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You have failed me for the last time.

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Jan. 19th, 2009 | 03:42 pm

A bit after breakfast, I noticed my cable modem's sync light failed. I turned on the TV and got static. Ah yet another Charter service outage. I contacted charter's IM based support (over my mobile phone) and after 30-45 minutes or eventually learned got an agent that confirmed that yes charter was having a large outage in my area. Everything was down for about 2 hours.

I'm really tired of charters remarkably bad support, so I decided to browse around dslreports for awhile and found two fairly highly ranked California ISPs are sonic.net and dslextreme.

I decided that sonic would probably be better for me, as they offer multicast routing, ipv6 tunneling, and shell access--all signs that they are catering to higher end users.

Both have network status pages, both have twitter feeds, and sonic.net has a corporate blog, I couldn't find a comparable thing from dslextreme.

I just ordered the most basic land line phone service possible, and once that's setup will start my dsl order. Hopefully the fact this is a fairly new building will mean the telco wiring between us and the central office will be in good shape.

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Comments {15}

Jeffrey

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from: jeffrey
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 12:38 am (UTC)
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Hm. Is DSL comparable speed-wise to cable? Because we have cable and I am SICK AND TIRED of Time Warner's unbelievably bad customer service and even worse actual *service* that we're paying for! If we could cut them down to just the cable tv it would give me great pleasure to give them less of our money, and I'm sure these other companies would be more reliable in terms of connection uptime (they certainly couldn't be worse!).

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
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Several of the sysadmins at Caltech switched to dslextreme from charter as they to got fed up with charters incompetence. The endorsement in the other comment of sonic is also quite promising.

The top tier DSL service from both companies is "3-6 mpbs download" and "512-768kbps up".

Basically DSL has three problems, first you need a working copper-pair phone line, second you need to be close enough to the magical central office for it to work, and the wiring in your area has to be in sufficiently good condition.

If you've got a working phone line, you can go to either site and enter your phone number and address and they'll give you a decent idea of what service is available in your area. The comments I've seen suggest either company will work with you to figure out if your wiring is good enough for DSL.



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Jeffrey

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from: jeffrey
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 02:26 am (UTC)
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Ah, the problem is we DON'T have a landline. With our cell phones we haven't needed one, and so we haven't had one in about four years. :/

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)
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Me either, however, I'm sufficiently sick of charter that I looked into landlines.

I found the cheapest possible line you can get from AT&T (unless you qualify for lifeline service) is a measured rate phone with zero additional services for $7.28/mo I opted for the extra $1 to only be findable in directory assistance without an address. I wasn't quite willing to spend the extra $0.25/mo to go fully unlisted. Measured rate, though expensive if I was going to use it as a phone is irrelevant as I plan on not plugging a phone into the circuit.

There are a number of extra taxes, so I'm expecting the monthly cost for the active wire to be about $10/mo.

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Jeffrey

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from: jeffrey
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 02:38 am (UTC)
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Hmm. What are the DSL prices like then? Are we looking at $50 or less total per month, perhaps? If so, that would make it workable for us.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)
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Highest end residential service from sonic without static IPs was $35/mo, dsl extreme will give you a bit of a discount for a 12mo contract, $30/mo, for month to month it was the same $35/mo.

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Jeffrey

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from: jeffrey
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
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Brilliant! of course we're considering moving now, so it might be best to wait, but this is great news. I will be so delighted to be rid of the terrible Time Warner beast.

Thank you!

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
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Just FYI, I started my research from this dslreports.com reports page.

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no, YOUR mom

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from: theinfamousmom
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 07:14 am (UTC)
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We have the measured rate on our second phone line. Of course, I then went and added Caller ID to it because we were getting so many wrong-number calls. I attached one of my Caller ID boxes that will hang up on people and we've never paid more than the basic rate.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
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My plan was to not plug a phone into it Maybe if I was feeling motivated I'll feed it into asterisk voicemail to taunt who ever trys calling the number.

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no, YOUR mom

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from: theinfamousmom
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
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If you have a modem, plug that in and let it give all callers a shriek in the ear.

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no, YOUR mom

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from: theinfamousmom
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 07:12 am (UTC)
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That doesn't mean there is no landline in your apartment, though. If you've got phone jacks, you've got wires. Of course, that does not necessarily mean you can get DSL. We went round the barn with Covad and Earthlink for over three months and it never worked, and then they had the gall to try to charge me $99 for "early termination" of a service I never got.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
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Your story motivated me to ask sonic.net if their price was month-to-month or a contract. They're month-to-month, so there's no "early termination fee"

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Elizabeth Fong

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from: lizthegray
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
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You'll be in good hands with Sonic. Their service is rock-stable, their speeds as advertised, and they offer the power user features you won't get anywhere else.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
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Yes, I haven't seen anyone else even mention IPv6 support, let alone multicast.

Though what I'm really hoping for is that if something goes wrong, I can say "I can't ping my gateway", and they wont start with telling me to reboot my modem and router.

At this point my expectations of US internet access is so low that I almost can't imagine getting months of uninterrupted service.

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