[svlug] the frog in the pot (me)

Eric De Mund ead-svlug at ixian.com
Thu Feb 21 18:53:34 PST 2013

Helpful People,

    JCL] > Reliability-wise, do I have any broadband alternatives to
    JCL] > Comcast?
    JCL] #import recommendation_for_rawbandwidth

    gherlein] +1 RawBandwidth. Don't waste your time with anything else

JC, Greg, Thank you. I do appreciate it. I wrote to Mike Durkin at Raw
Bandwidth, and he wrote back same day. At 12,000 feet distant, I may be
too far from the Mountain View central office. It seems that, as a re-
sult, standalone ADSL2+ isn't an option for me, while ADSL on top of an
AT&T phone line *is* possible. I'm still working through things with
him, but my initial understanding is that that would cost me $35/month
from him and some amount (let's say $30/month) from AT&T, totalling $65/
month. Not a big enough win re my current $72/month with Comcast, really.

    Joel] Feels deja vu. I asked this group for advice before I got my
    Joel] first DSL. Got a lot of helpful responses. You aren't going to
    Joel] get reliability statistics here -- just a few experiences and
    Joel] opinions. Here's mine:
    Joel] I'd say, yes, you're asking too much. [...]
    Joel] [Useful notes about DSL Extreme, Sonic, and AT&T]

Joel, Thank you. I appreciate it.

    Luke] I see two complaints... sounds like you want it cheap /and/
    Luke] reliable. (or maybe a more reasonable cheap or reliable;
    Luke] sounds like you aren't getting either.)

Thank you. I appreciate your note. I'm getting pretty reliable service
from Comcast these days; I think I haven't had an outage in a year or
two. I mentioned reliability in my original note because back when I had
PacBell DSL circa 2003, as well as when I switched to Comcast right after
that, actually, "unscheduled nighttime maintenance" was not uncommon. And
was really aggravating. Perhaps times have changed and I'm wrong to asso-
ciate that sort of thing with DSL, but that was my motivation for includ-
ing reliability in my original note.

As far as "cheap", my personal comfort point is $60/month, maximum, for
broadband. More is just naked greed to me, especially given my non-use
of big bandwidth. For crying out loud, I'm an xterm(1) guy! (Alright,
I've gone modern and am now using rxvt(1) (-: Actually, that's a fib; I
do do ssh(1) tunneling and remote X sessions.)

    Luke] I've got fusion. Meh. I'm not happy, but the price is pretty
    Luke] reasonable for what it is. Note, the two line fusion does not
    Luke] mirror the data across the two lines; it stripes the data
    Luke] across two lines. I had to get rid of my second line because
    Luke] it actually made the packet loss worse. Very disappointing.
    Luke] Sonic was very cool about it and gave me back the extra money
    Luke] I spent on the second line as a credit.

    Luke] Personally? the one day every quarter that dsl is down hard
    Luke] is acceptable. I can run down to the hacker dojo, or a data
    Luke] center or something like that for that one day. It's the daily
    Luke] loss, my dead ssh sessions, that I find maddening.

Thanks for this testimonial. What's that costing you, and what's your
average speed, would you say? And what if the line coming into my apart-
ment building, that DSL ran over, circa 2003, is crusty? (Do these lines
degrade?) Is it my responsibility to provide a good inside physical line?
"My" (my landlord's) responsibility as opposed to the ISP, I mean, of
course. I'm in a 50-year-old building.

I'd say at this point that Sonic Fusion or naked DSL from AT&T are my
leading candidates (if Raw Bandwidth isn't possible). But I'm very wary
of AT&T, judging from reliability reports I've seen on dslreports.com
and elsewhere.

    Mark] I have only noticed one one-minute outage in the last couple
    Mark] of months with Comcast. Before I made them upgrade my modem to
    Mark] a DOCSIS 3 unit, it used to go out every few days, sometimes
    Mark] for hours.

    Mark] I get about 2MByte/sec consistently, and pay about $50/month
    Mark] IIRC (it's bundled with TV and phone).

    Mark] I'm on some kind of contract where they won't jack up the
    Mark] price for a year or so. After that, I don't know what I'll do.

Thank you. It sounds like that "after that" point for you, a year from
now, is where I'm at right now. I'll probably try haggling with Comcast,
last minute, before I bail. Angling for a one-year rate lock-in.

Thank you all for your words and help.

"The best design tool is a long eraser with a pencil at one end." --Marty
Neumeier, Neutron LLC
                              meditation #246 in _401 design meditations:
                           Wisdom, Insights, and Intriguing Thoughts from
                              244 Leading Designers_, by Catharine Fishel

Eric De Mund   |                            |  Yahoo: ead0002
ead at ixian.com  |                            |  GTalk: ead.ixian at gmail.com

More information about the svlug mailing list