For those of you that don’t know, I moved into a new condo in April of this year. When I say new, I mean both to me and that it was newly constructed. Called ‘The Radius‘, it is located in the heart of downtown Hollywood, right on Young’s Circle.
When I first saw it, after I moved in, and even to this day, I find this building to be incredible. It is impeccably maintained, offers a wealth of services and amenities, and is pet friendly, so I was able to keep my dog, Penny. For all of that, however, there is one fatal flaw. One flaw that I am afraid is making me stupider. The included internet service is horrendous.
Common in large condominiums such as this, a contract was signed to a provider who offered the services of TV, internet and phone in one package. The company that was contracted in this case, MDU Communications, provides DirecTV and internet to each unit in the building, whether you want it or not. Due to this contract, no other provider can be brought in to service individual units, regardless if the owner wants them or not.
Now, to be completely honest, I couldn’t care less who the provider is. I’m not a big TV watcher and the difference between DirecTV and Comcast Cable is negligible. All I was really concerned with was the internet. As you can imagine, I’m a bit of a power user. Previously, I lived in a building that was built in 1960 and serviced by Comcast. The average download speeds in that apartment was around 3mbps. That’s three-million bits per second. In the condo I now live in, which was built in 2006, my average download speed is 750kpbs. that’s 750 thousand bits per second. Millions. Thousands. How big of a difference is that? At 3mbps, a movie rental from Apple is ready to watch in less than two minutes. At 750kbps, that same movie rental takes over an hour before it’s ready to watch. As you can imagine, anything more than surfing basic websites and sending email (without attachments) is painful.
And here’s the part where it’s making me stupider. I used to wake up in the morning and, instead of reading a newspaper, get my news from the internet. I could watch video clips, listen to interviews, see pictures of the latest events all in a fast and efficient manner (and no ink on my fingers). Now, watching a webpage slowly load is the most maddening sight in the world. Forget video clips. After waiting five minutes for it to start playing, it goes for 30 seconds then stops for another minute while it buffers.
It’s because of this that I go into work unprepared to discuss the issues of the world with my colleagues. I’m asked if I’ve seen this or what’s my opinion on that, but I can only shake my head and say I haven’t seen it or I don’t know about it. It’s sad.
It’s funny, you don’t realize how much you lean on a fast connection to the internet to enhance your daily life. It’s where we bank, shop, book travel, learn, laugh and even fall in love. Try living with out it for eight months. You’ll find, like I did, that a big part of your life is missing.