I've had the same issues and it's preventing me from using it for anything serious. A lot of the other things with DO (provisioning, backup, snapshots) are great but the network seems to the biggest issue at the SF datacenter.
When I was in high school, I created an iOS app  for my school district and we made it open source (on the school district's GitHub  ) so other districts could benefit. Quotes from established ed-tech companies for a similar product were very expensive (especially compared to the cost of self-publishing). There certainly was interest from other districts to adopt it because they heard of the project and saw that it was open-source. The problem was getting someone to get them through the last 25% (customization, graphics, publishing, maintenance).
There's now a team of student developers at the school district who help keep the project going. I believe this makes it first the school district to create open source software in California.
This is a hidden secret of the "App Store economy". To see how strongly the "Hot & New" dynamics are embedded into App Stores, check out the sections of the iOS App Store (Featured -> New & Noteworthy) or Google Play (Top Grossing New Apps)
If you are able to catch onto a foothold, you can reap a lot quickly - but the fall will be just as fast as the author saw here. The apps that are able to stay on top have a very strong hook with increasing value (ie the popular social gaming apps with in-app purchases or the social/messaging apps). Anything else will result in the inevitable fall in rankings and therefore sales. This is why "app development companies" often have many many apps in the app store to continually reap from this cycle. There's another aspect to the publishing cycle and it's in-app purchases. The #1 paid app on the iOS app store is #31 top-grossing. 28 of the 30 before it are all free apps (which aren't ranked all that high in the free charts)
According to this article the screenshots of a performant top office suite are bad and the screenshots of an admittedly beautiful but otherwise not too useful once-overhyped app are good. Uhm ... I don't know if I really care.
It is totally possible for school districts to develop their own software. I helped launch a similar project to create a mobile app for my school district when I was in high school. Quotes from ed-tech companies were much more expensive than our costs. We also made it open source so that other school districts could use it.
In the end, it was hard to replicate 100% of the usefulness of JS through python and convert python's cool features into JS.