Not to brag, but my wife and I live in a studio apartment with exposed brick walls and hardwood floors in what was Brooklyn’s hippest neighborhood until Whole Foods opened in the summer of 2016.
It’s a nice place, but in the rush to secure an apartment earlier this year, we neglected to ask what I thought was an unnecessary question: Does this building have internet access?
Had we asked, the answer would’ve been, yes, if you count DSL as internet.
But since we didn’t ask, I looked around the perimeter of the apartment only to find a phone line. So I emailed the management company and asked where the cable hookups were. The building is only wired for DSL, I think, was the response.
Next, I called every other ISP in the New York area and had the same conversation with each of them.
Me: I’m calling to see if I can get your service in my building.
Person on phone: What’s your address?
Me: [address redacted]
I quickly ran out of options, so I called Verizon and signed up for “high-speed” DSL, even though I doubted the salesperson’s claims that I would be able to stream video with speeds of 3–7 megabytes-per-second.
In fact, the fastest connection speed I ever recorded was 0.8 mbps. It was completely useless.
Plan G it was. I cancelled Verizon and added an extra iPhone to our T-Mobile plan and picked up a $49 Lightning-to-HDMI cable so we can stream Netflix right from the extra phone to the TV. We use the personal hotspot to go online with our laptops.
It’s a reasonably sufficient solution about 75% of the time; the remaining 1/4 of the time is spent watching web pages slowly come in to focus or staring at a black screen waiting for Hulu to load, and wondering how the heck it’s possible to not have internet access in New York City.