Time for another broadband forum: Are they helping?

Another forum to talk broadband in the CD is coming up later this month, thanks to advocacy group Upping Technology for Underserved Neighbors. A previous forum in March garnered a large set of upvotes here on the site if nothing else. CDN advertiser Broadstripe is the sole provider of cable broadband in the neighborhood and, like any good cable company, they draw their fair share of criticism.

I live in a Comcast zone — trust me, grass is not greener — so tell me, Broadstripers, are the forums making a difference?

Details on the November 16th forum below.

Seattle and Broadstripe: Closing the Service Gap

Upset with your Broadstripe cable service? Want to know how your service stacks up to your neighbors in Seattle and Tacoma, or what fiber broadband might mean for cable and Internet service and pricing?

Upping Technology for Underserved Neighbors (UPTUN) announces its Third Quarter meeting sponsoring a panel discussion with representatives from Broadstripe, Reclaim the Media, City of Seattle, and City of Tacoma. The event is focused on Broadstripe’s lower quality and higher priced services within a franchise agreement with the City of Seattle. With other communication carriers in all other city neighborhoods, there is no similar contract. Meeting held at 5:30 pm – 7 pm, the Central Area Senior Center, 500 30th Ave. South 98144.

“Digital redlining” is the term UPTUN uses to describe the current franchise agreement which binds consumers to using Broadstripe and discourages competition by other internet, cable and phone providers. The meeting is open to customers, businesses and residents within the boundaries of the franchise agreement between the city of Seattle and Broadstripe. Affected areas include parts of the Central District, Beacon Hill, Leschi, Queen Anne, downtown, Pioneer Square and Judkins Park. These are “underserved” neighborhoods for obtaining competitive digital cable, phone and internet services.

The UPTUN volunteer advocacy group holds meetings each quarter to ensure that improvements promised to the community are completed on schedule. Since 2007, UPTUN’s group of volunteers from within underserved neighborhoods have worked with the City of Seattle and Broadstripe to obtain reliable cable, phone and high-speed internet services at an affordable cost, similar to other neighborhoods in Seattle and other cities in the United States.

“This is economic and racial injustice left over from previous decades and everyone wants it fixed! We are committed to getting better internet, cable and phone service which is competitively priced. Our neighbors, households and businesses in parts of the Central District, Capitol Hill, Judkins Park, Leschi and Beacon Hill have suffered many years with lesser services than any other areas in Seattle”, says UPTUN Coordinator Tracy Bier.

Broadstripe is a Missouri based privately held company providing residential and business customers digital cable and broadband internet communication products. www.broadstripe.com

For more information contact UPTUN Coordinator Tracy Bier via phone 206-227-2369 or email [email protected] or visit www.uptun.org For more information about the Broadstripe and city of Seattle contract, visit City of Seattle web site http://www.seattle.gov/cable/franchises.html

When     November 16th, 2010 5:30 PM   through   7:00 PM


Central Area Senior Center

500 30th Ave. S.

Seattle, WA 98144

United States

Contact     Email: [email protected]

0 thoughts on “Time for another broadband forum: Are they helping?

  1. Go to http://www.speedtest.net/ , run their default test and post the data here

    Suggested format:

    Download XXX Mb/sec
    Upload XXX Mb/sec

    Cross-streets XXX Street and XXX Ave
    Type of connection (Cable/ DSL / dialup etc)

  2. Download 8.55Mb/s
    Upload 0.69Mb/s

    Cross-street: 14th & Union
    Connection Type: DSL
    ISP: Qwest
    Comment: On Qwest’s 12Mb/s HD Internet package

    My result image is here

  3. Download 1.32 Mb/sec
    Upload 0.33 Mb/sec
    21st & Union
    Speakeasy basic DSL

    Speakeasy has been solidly on and steady. I have the slowest package at 1.5 Mb/sec cuz I am a bit of a cheapskate. I tried to make a big download on a neighbors cable connection because I needed something faster but Broadstripe’s connection speed fluctuated so much that it actually took longer.

  4. Download 4.59 Mb/sec
    Upload .47 Mb/sec
    20th & Main
    Qwest DSL (whatever their best package is for our address – can’t remember the speed we can theoretically get here)
    Time of Day: 9am/weekday

    We have two main problems with Qwest – our service degrades substantially in the evenings, so that sometimes we can’t watch streaming video or play online games. Also, they’ve had a lot of service outages recently, where the service become completely unusable for up to several days. This has happened multiple times since July, at least once or twice a month. I work from home and it’s been a huge problem; their customer service hasn’t been at all helpful.

