×

Mason residents gathering information about internet speeds

  • Derek Curtis, 17, of Mason, checks the upload and download speed at his home on Brookline Road. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Derek Curtis, 17, of Mason, checks the upload and download speed at his home on Brookline Road. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Derek Curtis, 17, of Mason, checks the upload and download speed at his home on Brookline Road. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, February 19, 2018 5:30PM

Derek Curtis of Mason is frustrated with his internet speed for a fairly typical teenage reason – it slows down his video game stream.

But unlike many 17-year-olds who rage-quit over lag time, Curtis has lost out on more than just enjoyment. The teen was offered the opportunity two years ago to fulfill a dream to play video games professionally. His parents even agreed to pay for additional upload and download speed to make it possible.

But the promise didn’t live up to the results, said Curtis in an interview with the Ledger-Transcript on Sunday.

“It only became worse,” said Curtis. “Since then, the internet has been very bad. Every day around the same time, it’s horrible.”

And while, yes, it puts a cramp on Curtis’ attempt to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on a professional level, it’s also troublesome for day-to-day life and homework.

“For some classes, you need it, and it’s just frustrating,” said Curtis.

Curtis’ Fairpoint connection should be reliably providing him with 10 megabits per second of both download and upload speed.

“On a good day, it’s 5 [mbps] down and about 1 [mbps] up,” said Curtis.

For the past several weeks, Curtis has been reaching out to other townspeople in Mason, asking them to test their own internet speeds and compare them to what they should be getting, in order to address the problem at a wider level with Fairpoint. Mike Judge, another Mason resident, has been assisting with the effort.

“I think that we, personally, noticed a dip in service of the internet dating back to the holidays,” said Judge. “Netflix stopped working, just basic stuff stopped working.”

The situation has made it difficult to do work from home when it’s needed – though he’s not typically required to – and has just been a general nuisance, said Judge. And, like Curtis, it has caused him to pass over job opportunities that would require a more reliable or faster connection.

Judge has had to turn down an IT job offer that would have allowed him to work from home, because he didn’t think his internet would stand up to the job. 

“It does have an impact on people’s lives,” said Judge.

While some townspeople have responded to requests for speed tests on the local town Facebook page saying they are getting at or near what they pay for in speed, the majority are lacking, said Judge.

“It’s a town-wide problem,” he said.

Curtis has devoted hours on the phone or live chatting with Fairpoint representatives, trying to find a solution to the problem. Some have been offered, he said, but his internet speeds have yet to improve, so it’s difficult for him to tell whether or not they’ve been implemented or have had effects on other townspeople’s speeds. 

The two plan to compile the information for now, but Judge said they are not against filing a complaint with the state’s Attorney General’s office if there is a clear pattern of residents getting speed significantly less than what they are paying for.