The saga continues. The Holy Grail of reliable, broadband internet connectivity is almost within reach. Though I can’t see it, I can sense the aura and glow of that heretofore-illusive goblet just out of reach, around the corner.
Like my brownout-prone electricity service, both my internet connectivity and my relationship with SMART Bro have had their share of ups and downs. I’ve written a bit about my search for reliable internet connectivity throughout the past seven months. My search started here, continued here and here, and turned a “little testy” here. In that last article, after a bit of venting, I finished with the following:
If and when all problems are solved [i.e., I am receiving 24/7 continuous internet connectivity without drop-outs, my Download and Upload speeds come close to matching SMART Bro's average customer speeds, and I receive adequate compensation - in the form of a true billing credit - for the lack of service I've been subjected to over the past four months], I will immediately and joyfully rush to my laptop and compose an article praising SMART communications and lauding their broadband internet service, and post it without delay – provided that I’m able to access LiP.
Well, I am a man of my word.
Just as soon as my internet provider meets the conditions mentioned above, out comes the article singing the praises of SMART Communications and the wonders of SMART Bro broadband internet connectivity. Nevertheless, that grail is not yet in hand, so the article awaits another day for its birth.
In the mean time: Some praise and kudos are due SMART. During the past two months, technicians and support people from SMART have been working with me to improve my situation. This “working together” option is a wiser choice than a confrontational approach. Outside of due respect owed my fellow man, there’s a certain magic in getting things done when you have a smile on your face and a pleasant politeness in your voice.
At present, my internet connectivity and the service I receive have improved considerably. The number of service dropouts (the old disappearing internet trick) has dropped significantly. I now have multiple days of continuous service where previously I couldn’t even string 24 hours worth of connectivity together to save my life. There are still service outages, but I do believe that some, if not a majority of them, relate to network upgrades. There is an extremely enhanced hope for 24/7/365 service in the very near future!
Current download and upload speeds are much faster than they were in the past few months. Average download speeds last December were approximately 100 Kbps, with days of “slower than dial-up” service being the norm. During the same period, I experienced curiously higher upload speeds, averaging approximately 175 Kbps. Normally, upload speeds are slower than download speeds, so I knew something just was not right.
Current average speeds for downloading and uploading are 450 Kbps and 198 Kbps, respectively. Now, that’s quite a difference! On occasion, speeds are much higher. I would imagine these higher speeds occur during low-usage hours. Using the extremely accurate broadband speed test at AuditMyPC.com, I’ve bagged some impressive results every now and then.
Other noted improvements deal with the network Quality of Service (QoS) being provided. These include network latency (ping testing), network jitter, and bit error rate testing. As the AuditMyPC test results show, there still is a little work required to enhance QoS for downloading. Additionally, the Max Pause (the longest pause recorded during the Broadband Speed Test data download) should be lower than 100. I use a number of on-line tools and sites for testing and reporting (like PingTest.net). They tend to confirm all I’ve observed.
My Thanks Go To SMART. As you can see, my internet connectivity has greatly improved from the near “dial-up” conditions that I had been enduring for some time. All CREDIT goes to SMART and THEIR TECHs. They’ve had their hands full over the past few months – repairing typhoon damage and other problems. Still, they found time to work with me and make me a happy subscriber.
SMART has informed me of upgrades that are in the works for our province and our cities and municipalities. Currently, Vigan, Ilocos Sur serves as our major internet connect site. I hope that within a very short time, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte will become our “backbone” connection. In time (fingers crossed), the upgrades should go all the way to the telecommunications tower that’s just a mile or so away.
I watch that tower daily for signs of life crawling on it!
THANK YOU, SMART COMMUNICATIONS.
Paul is a CPA and a retired tax accountant, having served companies and corporations of all sizes, as well as individuals, in public accounting practices. Prior to what he refers to as his "real job," he served a 24-year career in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer. It was during this career that he met and married his OFW spouse of 35+ years, Emy, while stationed in London, UK. (Though he pleaded for the assignment, Paul never received orders to the Philippines.) A "Phil-phile" from an early age, Paul remembers his first introduction to the Philippines in the primary grades of a parochial elementary school where, one week each year, children donated their pennies to purchase school supplies, food and other necessities for Filipino children in need. That love for Filipinos continues to this day. Calling Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte--in the far northwestern part of Luzon--home (just about as far away from Davao as one can be while still being on one of the major islands) Paul prefers a more relaxed provincial life style, and willingly shares a different view of the Philippines from "up north"!