    I’m not convinced that switching to someone else would get us better speed in the evenings, or more reliable service, and of course we’re locked into some kind of contract with Qwest.

  5. Is that the fiber speeds? Or just the high-end of the DSL?

    edit: ah nm DSL. I wish fiber would move into this area soon.

  6. If you have ever experienced both for any amount of time you will find that Comcast’s grass is always greener. Always. The speeds, service (yes, I said service), and choices are not even comparable – the only thing that is – the price. And you can always get service discounts through Comcast.

    I just moved and thought I had gone out of the CD zone but it turns out I’m still in Broadstripe country. I am now using the same 7~12mbps Qwest DSL service that everyone else defaults to in these areas because they can’t stand Bstripe and are overloading nodes.

    People would do well to actively use and enforce the credit we are entitled to receive in the case of an outage as follows:

    All Customers who call the Cable Operator to report an outage shall receive credit for the entire day on which the outage occurred and for each additional day the outage continues. The Cable Operator shall notify the City of any outage of at least four (4) continuous hours that affects at least ten percent (10%) of its Customers.

    Check your cable customer bill of rights.
    Council Bill Number: 114137
    Ordinance Number: 120775

    Note that in the credits, it not only covers the outage of service, but also that “All Cable Operators shall meet all specifications advertised for Internet services” – I’m not well versed in detangling legalese but it seems to mean if they are advertising X speed and you only get Y, we are entitled to “One (1) day’s free service for each day in which any advertised specification is not met for affected Customers” You could practically never pay for internet on Broadstripe if this were enforceable.

  7. Download 6.5 Mb/sec
    Upload 0.41 Mb/sec
    Ping: 73
    (9:30am on a weekday)

    Cross-streets 23rd & Yesler
    Type of connection Broadstripe
    Comments: Frequent interruptions when trying to watch tv content online. :(

  8. Download 2.56 Mb/sec
    Upload .47 Mb/sec
    Ping: 69ms
    Madison & MLK
    Qwest DSL, 3mb down / 640k up ($49/month, I think)
    Time of Day: 9:45am/weekday

    Our service has been super reliable and consistent over the 5+ years we’ve had it, but with periodic slowdowns, particularly in the evening. Keep hoping they’ll add fiber here soon — that will be a good upgrade.

    I wish we had less monopolized services — in Austria, due to competition amongst providers, I think people are now getting something like 19GB for $25/month.

  9. Download 27.94 Mb/sec
    Upload 4.45 Mb/sec
    Ping: 27ms
    30th & E John
    Comcast, 16mb down / 2k up ($55/month,after taxes own my modem)
    Time of Day: 10:53am/weekday

    Service over the last 3 years has gone down once or twice and never for more then a few hours. I had an issue with my line a year ago the tech(in a bucket truck) was out the next day and tweaked my line signal.
    supposedly if I upgrade to business class they will give me 5 static ip’s and 50/10Mbps Service for $99.
    I am not bragging. I would hope that my neighbors could get better service.
    so my speeds posted are accurate.

  10. Download 15.5 Mbps
    Upload 1.85 Mbps

    27th and Washington
    Type of connection Cable
    ISP: Broadstripe
    Comments: I initially signed up for service with Broadstripe when we moved to the neighborhood back in May. Service was abysmal then. I took them up on their 60 money back guarantee just one month into our service. We picked up Clearwire and it was good for the first month. Then they started to throttle me. I use more bandwidth than your average user. I wanted something else. However, DSL options are actually worse than Clearwire.

    Then about July, Broadstripe found my rants about their service on my personal blog, parkingandyou.com. One of their EVPs for our region reached out to me and assured me Broadstripe service had improved.

    It actually has, for bandwidth at least. Originally i saw about 1.5 Mbps down and at most 768Kbps upload. This is back in May BTW. Broadstripe techs claimed it was my equipment. However, no matter how testing I did to prove it wasn’t they would not believe me. Hence, dropping Broadstripe in June.

    Fast forward to today and you see what kind of speed I get. Also, it’s consistent even at peak hours. The service rarely drops. At most I need to restart the cable modem once a month.

    From my experience Broadstripe is doing better in the CD. However, their cable channel offering is still pretty poor.

  11. I’m at 27th and Yesler.

    5MB Quest is the best I can get here. Most of the time I’m lucky to get 3MB. I really wish for more, as I’d like to be able to use my Netflix streaming.

