Step aside, Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm the new king of the world – unashamed to appropriate one of the cheesiest movie lines ever.
Because I deserve it.
I, me, myself, Brian the Hines, was responsible for bringing Qwest DSL to our rural south Salem neighborhood after many would-be kings (including moi ) had tried and failed for years.
At this very moment I am praising myself in a blog post that will be uploaded via wireless DSL, a vast improvement over our dreadfully unreliable Wild Blue broadband satellite service, which never saw a raindrop that it wasn't afraid to send a signal through.
Wild Blue also suffered from slow upload speeds. I could download at over 1000 kbps most of the time, but frequently I'd get a 30 kbps upload speed, not much different from our old 24 kbps dial-up connection.
Our DSL started functioning (after some load coil problems were resolved) yesterday. Retrieving information rich web pages like the NY Times and Google News now is happening five times faster with DSL, even though the download speed (1239 kbps) is about what I was getting with satellite.
It must be DSL's much faster upload speed, 711 kbps, that's keeping a web-surfing smile on my face. Yes, cable and faster speed DSL users, I realize that what I've got is run-of-the-mill broadband; but beggars who live in the countryside can't be choosers when it comes to broadband options.
Many of my neighbors are deeply grateful that I've brought the potential of DSL to some 240 homes in our area. Quite a few are trying to run businesses out of their homes. That's tough to do with a dial-up connection, and satellite is expensive.
I've been thinking that a bronze statue of me, commemorating my DSL triumph, would be a nice addition to one of our local streets. Which could be renamed after me also.
The statue idea hasn't taken off yet, except in my own mind. But I've got a rough design pictured. I'd be gazing out over cyberspace, holding a laptop in one arm and the letter that I sent to the Qwest CEO in the other.
It was the letter that apparently did the trick, because my entreaties to Congresswoman Hooley, and through her to the FCC, didn't go any good.
Nor did an exasperated blog post directed to the previous Qwest CEO. A few weeks after writing that post, an acquaintance offered up the bright idea of writing an actual personal letter to the CEO. I did just that. Download qwest_dsl_letter_shared.doc
And the rest is south Salem DSL history.
Early on, after a Qwest manager called me saying "let's get this done," I joined the company's Refer A Friend program. I'd get $25 for every customer in the area who bought DSL after signing an "I'm Interested" sheet that I shopped around our neighborhood.
I ended up sending over 80 names to Qwest. So far about 24 have gotten DSL. I'm over halfway to paying for a new multimedia computer.
My involvement with Qwest hasn't gone totally smoothly. Nor has the DSL roll-out process. But some glitches are to be expected, especially when you're dealing with a large communications company (which, I learned, doesn't always communicate all that well).
I'm a happy DSL camper now. So if you've got satellite broadband and have a chance to switch to DSL, do it. Paying less than half the money for five times the speed is a no-brainer.
And now Oregon raindrops can fall on my head without me thinking, "Oh god, there goes my Internet connection."