After reading a report written last month on this terrible internet service, I felt i had to chime in as well.
RuralWest is one of the 2 known internet providers on Vandenberg AFB. The other being Verizon High Speed Internet. I had originally chosen RuralWest (6.0+ Mbps) because they offered faster speeds compared to Verizons (3Mbps) download speeds. With the number of Computers, Laptops, and Tablets floating around my house I needed the download/upload speeds to support them.
Like a growing number of Americans, I have dropped cable TV services in opt for Internet based entertainment (Netflix, Hulu, & Amazon Prime). My household has been internet dependent for 3 years now with no issues, until moving to this base. I currently pay $57.75 for what they call "PREMIUM INTERNET", and I get speeds comparable to dial-up or slightly better. [continued below]....
..... Evenings (4pm-12am) are the worst times to browse or watch anything online. We continually have to wait for video to buffer on Netflix and even YouTube. Mornings (3am-10am) seem to be the best times to get things done. Anytime after that seems to be spotty at best. The slow speeds (30KBps) I get in the evenings is about what i used to get when I was deployed. Those of us who know how crappy the internet is down range, knows that it should be much better at home.
Since I've started subscribing early this year (2012), internet speed and reliability has slowly but surely degraded. I was on the brink of canceling my service before I received an email from the President, talking about an upgrade.
I would like to personally apologize to all those subscribers who experienced the five day outage on our Interent. We had what I would call the triple play of events in respect to that outage. First is Murphy's Law - If something is going to happen it will always happen at an unopportune time - we had our outage on Friday afternoon on a three day weekend. Secondly, our outage was caused by the loss of a power supply to a fiber node. The replacement part happened to experience what is termed infant mortality - which means if an electronic component is going to fail - it will fail instantly or within a very short time. Our third item was the simple fact that our supplier is located in Florida and they had gone home for the weekend. We did try to fly a unit in from Colorado, but as it turned out it was non compatible with the fiber node in place. Long story short - we do apologize and we have set some plans into place to assure we have a back up for the back up!
In regards to the upgrade of our network. Our plan is to upgrade our speeds on the base significantly. Our suppliers have estimated that we should have service in the mid October time period. The gating factor being a connectivity issue between our headend and the telephone central office. Fortunately, the distance between our two entities is measured in feet not miles. Once we establish the new broadband pipe - we will be changing our current offering to better accommodate users. The most significant change will be less contention for bandwidth and higher throughput. We will also be establishing some usage gates, however, they will probably not impact 90% of our customers.
The usage gates will be matched to the tiers of our service offerings. In the next several weeks we will send you another general information email with our plans.
Thanking you all for being so understanding
James R Hirschy
President -Rurlwest Corporation."
Now I understand that their estimated time for completing the upgrade may be off a bit, but its now a few days before December with no change in their terrible Internet service. I have tried to reach out to them by email asking them to give me a call in hopes to find out where they are at with the upgrade and to find out any kind of info that would help enlighten me on why internet service has been degrading over the past 6 months, but I have yet to hear from them. Their internet service is truly horrid and I encourage others to file a similar complaint and to spread the word on their internet service. If any customer knows of a better internet service that is available to the base, please spread the word. The previous report I read mentioned Verizon Fios, but everywhere I look online for alternate services have come up with "not available in your area". If you know how to get it, advertise it. File a complaint, and submit a report to the Commanders Action Line. If we all do a little, we can do a lot.