Cox newsgroups ++

Well, almost. Here’s a news story on their site about how they are working to improve newsgroups. I don’t want to pay for a premium news service (since I wouldn’t use it every month) but it was frustrating because Cox’s retention on binary groups was so short (just a couple of days usually). That’s why I was happy to read this:

Cox is working with Highwinds, an industry leader in newsgroup management, to:

* Increase retention by at least 30 days: Retention time for binary newsgroups is being increased from an average of 3 days to at least 30 days. Text groups will have even longer retention.
* Boost transfer speeds by more than 30%: Each Newsgroup user can utilize up to four connections to the server, and transfer speeds for each connection have been increased from up to 384 Kbps each to up to 512 Kbps each

The new newgroup servers are available to all customer effective October 24, 2006.

Then I read the next paragraph which pissed me off:

All newsgroup users should experience uninterrupted access to all newsgroups and the ability to enjoy all of the new enhancements.

Note: Value Tier Customers will not experience any change to newsgroup speeds. Value customer desiring to see increased speeds for Usenet are encouraged to upgrade to our Premier Service.

Now I had to stop and consider which type of account I have. I’m sure that at $40/month I must be a “Value” customer (translated as “low value”). I don’t see anywhere in my online account what type of service I have so I guess I’ll have to test with my newsreader and see how many concurrent connections I can have. I could have sworn I used to get at least four but it’s been a while.

Fast forward two minutes and I read this on the normal support FAQ part of the site:

How fast is Cox Newsgroup service?

Each Newsgroup user can utilize up to four connections to the server, and transfer speeds for each connection have been increased from up to 384 Kbps each to up to 512 Kbps each

So what gives?

Fast Forward a few more minutes and I’ve fired up GrabIt and am getting four concurrent connections for downloading group updates so it’s looking good so far. Next step: check the binary groups to see how old the oldest posts are.

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