in Cheap Thoughts, X-Geek

Cheap Thoughts: “Roaming” for cable modems

On the road this week, I was thinking it would be nice if I could temporarily bump up the speed of my home cable modem. I don’t need blazing-fast service all the time, but when I travel it’s nice to have speedy access to my home network and also to have a video chat with the family without buffering …. buffering …. buffering.

This is how I see this working. The subscriber goes to a special page on their Internet provider’s website. They fill out a form specifying a time frame during which their cable modem becomes “unlocked.” The subscriber pays a small premium (similar to a mobile phone’s roaming charges) during the time their Internet speed is boosted. At the end of the window, the speed reverts back to its original speed and the rate returns to its original. With DOCSIS 3.0 modems now in the field, I would think that this could be implemented fairly easily.

I would jump to the first provider who could offer this. If only we had real competition amongst Internet providers.