dealing with the phone company

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by agmantoo, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Like many here, I live in a rural area. My internet connection is by dialup. I have determined that I could have DSL if the phone company would install a DSLAM card in the switch gear near my place. The phone company gives me the runaround when I request the service. The DSLAM card is expensive and they do not want to provide one due to the low population density. I have sent numerous emails to various departments within the phone system to no benefit. I also sent the state public utlities commission an email requesting them to intervene. Their response was not encouraging. Does anyone have any suggestion as to how I might influence the phone company to upgrade their service?
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Can you borrow a bulldozer?
     

  3. RAC

    RAC Guest

    What about ISDN? That's what they do in other rural areas that don't get DSL--don't ask me what it stands for ;-), I haven't a clue.
     
  4. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

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    In many places, DSL is pretty much unregulated by the local regulatory authorities. "Held" orders for POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) make the local phone company look bad to the regulatory agency, held orders for DSL usually do not. If I were a phone company vice president, and I didn't have to, I wouldn't want to locate a DSLAM in an area where I couldn't recover the investment. It's just a matter of economics.

    I use the 'net at two places mostly. My home and at my place of business.
    At home, DSL is no big deal because I'm within 18,000 cable feet of the central office. At the business, I'm miles away from the c.o. and my line equipment is in a SLiC (Subscriber Line Carrier) equipment cabinet down the road. I can't even get a fast, reliable dial-up connection at the shop. Even though my business is located on an industrial park with one would think several potential DSL subscribers, the phone company isn't interested in installing a DSLAM in the neighborhood. One of these days I may wind up with a satellite internet connection at the business, which means I would be making a fairly significant capital investment. Sometimes we have to "pay the piper".

    ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) may be an option for you. Your ISP needs to have ISDN lines available at their end to take advantage of the speed though. In my area, ISDN is regulated but DSL is handled by an unregulated subsidiary of the phone company. ISDN is universally available here, but carries a fat tariff.
     
  5. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    I'm getting rid of my regular Phone next week,going with Cell and Satellite Internet.See how that works.

    big rockpile
     
  6. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    I've got the satellite internet through Direcway and have no real complaints. I just did a speed test and my download speed is 2.3mb per second, upload is 32kbps. Upload is always low with Direcway. Downlaod varies.

    There is a site caller DSL reports www.dslreports.com that has a satellite forum. It will tell you all you could ever want to know about how satelitte works, how to tweak it and what to avoid. There are usually a few complete systmems for sale there and also a lot on E-Bay. All you need is the send/receive modems, dish and some cable.
     
  7. JulieNC

    JulieNC Well-Known Member

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    Don't even get me started. We had dial-up and it was terrible . . . anytime the weather got wet, there was so much noise on the line that we couldn't hold a connection. The phone company insisted they were only required to provide "voice quality" lines, which doesn't necessarily equate with useable by a computer for internet.

    When I'd call to complain, every time I was told, "You need to update to DSL," like I was too cheap to do it. No DSL service in my area--same for cable. We talked to the phone company about ISDN a couple of years back. They actually sent us the modem then set up a time for the installer to come. It wasn't cheap, but we figured it was the best we could do. Day of installation rolls around, and no installer. Turns out they decided they couldn't do it without installing two separate boosters, increasing the already exhorbinant price by another $50 a month, so they didn't come. They did apologize, though, for me hanging around all day anxiously awaiting my amazing connection to the world wide web when a simple phone call could have saved me some aggravation. Best part was that it only took them 6 months to credit my account back with the cost of the modem (promptly returned by me within two days of learning we couldn't get ISDN).

    We now have Direcway satellite. Not as fast as DSL or cable, and more expensive to boot. Still, it's fairly reliable, and, for us, worth the cost (although it gripes me to be paying more for a service that isn't as fast as others that are cheaper).

    Chalk it up to the cost of living in the country.
     
  8. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Thanks to everyone that responded. The link to the dsl site was very informative. I was able to substantiate that dsl would be available with the DSLAM card. I have continued to pursue my request and actually got a nice "canned" email from the phone company telling me they have no plans to install any new equipment. I have replied to this email equally nice telling them that my efforts are just starting. I have not heard from the utility commission but am planning on seeking political assistance this being an election year. Should the situation change I will update.
     
  9. I also live in a rural area and have dial up. This seems like a small price to pay if you are rural. You can always move to the city if you want all the city stuff.
    Mike
     
  10. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    I live in the boonies and have microwave that runs at 750kbs look in your area for wireless internet . Mines 40$ a month for 3 computers.

    mikell
     
  11. RAC

    RAC Guest

    "I also live in a rural area and have dial up. This seems like a small price to pay if you are rural. You can always move to the city if you want all the city stuff."

    Last time I checked, we ALL pay taxes on our phone bills, etc. for things like TTY (for the deaf), and connecting everyone in the country, rural or not to the phone and internet. There is no excuse for anyone to have bad service in this country with all the mandatory fees and taxes collected on our bills.

    It's not wrong for Agmantoo to ask when that service will be available, because he's entitled to it as a taxpayer. There are a lot of businesses than can be run online, yet not necessarily in the city, but high-speed access is a must for faster customer service.

    Maybe the answer lies in pointing out to the PUC and FCC that an inferior service (satellite, as some have mentioned) should not be more expensive than a superior service that is not available yet.
     
  12. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    I had two way satellite and didn't like it. For regular web pages, dial-up was often faster because of the satellite latentcy (speed of light between the surface of the earth, to the satellite, times four).

    I have 802.11 now. Far better.