Earthlink Capping News Download Speeds

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Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2003, 00:00
Category: Archive

Below is my answer to the response I received from Earthlink about their new official policy of capping download speeds on their news servers. Apologies for the length, but I wanted to let you guys know all that’s transpired. Click Read More to get the rest of the story…


Below is my answer to the response I received from Earthlink about their new official policy of capping download speeds on their news servers. Apologies for the length, but I wanted to let you guys know all that’s transpired.

Original Message:

Dear Earthlink –

Can you explain to me why I’m paying for hi-speed Cable DSL service when you guys are capping your news-servers, so that they only allow dial-up download speeds?!

Until 2 days ago, I was able to download messages and the like at (Mac OS 10.2.4 and MT-Newswatcher) 160kbs or so. All of a sudden, this has dropped to 6.0kbs or thereabouts. When I called tech support, I was told you just started capping news.earthlink.net download speeds.

I have been a long-standing user of the Internet, and have touted Earthlink in the past. And this has nothing to do with the fact that I’m using Time Warner Cable’s system for hi-speed service – it is your news servers that I have to access, not Time Warner Cable’s. Why am I paying the premium for fast service?! Your promotional material still lauds download speeds, and makes no mention of it not including news.earthlink.net.

”Downstream speed of up to 2Mbps ” – you don’t mention, “unless you’re utilizing our news servers.”

I will be informing as many people as I can about this sudden and unannounced change in your policies. I am examining my options for alternate service, unless I hear from you about changing this policy or cutting your rates for DSL service.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
-JW

Earthlink’s Response:

Dear JW,

Thank you for contacting us.

We are currently in the process of testing new servers that you can use for newsgroups. These servers are going to increase the speed in which you can download and send information.

If you would like to test one of these new servers, please apply the following information into your news reader:

server – > newstest2.earthlink.net
username – > full email address

Please remember, this is a test server and will only be full supported when it is pass it’s final stages, but you can try your connection with it in the meantime. If you have any additional questions or comments, feel free to contact us.

So that we may assist you further, we will need more information about your system as well as the technical issues you are having. Please visit the following site to provide us with an exact description of how we may supply you with appropriate support:

http://help.earthlink.net/techsupport/request_form/emailsupport.html

Jamie F.
Electronic Support

And my reply:

Thank you for your quick reply. The problem of slowness on your news.earthlink.net server has been going on since the day (about one year go?) I switched over to Earthlink Cable DSL from Road Runner. I immediately noticed that this new server was much slower than Road Runner’s, from which I made the switch. At the time, I was running Mac OS 9.1, MT-Newswatcher, and no particular additional software (PPPoE, etc.). Just configure using DHCP, taking whatever you offered as my address. Everything else (e-mail via Eudora 4.2, Netscape various versions) ran fine. While I did run Net Barrier, only the news area was running like dial-up.

I phoned, at that time, service, and was told about newstest2.earthlink.net, which I started to use, enjoying speeds I’d become used to at Road Runner, and without changing any configuration. However, at that time, no one ever told me that you were capping, nor intended to cap, the download speed of your servers.

Every now and again, I would check news.earthlink.net to see if speed had reached parity, and every time it had not. I was prepared to go through the occasional outage of newstest2.earthlink.net because the speed would be high when the service came up again. I also knew that support did not officially offer assistance on newstest2.

However, starting 2 days ago, the speed on newstest2.earthlink.net has been as slow as your main server. With both servers now, I get about 3 seconds of high-speed downloading (168 kbs), then it switches to molasses (6.0kbs) of less than 5% of the initial speed.

For over a year, then, I’ve been hearing about how your news.earthlink.net server would be coming up to high speed, even as newstest2.earthlink.net had that speed. It hasn’t happened yet.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been using my new 17-inch Powerbook with OS 10.2.4, Eudora 5.2, MT-Newswatcher 3.2 to connect without problems to the internet, in the same way as I did with my old Wall St. PowerBook. Everything was hunky dory till two days ago. I’ve checked the speeds whether using Airport Extreme or direct connection into the Ethernet port on the Powerbook. Each way is always the same over the last two days – download speed starts at about 168kbs for about 3 seconds, then downshifts to 6.0 kbs. Nothing on my system had changed between these days. It could only be coming from your end. I spent at least an hour today on the phone with tech support going over my settings, and it never made a difference. Finally, after checking with a supervisor, I was told about your capping news download speeds. It was then suggested I contact Time Warner Cable. Though I knew it was a waste of time, I contacted them. They confirmed it had nothing to do with them or their system.

I’ve had confirmed by three (3) separate support personnel, including a supervisor, that Earthlink’s new official policy is to cap the download speeds of its servers at a speed of dial-up. I was told that this was the new policy and to take it up with corporate at Executive Escalator if I didn’t like it.

Last, I’d like to point out, as I did on the phone earlier today, that I have Cable DSL, not phone-line DSL. Your request for my DSL phone # is not applicable.

When newstest2.earthlink.net has been running at high speed for months, I fail to see how you’ve been unable to upgrade your main news server to that speed. Of course, capping well answers the question.

I find this new policy objectionable, feel you should rebate a portion of the monthly fee as you cannot provide the full high-speed service you tout in advertising and promotional material, and tell you, again, it’s not coming from my end. I don’t like your new policy, I will contact Executive Escalator, and will forward this e-mail to those who will publicize this faulty, backward-thinking, and sneakily-effected policy.

Thank you for your time and assistance.
-JW

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