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Changing ISPs


Christian
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Here I sit at Panera Bread, using its wireless network to access the Internet with my laptop.

Our Earthlink DSL connection has been down for several days. After Sarah and I made numerous, lengthy phone calls to tech support, Earthlink sent someone to our house. The technician concluded that our modem -- not the phone line, not our computer(s) -- was the problem.

Solution: Earthlink will send us a new modem, which we would pay for, and obligate us to a year-long contract.

No thanks.

I'm an ISP loyalist. After a 90-day AOL trial back in, I think, 1996(!), during the height of AOL's access problems (it was a boom time for new Internet users), I went with Earthlink instead. I had an Apple I'd purchased from work.

I was satisfied with Earthlink. When I got married, Sarah added her name to the account. So we've been Earthlink customers for 12 years.

I wish them no ill will. It's just that we've hit a point where the investment of time to fix access problems -- this has happened a few times in recent months, although it's previously been fixable over the phone, no new equipment required -- has us frustrated.

Verizon brought Fios, a fiber-to-the-home service, into our neighborhood about six months ago. They offer attractive pricing if you want to use Verizon for phone, Internet and TV, but we're not the type to pay for TV. (Not yet; we'll see what happens when over-the-air signals go digital next year; our early experience with the digital converter box has been less than impressive). So we didn't plan to make the switch to Fios Internet.

Talking with a friend a week ago, he mentioned that Verizon offers discounted pricing for phone and Internet bundling, without any TV requirement. We're already Verizon phone customers, so ...

Sarah and I worked with Earthlink to fix our DSL connection, but after a couple more days and the ISP's ultimatum about a new contract, we called Verizon and signed up for Fios.

I've heard a complaint about the Fios TV service in our community, but my mom and dad, who use Fios for phone, TV and Internet in another Northern Virginia county, speak highly of it. At this point, I'm betting that Fios will be far superior to Earthlink, if not entirely problem free.

The service is scheduled to be installed tomorrow. Fingers crossed. Wish us luck.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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We're up and running. Just made my first phone call -- a long distance call -- and all's well on our end. The Internet connection is noticeably quicker, although in my first hour online, it got hung up twice at different sites and had to be shut off. :( Not a huge worry, yet.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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