The Plague That is Satellite Broadband Access

Dish Networks and Viacom's latest "let's use our customers as hood ornaments in this little game of chicken where we pull 'Blue's Clues' off the air and cause countless youngsters to run to their parents crying 'For the love of Steve's stripy green jersey, why, Daddy why!?'" gambit got me thinking about satellite communications. And when I think about satellite communications, my mind naturally turns to my satellite broadband connection.

And how much I hate it.

StarBand, in case your technical support reps haven't passed the word up the line lately, at least one of your customers is displeased.

I'm displeased not simply because my service has flipped on and off dozens of times during the past several weeks, forcing me to waste my work days resetting your modem and restarting my PC.

I'm displeased not simply because I have to use that PC in order for your service to work.

I'm displeased not simply because your service doesn't work with VPN.

I'm displeased not simply because something as simple as FTP is a hit and miss affair and has been since before the beginning.

I'm displeased not simply because I get faster uploads from my 26k dial-up connection.

No, I'm displeased because you now offer a new service that promises many of the things that should have been delivered from Day One -- an always-on connection that's really always on, a modem that doesn't require a Windows PC, support for VPN and FTP, and upload speeds faster than dial-up -- and that service requires me to pungle up an additional $600 to $700 for a new dish and modem and increases my monthly fees from $70 to $120.

Fool me once, StarBand, shame on you. Fool me twice....

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