Medieval internet infrastructure woes April 15, 2017 cliffski I’ve been stuck with the same web host for a billion years, and a home internet connection thats probably older than my parents (that last bit is probably true). Its time to upgrade the shit out of this. Back in the dark days, I registered my awful company name (positech.co.uk) and then went on a silly spree where I would register domain names for my games, like kudos, democracy, gratuitous blah blah… Those days are gone. I didn’t bother getting a new domain name for Production Line. Nobody cares these days, and why should they. Plus when you move server hosts, domain names are a PAIN. Even now, after my switch-over, I’m only 95% sure everything will work at the end of the month when the old server gets switched off… The new server (again, a dedicated one, not a VPS), is very slightly more expensive than the old ones, but it hosts multiple sites, this blog, forums, and some backend stuff for the minor web integration of some of my games (high scores, upgrade checks, challenge-sharing etc). Under $250/month for all that seems a good deal to me. The best bit is that with a dedicated server you aren’t at the whim of anybody else, you can reboot it whenever you like, install whatever you like. its freedom. The host change means better tech support, and less worry, and for under $3k a year. For an established indie selling lots of games, its not a major expense by any stretch. I wish things were so simple for my own home internet. Thats on a GOOD day, and thats when its connected. The 7.54 down is not bad actually. I can stream TV (but not in HD I assume, my eyesights crap enough not to be 100% sure), the 0.57Mbps up is depressing. This means that uploading a 300MB game installer (like big pharma) can take ages. Assume 3 builds (3 platforms) and 3 destinations (humble, BMT, GoG), thats 9 x 300MB. It takes me about 2 days (I don’t leave it overnight). What a drag. There are games I don’t download during free weekends because it would actually take the whole free weekend to grab them. And this is with my new, spangly business ISP that has truly unlimited bandwidth. When I was paying £45/month I had a 110GB/Month cap. I know right… its literally medieval. Why is my internet so bad? We have FTTC (fiber to the cabinet) but the nearest cabinet is further than the exchange, so ADSL is actually faster (madness). Because I live in a field, BT (the monopoly on internet here) refuses to lay fiber to the village unless we pay (at least) £40,000. That is not going to happen. Can you see the nearest fiber cabinet?…. me neither. The only solution is what they call a ‘leased line’. This is effectively a dedicated piece of fiber from my office to wherever the best exchange to connect it to will be. This is expensive. This is very expensive. This is almost ‘send your kids to private school’ expensive. And the net result would be 20Mbps down, 20Mbps up. If, when they do a survey, they can do it in under 3 months and with no additional install fee above the £600 already quoted, I’ll probably do it (BTW I’d be locked in for 3 years). On the one hand its insanely pricey. On the other, I’ve lived here 7 years and there has been NO change in internet speeds here. Also totally reliable, uncontended and symmetrical upload/download does sound appealing. 24/7/365 support also sounds good. As a business cost, its slightly more affordable due to being an expense against tax, and frankly, being able to stream on twitch, to upload HD 60FPS videos easily, and generally live in the modern age is something thats kind of non-optional for an indie game dev in 2017. Of course the real story is the ripoff prices of BT openreach, effectively a private monopoly that charges a fortune to rent a piece of plastic cabling after its installed. I’m all for hefty install fees, but surely once the cable is in the ground, its in the fucking ground. What am I paying for here? defense against mole attacks? c’mon. We get water through pipes in the ground too, but I don’t need to sell a vital organ each month to rent the pipe. Oh well…you have to speculate to accumulate. Now I need to save up for botox and moisteurizer as HD streams of me pimping my games will show off just how old and uncool I really am.