I have to retract most of my statements about The DSL Service. While its still pretty atrocious, most of the connectivity and site timing-out issues weve been experiencing for the past couple of months can be attributed to a faulty router. (The faulty modem was real as well, however.) It would seem that the particular router we had been using for years was not the best DHCP server, often encountering issues with IP address assignment and whatnot. The problems were just exacerbated when we introduced more devices to the network, ostensibly doubling the amount of work the poor device had to do.
Weve replaced the ailing router and all appears to be well. For a while, it felt like the good ole AOL days, spending more time waiting for pages than reading them, and then giving up and walking out to do some physical activity or something. I have renewed pity for those still suffering through dial-up, although at least when theyre done waiting, the page is loaded; we just had to hit F5 again and hold our breath