Stranded In The Southland

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Sad State of Broadband in the US

Okay, I guess I hadn't mentioned it here, but M. and I just bought a new house and moved in. I haven't blogged about it, I guess, 'cause the pain is still too recent. :-)

Anyway, part of that pain was waiting 10 days for Speakeasy/Verizon to transfer over my DSL connection from the old place to the new place. Now, given that the phone company can just flip a switch to get my telephone line switched over, I'm not really clear on why it takes 10 days for them to get DSL up.

Now, I understand that there's likely to be a special device, a DSLAM, that they have to plug my phone line into to get my DSL working. But why on earth would this take 10 days? My immediate assumption was that Verizon was taking their sweet time since they are being forced to allow my ISP, Speakeasy, access to their lines. But, no, friends tell me that Verizon took 10 days for them, too.

I could've gone with the cable company, which usually gets things set up more quickly, but I wanted static IP addresses, and kind of liked my boutique ISP. Speakeasy charges me quite a bit more than Verizon or Time-Warner would, but they guarantee that I can use my line for whatever I want -- I can set up a server on my end, share my bandwidth via WiFi, etc. I think that this distinction is important enough that I'm ready to spend a bit extra to make the point that policy matters.

Of course, I could just follow the good example of my buddy, W., who just rents a virtual host from Slicehost and uses the regular, cheap-ass, dynamic IP-providing network service available. This means that he has professional backups for his slicehost, along with a fat pipe. I just kinda like having my system right there in my office, where I can lay hands on it, and mess with the setup.

I suppose, sooner or later, I'll go for that.