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Re: Choice of ISP

 >>>>> "Kent" == Kent Borg <[hidden email]> writes: 

    Kent> Laura Conrad wrote: 
    >> How can that be?  Mine seems to break when Verizon breaks the copper. 

    Kent> OK, I'll be more explicit: Covad never seems to fall down on 
    Kent> the job, in 5-years *they* seem do what I pay them to do. 

I've had two serious outages in the 7+ years I've been with speakeasy. 
I would agree with your characterization of the second one (early last 
month).  I reported it on Thursday afternoon, and Verizon looked at 
and fixed it on Monday afternoon.  This was because it was in the 
Verizon Central Office, and they didn't need any help from any of 
their customers.  I consider that waiting that many days to look at a 
problem in an essential service is not taking customer service 
seriously, but I don't see anything Speakeasy/Covad could have done 
better or differently. 

However, I still take seriously the possibility of switching to 
Comcast, in spite of the fact that they're more expensive than 
Speakeasy (if you count the cost of cable TV, which I don't really 
want except in baseball season) for something less for my purposes 
than what I get from Speakeasy.  And probably evil as well.  This is 
because that's the only option in my part of the world that doesn't 
make your broadband access dependant on the Verizon copper (I don't 
think we have FIOS here yet).  The previous outage, about 3 years ago, 
was a week and a half, and it was definitely worse because instead of 
just dealing with Verizon (difficult to impossible), I had to talk to 
Speakeasy, which talked to Covad, which talked to Verizon.  None of 
these people had any idea how to deal with the physical setup in my 
neighborhood, where the copper goes to the phone closet in my 
neighbor's basement, to which I can get a key, but I need to know in 
advance when I need it, and then to my apartment.  I believe that it 
turned out that the problem was on the street, but to diagnose it they 
needed the basement. 

At the time I wrote an angry blog post which includes the log of what 
Speakeasy and Covad were doing.  My site host is down, but here's a 
text version of the original html (if this mailman list is configured to 
deliver text attachments): 

This message has been scanned for viruses and 
dangerous content by MailScanner, and is 
believed to be clean. 

So while my experience of Speakeasy, including my contacts with their 
support staff, has on the whole been good, and while they're the only 
outfit that really seems to want to sell me what I want to buy, I 
can't wholeheartedly recommend any option the depends on Verizon 
copper, even though it's the one I use currently, and may go on using 
at least until the next Verizon screwup. 

    Kent> Verizon, on the other hand, which only needs to keep two wires 
    Kent> connected between me and the DSLAM, can't seem to do it. 

That's true. 

    Kent> P.S. Be careful about complaining to Verizon about anything, 
    Kent> they will use your complaint to retire and write off yet 
    Kent> another perfectly good copper pair. They want everyone onto 
    Kent> Fios. 

This is not the actual reason -- they were doing that long before 
there ever was FIOS.  They just treat the copper pairs as an 
inexhaustible resource. 

    Kent> Too many complaints and you might run out of copper on your 
    Kent> street, and not be able to get DSL ever again. 

Probably.  The other problem with this repair strategy is that while 
they test the service that they were sent to fix, they don't test 
anything else, and the way they snip things is likely to break one of 
your neighbor's lines.   It's likely that the reason that yours breaks 
so often is that they're "fixing" your neighbor's lines.  And in this 
part of the world, it seems to break when it rains, too. 

Laura   (mailto:[hidden email] ) 
(617) 661-8097 233 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139   

Meek young men grow up in libraries, believing it their duty to accept 
the views which Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon, have given, 
forgetful that Cicero, Locke and Bacon were only young men in 
libraries when they wrote these books. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, address to Harvard's Phi Beta Kappa Society on 
August 31, 1837 

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