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My own two cents about my experience with broadband installation goes like this.

I heard a rumor-a dream really about high speed internet access via the phone line which did not interfere with your phone calls. I reckon this was close to three years ago. This sevice was called DSL. I looked into it but it was nowhere to be found in my area-the Phoenix Metro Area-not super large potatoes, but not a small spuds either. So I checked into alternative high speed access. Small note: the figures for prices I am quoting are from memory, but they should be correct to within $5...

There was a local company doing microwave links called "Speed Choice" that had high speed download, but their uplink speed was still pokey. They said that they would be upgrading to high speed uplinks in the next year and that I could rent the modem at $15/mo until the new modems capable of high speed up and downlinks became available-At the time they charge about $50 for the access, but the modem and install was like $575 ($400 for the modem). Speedchoice has since been enveloped by Sprintbroadband. I have no idea what goes on with them now.

I also looked into cable-and they wanted to sell you cable TV to go with your high speed access and you would have to cope with bandwidth shrinkage as other users got onto your pipeline, the monthly price was also around $50. In addition there was also a $550 modem/setup fee (modem again $400 or you could rent it for an additional $10/mo). My particular locale in the middle of town had antique cable not fiber optics and I was gonna have to wait for the infrastructure to catch up. I didn't have cable TV and saw no reason to pay same price for an inferior product compared to what the rest of the valley was getting.

As I said DSL, what DSL?

I bought a 56k V90 modem and got 52kB and got an extra phone for like $30 a month to go with my $15 a month ISP.

Flash forward. April this year. Here I am sitting around with 3 phone lines, still using my v90 and getting 52kB. Still paying for my $15/mo ISP, when my phone company announces they have a new service VDSL in the area. I talk to some of my techie friends living in the burbs about their experience, since they got the proper infrasture when their developments went in. To a person they all say, "the setup is gonna be a mother but you'll love it once it is installed."

I got into the VDSL service-it costs about $110/mo. With this service I get your basic 120 cabletype channels on three TVs, each with its own remote, one of my local phones, 1M access that can't be diminished by other users-unless I build a LAN at home (in theory I can put 4 computers on my link and the bandwidth shrinks accordingly), and PPV channels. They would do the TV install for free and all the computer wiring for free, supply the gateway for free and charge $60 to install their software on my computer and supply an ethernet card. It all gets charged on a single bill-also nice. I can tell you the free install is well worth it, because I spent $50 just wiring my TV to my stereo for a sound system-all that high zoot video line costs-they ran huge amounts of it to get my main computer, which is located geographically as far from the main TV (where the gateway is) as it is possible to be in my house. It took two guys like 6 hours to run this stuff all around on the outside. I can only imagine me doing it-nah I can't. If they hadn't done the install for free I'd still be perking along on my v90 at 52kB.

My friends were right-the install was painful, there was something wrong with my phone lines and the install took two separate outfits-one to handle the TV end and one to handle the cable. The company cancelled one appointment and not the other when the problem with the lines was discovered and didn't tell us that the install couldn't go forward; we wasted and entire day waiting for someone to show up who wasn't going to-I spend 4 hours playing phone surfer and being on hold to find out why the guy didn't show. The install was awful. Now we have the service and I love it.

I can also tell you the install was such a heious experience I am not eagar to be looking for cheaper access soon. BTW I could reduce my monthly expense to $84 if I ditched the cabletype TV channels and stuck with the basic 20 local (they still throw in the PPV-probably because it is an easy potential revenue stream). In a sense they could be usurping the video store rental companies too-I have a friend out in CA with a cable modem setup who hasn't rented in years.

Now my Bro-in-law gets a notice from the same phone company offering DSL sans video. They charge for the install, but he gets 648kB for $20 or around $50 since its on his phone.

In terms of the Gorilla Game scenario and DirtyDingus' "truckrolls" for installation. My local phone company (QWest) is throwing everything they got at getting as many subscribers as they can-they start smearing the neighborhoods with sales people even before the infrastructure is complete. They are making a bunch of truckrolls to each and every house to do it. By my count my own installation had 7. One salesman, two visits by the computer installer, 1 cable installer, and 3 visits from the phone line test/fix folks. From what my friend have told me their experience was no different. On the other hand, I think they are making a great deal of headway against Cox the local cable company because they are doing the free install, add that to the bandwidth shrinkage issue and I don't think Cox has updated the local cables in my neighborhood.

Most of my friends with high speed access in CA are using cable modems though because the DSL infrastructure hasn't reached them yet, and they are mostly liking it, although again set up woes and the fee structures are starting to piss some of them off-like me three years ago they have heard this rumor of DSL...Jake
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