Faster Internet at the Pine Gulch Data Center

July 28th, 2007

Those of you whole live in or around Houston know that Comcast has been taking over the cable services, including broadband Internet, previously operated by Time Warner. While we were on vacation last week, Comcast began switching its Road Runner customers over to the new network; Road Runner customers are also being forced to switch email accounts, a sore point for many of them. According to early reports, the switchover was going “without a hitch“. Later reports note that some people are seeing problems.

For those of us using Earthlink broadband, which uses Comcast’s pipes, the switch meant a new network, but not an email switch. One advantage of the switch is that Comcast is upping the network speed from a 5 megabit maximum to 6 megabit and is introducing something called PowerBoost that allows download bandwidths to go even higher when spare network capacity is available.

We were warned, both by email and phone messages, that the switch was coming. Comcast said I might have to reset my cable modem in order to pick up its IP address on the Comcast network. As it turned out my modem switched on its own, which is good because I was 800 miles away when the time came.

Today I finally got around to checking the speed of the new Comcast network. I’m happy to report that we’re seeing consistent download speeds in excess of 6 megabits here at Pine Gulch. That’s not quite as fast as what Dwight gets at his place, but it’s still better than I expected. The down side is that our upload speeds are still quite slow, at around 240 kilobits. That’s a shame, because I’ve been seriously thinking of using Amazon’s S3 data storage services in my offsite backup strategy.

Test result from

Test result from Speakeasy:

5 Responses to “Faster Internet at the Pine Gulch Data Center”

  1. Dwight Silverman Says:


    Check a bunch of different locations at both of those speed test sites you’re using. I have found that PowerBoost kicks in for some locations, and not for others. Also, PowerBoost is only available when there’s network bandwidth to handle it. You might try again at a different time of day.

  2. Jim Says:

    Yeah, I was planning to check again around midnight for PowerBoost.
    Tried all the other locations and found Dallas consistently the
    fastest, with San Fran close behind.

  3. Claus Valca Says:

    I still haven’t gotten a “You must assimilate and change your email address” address yet from Comcast here on the far East Harris County area. I did get a “heads-up your time is coming” email, however. Maybe tomorrow I will check Comcast directly.

    A few days ago we lost our broadband for the night. Resetting the modem didn’t help. It was near bed-time so I figured it was that Comcast maintenance thing happening.

    Next day daughter called me at work to say it was working again.

    I just ran the speed tests to Dallas and here is what I am getting:

    8306 down
    1439 up


    15455 down
    2048 up


    I had to run the Speakeasy one a few times to make sure it was correct and consistent. It was.

    Good Golly Miss Molly!

  4. Jim Says:

    That’s a particularly impressive upload rate, Claus. If I could get that, even if only in the dead of night, it would make S3 backups feasible for me.

  5. Dwight Silverman Says:


    Ah, I had missed the reference to your being an Earthlink customer.

    I was told by Comcast execs some time back that Earthlink users would NOT see the speed increase. That you are is interesting, but it probably also explains why you are not seeing PowerBoost increases.

    Unless something’s changed from what I was told earlier, you should still have the 5 Mbps service.