is a word that is applied to ISP service whose level of service can be equated to frustration. Frustration that can nearly drive a saint into a murderous rampage. I am not a saint but I will be lying if I will not admit that it drives me nuts when my connection is very slow or, worse, non-existent. It does not matter whether it is PLDT, Globe, or Digitel. Whether it is Smart Bro, Tattoo, or Sun Broadband. Or fixed line DSL or mobile. Wired or wireless. The alphabet soup of providers does not guarantee Internet heaven. It is funny that ISPs are fighting over who has the best network. There is no exact study, but I bet this level of bad quality is affecting how people use their Internet services for productivity. My example above is just my humorous take on a common problem. However, since I am an IT professional, the impact of an unpredictable service is just immeasurable to me. The use of Internet at home is no longer tied to information download. It involves connecting to services that are required for everyday living. For some, it involves their livelihood. Unless one is inclined to be a hermit, home Internet is a necessity. The sad part is that there are a lot of instances that Internet service is also bad to those who are paying commercial rates like the cafes and restaurants. It is not uncommon to hear from the manager or waiter that they need to reboot a modem or whatever customer premises equipment just to get to the Internet back up again. I once inherited a job of an award-winning CIO who taught me that IT operations that run on a ?reboot mentality? is run with mediocrity. It reflects the quality of the business in which that IT organization belongs. It is hard to say whether that?s true with the companies I mentioned above. After all, there had been reports that the companies who provide Internet services had been getting good profits that they are apparently giving 21 months worth of pay to their employees. If such reports are true, the companies can be accused of sacrificing quality of service for the sake of profits. That?s business without a social conscience. Ironically, the head of one those companies I mentioned is universally hailed by newspaper pundits, and even universities, as a humanitarian. I wonder if he experiences the same crappy services as we ordinary beings experience. I know it is a naive question. I feel bad for customer service people who are left to explain, or perhaps even lie, about the service quality. Perhaps, these executives can do a Steve Jobs by explaining to an actual customer what?s going on. Yet again, that?s me being naive. To add insult to injury, customers are being bombarded by ads that are not necessarily truthful in nature. They make you pay for 2 Mbps but you hardly reach that bandwidth. You are lucky if you reach half of that. It is lie, really, because the connection they refer to is the connection to their node and not to the Internet. It is a tried and tested Goebbels propaganda tactic. Thankfully, nobody believes the ads but customers accept the shitty service anyway because they have a need for it. Apathy borne out of frustration is a form of slavery wanted by those who meaning to enslave. There is hope though. I had a conversation with one of their technical guys and he said that they are currently upgrading their networks. Globe Telecoms, I think is spending about $700 million for its infrastructure overhaul, while PLDT is undertaking P67.1-billion network upgrading program. But until these upgrades are completed and the benefits are actually felt by the consumers, we have to make do with spotty service. My Battlefield 3 nemesis should be thankful for that.]]>

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