OK, normally I don’t complain on my blog, but I am (as well as others) at my wits end with one particular internet service provider: WINDSTREAM! Windstream’s DSL has been so freaking slow and problematic, especially at night. This has been going on far too long and needs to be fixed NOW!

Windstream just so happens to be my ISP, and has been since 2007. When first signing up, Windstream was fairly decent. I never had any problems with them with the original 1.5 MBPS speed. Sometime later, a Windstream representative came knocking on my door and gave me a deal that allowed me to upgrade to 3 MBPS for the same price. There were no problems at the time and I still had trouble free internet from that point on.

Sometime in 2012, Windstream started getting slow during the evening hours and speedtest.net was telling me that I was getting about half of my 3 MBPS download. This lasted for about 3-4 months until the problem was fixed. Then, in March of 2013, I noticed that my download speed was once again about half of what it should be at night. For an additional $5.00 a month, I upgraded to 6 MBPS hoping that the download speeds will improve at night. Instead, I was getting the same result as the 3 MBPS download speed. Even less that at times.

Over the next few months, the download speed eventually got worse and speeds started falling to 2 to 1 MBPS. YouTube videos started defaulting to 360p or 240p resolution, even 144p if congested. Download speeds were unstable and were jumping all over the place, sometimes taking a time-out for a few moments before resuming. Websites would load incompletely and would not display styles or some pictures until a refresh was performed. Other times I could not access a site at all. However refreshing would always load the page with no problem, almost as if Windstream didn’t feel like loading the first time.

Within the last 3 months, Windstream has been absolutely atrocious! I started getting outrageous pings like 300ms and download speeds equivalent to a 56k modem, even slower at times with ridiculous speeds like 10 to 20 KBPS.

Now, here’s the thing. There is nothing wrong with my phone lines or my modem, they are all fine. After a quick Google search, it turns out that I’m not the only one experiencing these dog gone speeds. Windstream customers from states like Texas, Kentucky, Ohio and Georgia are ALL experiencing iffy download speeds, even with speeds as high as 12 MBPS. Some are even complaining about long term outages. Go to Windstream’s Facebook page and just about everyone complains about their slow download speeds. An employee usually replies to customer’s posts. Visit a “slow Windstream” topic on dslreports.com and you might find that a Windstream representative (if that really who he/she is) replied to someone’s thread. However, both of them give me the impression that they don’t know what they are talking about or they are trying to hide the real problem that is plaguing the download speeds that so many are complaining about. With all the complaints that Windstream has received, it appears that the employees are completely clueless or suffer from short term memory loss. They tend to say the same thing for every complaint.

I can point out one reason why Windstream’s DSL speeds are so abysmal. I blame those Roku boxes and internet TV’s that allow you to watch video from sources like Hulu, YouTube, Netflix etc. Video is very demanding and a high speed internet connection that is 3 MBPS or higher is a must for most of these services. (It appears that many customers don’t realize the demanding part). As people ditch cable/satellite services for cheaper alternatives, they are often turning to internet streaming devices. These devices have obviously exceeded Windstream’s DSL capabilities and have done so very quickly. Some of the earliest “slow internet” complaints started appearing back in 2011, which was about the time when Roku boxes first became available. Now you have all these Roku boxes and internet TV’s that many Windstream customers cannot use because of slow speeds that would cause constraint buffering or low resolution/heavily compressed video. If I used a Roku/internet TV religiously and had to put up with slow download speeds, I’d be very P.O. as many Windstream customers with these devices already are.

So in conclusion, Windstream should get their act together and provide us with the speed that we are paying for. They should stop selling DSL to customers with speeds that they cannot offer and they should refund/deduct a percentage off of our bill until they can provide us with acceptable DSL.

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