The Big Office Internet Upgrade is Coming!

We moved Human Computing’s offices from a non-descript office park to a cool historic building in downtown San Jose a few years back. We love our current offices–especially once we spent a very long weekend pulling down a square mile of floral wallpaper and replacing it with the brightly colored walls which to this day I’m amazed our landlord let us get away with. We also have very cool neighbors including about a hundred lawyers (who throw very nice cocktail parties!) and the offices of Drum magazine.

The only real sore spot is that the internet situation at the office has been less than ideal. We tried both T1 and Wireless T1 at first, before settling into the current DSL offered by AT&T, who luckily has a switching station relatively close to the office so the speeds aren’t as terrible as they might have been. Unfortunately, although our “downstream” speeds are reasonable, the “upstream” speeds that we can put out are just shy of horrific. To give you an idea, whenever we push an update out to our production servers located in another part of town, it becomes impossible to use the phones in the office for ten minutes as there’s so little bandwidth left. Pushing pictures and other bulky data to our production servers also takes hours when it should take minutes.

So it was with great relief that I read this week that Comcast will be wiring up the building at last, and offering state-of-the-art speeds (up to 120 MB/s down/30 MB/s up!) to residents of the building. It all starts mid-week this week, and there may be a little disruption during that time, but I can’t wait to give the new speeds a try. Since we upgraded our production servers last month, they’re already lightning fast, but this new upgrade holds the promise of making a lot of the day-to-day life of our own staffers much more pleasant.

Mind you, there’s some heavy lifting on our part to get there: we’ll have to reconfigure a few thousand firewall rules for the new networking, propagate new DNS settings to the internet, and few other measly upgrade tasks. After that, we should be able to sit back and enjoy our non-crackly phones and faster network!

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