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jmartyc:
Their site is at: www.gemnets.com

Anyone heard of it?


Hi Marty -

Never heard of them. But I took a quick look. It seems to me that this is someone building a network built around cable. Cable to the home, anyway. Not that that's a bad thing, necessarily. I have a cable modem. But I think there are a lot more cable miles out there already. I don't see what is so special about this company. Here's some details on their network in case you'd like to read more.
http://www.gemnets.com/products_ultra.html

They seem to be building a sort of metro area network to connect the cable installs. I'm guessing that this is to overcome the shared bandwidth problem inherent in cable networks. It also adds to the cost of the network. According to the bottom of this page, they can hit 20Mbps (delivering it to the home today!).
http://www.gemnets.com/products_ultra.html

I'd disagree with this claim, however. Here's a page from one of their ISP partners that offers speeds of 70x dialup (28.8 dialup). that's 2016Kbps - or roughly 2Mbps. Not bad, but a far cry from 20Mbps. Interestingly, the fine print says that the $19.95 fee is for a 1Mbps connection. Now if you move broadband to the home at the fee of a "standard" (ie, dialup) ISP, that might be interesting. Of course, this deal expired 3/31/01, so that may not help much. :)
http://www.gemnets.com/pcnettrial.html

Here's another partner that offers two levels of service. One at 1.5Mbps and another at 2.0Mbps. Hmm. Still missing the elusive 20Mbps service that's available today.
http://www.discovernet.net/broadband.html

I have a cable modem (RoadRunner), and I check periodically to see what sort of speed I'm getting. Today clocks in around 500Kbps, but that's unusual. Usually more like 1300Kbps, though I've seen as high as 1800Kbps. So it's extra speed over what you can likely get now. But not much. Here's a page if you'd like to check your own speed. I don't know if it's totally accurate. But it does seem to return a number of sorts that seems consistent.
http://webservices.cnet.com/bandwidth/

Here's another. For what it's worth, this and the Cnet site above seem to have similar returns. I'm guessing that's because they are accurate. Could be that they are just flawed in the same way.
http://www.2wire.com/services/bandwidth.asp (click the red button)

This is a downloadable program that is probably more accurate (doesn't depend quite so much on the response time of a web server). I think it's freeware. I haven't actually used it, but I've seen references that seem to think it works well.
http://freeware-search.com/freeware/bandwidth-meter.html

Anyway, I feel pretty confident that I get speeds from the incumbent (TWX) that are at or near what I could get from Gemini. I'm not sure that there is a compelling reason to go with an alternative (assuming that I could go with an alternative, of course) that offers little additional speed. They might actually be able to keep those speeds up, where cable theoretically can deteriorate as more users jump on. But that implies that they'll have the cash to keep rolling it out... seems to me that TWX and friends will likely move fiber closer to the home when speeds approach impairment - and I feel pretty confident that they'll have the resources to do so.

As far as the world-class board, only name I recognized was Leo Hindery, CEO of Global Crossing. That might be good. Certainly a company that knows about networks. He should too.
http://www.gemnets.com/about_us_board.html

Partners don't seem like anything special. They're good names, to be sure - but who isn't using these folks somewhere in their network?
http://www.gemnets.com/partners.html

Hope this helps. Please let me know if I've missed something.

Chad.
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