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DSL service charge - Jason Lindquist
Idle ramblings of an idle mind
jlindquist
jlindquist
DSL service charge
Some of us on IRC were talking about this the other day, as a couple of people are getting really shitty service from their cable companies, and the landscape has changed since they last had or considered DSL service.

Rather quietly in 2006, Pac Bell dropped its requirement that ADSL service had to be bundled with analog voice. I found this out from a promotional e-mail from Speakeasy (I'd been a happy customer since 2003, when I finally left Cox for fucking with me,) promoting their OneLink ADSL service--DSL over a dry pair. This was coupled with their new VoIP offering, which featured free long distance both domestically and to 22 major foreign countries. ADSL on a dry pair? I called and asked "O RLY?" They said "YA RLY!" I said "SINE ME UP!"

So here's what I'm paying...

  DSL: Home Select Plus OneLink ADSL 1500/768 kbps
    Monthly line charge                      $95.95
    Regulatory Compliance Fee                  5.71
  Home VoIP:
    Monthly service charge                   $27.95
    Regulatory Compliance Fee                  6.20
                                            --------
  Total                                     $135.81


They like to auto-bill credit cards. I think there's a service charge for conventional send-and-mail-payment paper billing.

Last March, Best Buy bought Speakeasy. Since then, nothing has changed. Not the name, not any kind of branding, and not the service. It's the same, excellent, professional service that understands that I Fucking Know My Shit™. When I call in for customer support, I get someone who also knows their shit, who is not bound to a script, who believes me if I tell him I can ping the gateway but can't reach anything beyond it. Or that yes, I run an SMTP server, but it's Postfix (not Sendmail) and I have unauthenticated relaying turned off. They can work with average-Joe users, but if you're an industry professional (or even just a gifted amateur,) this is the provider for you. Hell, I get e-mail advice of upcoming service outages, and they never use the whole window. Often, I don't even notice it.

The VoIP offering is run by Level 3, rebadged for Speakeasy. It uses the same Motorola terminal adapter as Vonage. I've been fantastically happy with the voice quality. The only hiccup is that the voice codec used does not support fax above standard resolution. If you've got to have fine or better resolution fax capability, you have to find an IP fax service. The unlimited international LD is to non-mobile numbers in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. If you call a mobile number, I don't think you pay full price, I think it just covers the airtime (since it's caller-pays pretty much everywhere but the US.)
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Comments
From: ext_99067 Date: May 27th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

What speeds?

I'm curious of the speeds. I'm really used to the 8Mbps down I'm getting from cable, and I'm not dissatisfied enough to look elsewhere, but I should keep abreast of these things. I do wish I had a bit more than 768Kbps up, though.
jlindquist From: jlindquist Date: May 27th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: What speeds?

This is their full set of rates. You'd really pay for the 1M up, $150-$190/month, though that comes with up to 8 IPs. (The line-shared and ADSL Select plans are bridged systems. I doubt the ADSL 2 plans are routed either.)
tambreet From: tambreet Date: May 28th, 2008 03:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: What speeds?

I know, I've just been waiting for Best Buy to fuck with them, but it hasnt happened yet.

Apparently they charge a little extra for the not having the phone line? I appear to be paying $89.95 + the compliance fee and about $5 in tax for 3.0/768.

But then I pay an extra $13/month to at&t for a land line that I never use.
jlindquist From: jlindquist Date: May 29th, 2008 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: What speeds?

They don't break it out, but I imagine the price difference is the charge they have to incur for provisioning the copper pair, instead of riding on top of one that's live for another reason.

Wow, you're only paying $13/month for the voice pair? It was costing me almost $30, without the per-minute LD. (Though that included the $9 that PacBell charged for Caller ID.) Speakeasy's VoIP includes all the "extras" for that flat rate. Caller ID, forward-on-busy, forward-no-answer, call interrupting, voicemail, and more, and it's all web-configurable.
tambreet From: tambreet Date: May 29th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: What speeds?

Yeah, but it's literally the bare minimum service. I don't have any of those features.

When I signed up, it took me about half an hour on the phone arguing with the sales rep to remove those features.
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