  12. Download 6.4 Mb/sec
    Upload 0.4 Mb/sec
    Ping 21ms
    @ 12:00pm

    20th and Marion
    ISP: Broadstripe
    Comments: Decent speeds are hit and miss. Service has gotten better over the past year or so. I would still like better channel offerings and higher speeds though.

  13. I’m with Jason, on Qwest (actually, on my street the cables are all underground and Qwest was supposedly the only choice I had) – I might get 5MB at 3AM on a Sunday night, most of the time it’s ~2MB and stinks. I’d pay more if I knew the connection was better. What I would really like is FIOS!

  14. I wonder about that. My new neighbors have broadstripe and it “tests” ok but in real-world practice it tends to crap out. I wonder if there is some shady shaping or prioritizing going on behind the scenes, but I tested theirs a 7+down and yet it could not consistently play a youtube video without stuttering. This was only about a month ago.

  15. I called them to get service maybe a year or so ago and when the tech came out he said they did not have a line one my side of the street and that they would need to get the Cities permission to cross the trolley bus lines. Said maybe a week or two. He left and a month or so went by with nothing so I called. Women on the phone said it was being worked on and I would be set up very soon. Another month and nothing so I called again. Still never got hooked up.

    I have Clear now, and while it doesn’t often score well on speed tests (showing about .5Mb right now, it seems much much faster than Qwest which would show 3Mbish. For example I can pull up a YouTube video and it plays through without pausing whereas with Qwest I would have to wait a bit for it to buffer.

    Plus 60 a month gets me both home and mobile internet which is not bad.

  16. Streaming Netflix worked pretty well when my DSL was 2.5Mbp/s and is flawless now we’ve got 5 Mb/s

    (Earthlink DSL)

  17. Download: 5.05 Mb/s
    Upload 0.62 Mb/sec
    Ping: 83 ms
    Cross-streets: 20th Ave E. & E. John
    Type of connection: DSL
    ISP: Earthlink
    7 PM Friday

  18. Download 16.0 Mb/sec
    Upload 2.1 Mb/sec
    19th & Jefferson

    Cable, their high speed (not business) package, no cable TV. $55/month. This is through a power line ethernet to my router, so happy with speed. Broadstripe is much better than Millennium used to be.

  19. Download 8.44 Mb/sec
    Upload 2.13 Mb/sec

    Cross-streets Spruce/16th
    Type of connection (Cable/ DSL / dialup etc): Cable
    Comments: Ran the test at 10pm. It seems to run slower at different times of the day, though I’ve never run this particular test before.

  20. Earthlink generally works. Whenever it does it tests the same speed regardless of the speed that I experience. I also have Earthlink Voice VOIP.

    The service generally works otherwise it is very entertaining and unpredictable. Lately the DSL line has been going down every evening requiring reset or possibly a delay up to half an hour. Service fails to resolve the issue.
    In the past I’ve had more issues than I can remember usually with the phone, dropped calls, dead, or digital stutter, echo etc. Problems come & go in waves, its just unpredictable.

  21. Broadstripe has improved in the past year, but for ~$70 a month (internet only), you get roughly 2 to 3x the speed on Comcast and a lower bill. My friend in Redmond (which probably isn’t fair) pinged a speedtest of over 66 mbp/s down on their basic connection. Broadstripe can’t compete, which lucky for them, they don’t have to in the Central district.

  22. Time of day 7:30AM weekday
    Download: 16 Mb/s
    Upload: 2.17 MB/s
    Broadstripe ISP
    Cross Streets: 23rd and Fir

    Broadstripe has improved over the last couple of years I will admit that. But I still feel like there is more room for improvement to be comparable to Comcast.
    Definitely room for a LOT of improvement in their customer service!

  23. been having internet dropouts w/ Broadshit for the past four days. Anyone else experiencing this?

    Anyone else also have cable with these jokers? Anyone notice how TCM is almost always DISTORTED, and that FoxHD has dropouts CONSTANTLY?

  24. Excellent information. Always good to har from someone who knows the deal.

  25. I have also been bamboozeled by Broadstipe. I live in more of a remote area and was very through in finding out if the carrier was able to connect with my address. Broadstripe assured me it did. With 1 mgb not the 16 mgb as it should be.

  26. About 3 months ago (late spring) my Broadstripe internet connection went down from about 10:30am to about 6:30pm Mon-Sat (and once on Sunday)just like clockwork for over 3 weeks. When I called to report it, the tech tried to tell me that it was my modum (which I own) and that I should schedule a service call to install one of their rental modums. Nice try, Badstripe!