Third World ISP — Sopris Surfers

Post by blogger | June 6, 2007      

Thursday update: This morning the Sopris Surfers internet service antenna was still fallen over. I called tech and was told “all our towers are fine.” Then low and behold, suddenly we had our broadband again. I went over and looked, sure enough, the antenna was standing back up, proud in its exalted position atop the building on Main Street here in Carbondale. Then the phone rings: “your connection working now? Thanks for the heads up about our antenna…” But shucks, no offer of free service for six months since I’m now on their trouble shooting staff. Oh well… still going with Qwest as soon as we can make the switch.

As for blogging, we’ve got some nice Indy pass ski photos from Bob Perlmutter coming this afternoon. Stay tuned.


Wondering where today’s blogging has gone? Here is the story:

Here in the Roaring Fork Valley I’ve always been somewhat loyal to our local ISP, Sopris Surfers. Because they’re a smaller business, I tried to forget the time I couldn’t get my email for a weekend, and their “tech support” couldn’t fix it till Monday, when the right person was back in the office and could do the 30 seconds of whatever it took to make it work. And I’ve ignored the shaky speed of my connection, which works from a wireless system they’ve set up here in town that’s always had the feel of a lash-up.

Once, when my Sopris connection was working particularly poorly and curiosity got the better of me, I located the main antenna on their building over on main street, about two blocks from here. Knowing something about antennas, I was amused to see it looked like something from a pirate radio station in Mexico city, up there on the roof of their offices, tenuously held there by a few cinder blocks. Their tech support had told me the “antenna installation is sophisticated and we can’t move it,” when I asked them if they could just raise it up a few feet so it had better line-of-sight to my house. Hah.

Well, today the chickens came home to roost. In the morning, we lost our highspeed Internet here at the house, I called Sopris tech and they made me jump through all the diagnostic hoops, with no joy. I thought to myself, hmmm, perhaps I’ll walk down the street and see what the antenna looks like. Sure enough, it’s blown over, with one leg of the tripod sticking up like some dead alien from War of the Worlds — and we’ve been without broadband for nearly the whole work day.

What amazed me is that they didn’t seem to know their own antenna was malfed!

I’ve had it with these guys, and just popped for Qwest DSL. I don’t know how reliable Qwest is, but one would suspect that if the wind blows, I’ll still get service.

Meanwhile, at least I’ve got an excuse to go out and work on a truck or tune some skis.

As for the backcountry, a low pressure system is rolling through central Colorado today. We’re wondering if it’ll drop some snow tonight and renew the backcountry snow surfaces, or if summer has finally won. After eight months on skis I can take it either way, and when the urge hits we’ll certainly make some summer turns up at Montezuma snowfield. Meanwhile, we’ve got a backlog of gear reviews and vintage bindings all itching to be blogged.



2 Responses to “Third World ISP — Sopris Surfers”

  1. snoweasel June 7th, 2007 2:05 am

    Hey Lou,

    I’m over here in Austria, we are competing at World Cup Mountain Bike & UCI races over here. The internet is a very, love, hate relationship, I will agree with you. About the time you think ya got it all figured out, it just kicks you in the butt. When I read your story about connecting, I about fell off my chair laughing.

    I spent about 3 hours trying to connect with the World Cup people, including 5 phone calls, searching 4 sites, after the people at USA Cycling gave me bad information. I thought, I must be doing it wrong. Wrong!! Sometimes the internet is like a dog chasing his tail, ya just keep circling round & round.

    Thanks for keeping me in touch over here.

    What you’ve got with your son, Louie, is pretty cool! My son is a Pro on the World Cup Mountain Bike & U.S. National circuit & we travel & share adventures. It’s great!!


  2. dave downing June 7th, 2007 12:38 pm

    lou. you may want to compare qwest and earthlink dsl as well. for the most part i’ve prefered earthlink over qwest. when i last had qwest, their support line was open from 9-5pm for dsl.

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