Overplaying My Hand?

if it aint broke

by Larry Brody

As has been mentioned elsewhere on TVWriter™ earlier, yesterday I wrote about my experience over the last weekend at trying to cut the pay TV cord.

I wrote about it right here, actually, and will be glad to wait while you read that post if you haven’t already. (What? You haven’t already?)

The gist of what I said is that even though I didn’t get el cordo cut all the way through, I did achieve what I considered to be a pretty big victory: I got my DISH bill cut almost in half.

Time now to bring y’all up to date on what’s happened since. Buoyed by my DISH success,  last night I turned my attention to what some might consider an even bigger target: Wave Broadband, my ISP.

Gwen the Beautiful and I are fairly new to Wave. Been using it for only three or four years. The cable broadband connection they provide has worked very well for us. Our plan has been 55 MegaBytes per Second down from the, um, “cloud,” I suppose, and an average of almost 5 MBPS up from our various PCs, tablets, and phones. The speeds have been consistent, and we’ve suffered very few service interruptions. Way less than with any other provider.

But 5 MBPS upspeed has been a bit problematic. Not in everyday usage, but when I’m teaching classes in the TVWriter™ Video Classroom. My outbound sound sometimes gets garbled or breaks up, and it’s a drag when I have to cut my rants (and my praise – oh yes, I definitely do the praise thing) short, leave my own site, and re-enter so that things will clear up.

The problem was diagnosed as not enough bandwidth, so I decided to celebrate my success with DISH by upgrading doubling broadband speed. I talked to a laid-back Oregonian Customer Service Human, authorized the upgrade, and the OCSH flipped a switch or pushed a button or whatever, and told me to unplug my modem, wait a few seconds and then plug it back in and enjoy a whole new dimension in web zooming.

I did as told and voila! My modem stopped recognizing its cable input and our whole network went kaplooey. Immediately, I sprang into action and did all the things the Wave FAQ said. I unplugged everything the cable and power cords from my modem, re-plugged them and…


I did it again, just to make sure, waiting longer between un and plug this time.

Still nada.

One more try – this time without unplugging. Instead I just turned the modem off and then on. And when that didn’t work I started messing around with plugs and power buttons on my router, just in case.

None of that worked, of course, so I got back on my phone with a Second Support Human who was just as cool and friendly as the first. He apologized and flipped the switch or pushed the button again, and my broadband was restored.

At 50 MBPS down and 5 MBPS up.

I knew the numbers because I checked my speed at Speedtest.Net while the Second Support Human was on the line. He didn’t sound at all surprised and explained that “It takes awhile for the new speed to settle into place” and asked me to give it some time and not call and yell unless the speed was still at its old level “tomorrow.”

“Settle into place?” That didn’t seem quite right, but I waited until today, which was yesterday’s tomorrow, and checked the numbers while I had my morning coffee. My down speed was 75 MSPS, and my upspeed was wavering between 6 and 7, which seemed like a pretty good start. No need to use my license to yell.

That, however, was a few hours ago. As I sat down to dig into today’s TVWriter™ workload, I checked again. Not only haven’t my speeds reached their expected new level, my downspeed is down to half what it was. But the upspeed is still around 6 and a half.


Gwen’s at her laptop listening to me bitch, and laughing. I think she just said something like “If all goes well in your classroom tomorrow night you’ll have gotten what you wanted regardless of the actual numbers, won’t you?” And what’s this I think I heard about “obsession?”


Doesn’t she realize that this is about a very important principle? That being able to quote fast broadband times in 2015 is like having a car that went zero to sixty in under ten seconds back in…well, way back there, when you could buy an old car for what a new computer costs today?

I’ve got to win this one. Go all the way–

Wait. While I was typing I just did another speed test. Zero to sixty – I mean downspeed’s at 85 and climbing now. Upspeed’s at 7…

I’ve done it. I’ve fixed what wasn’t broken. Thanks, Wave Broadband.

Who says I overplayed my hand?

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.