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Sunday, June 18, 2006

My Return to Broadband Hell

For the last several years, I have been lucky enough to have my high speed internet access paid for by my brother (Thanks, Seth) and provided by a local company called Dataflo. Four years ago, when I left my job as a technical trainer for The Chubb Institute, I also left access to a T-1 line behind. After researching for a couple of months, I came to realize that I lived in Broadband hell. No access to DSL (too far from the Central Office). No cable modems (our cable company had changed hands several times and no one had upgraded us). Sprint had wireless DSL, but by the time I found the phone number to call, they were not accepting any new customers. Then one day, after resigning myself to dial-up and the installation of a second phone line, I came home to a flyer on my screen door. A company had just brought microwave delivered broadband to my neighborhood. I called, they installed, and I have had ZERO downtime for 4 years.

Yesterday I returned home from work to find a letter from Dataflo informing me that they were leaving the residential business. What did this mean for me? Well, after investigating their website, I found that I would have to DOUBLE my monthly cost to a minimum of $99 to upgrade to a business account, or I would have to find another provider.

A quick trip to the Internet revealed that my broadband options had improved, but not by much. I could go with
DirectTV satellite for $99, Comcast 6mb (finally!) for $34.99 for the first 4 months and $57.99 after that, and extremely slow Yahoo DSL (1.5mb) for $12.99 provided I commit to 12 months of service. Several of my friends had Comcast, but service is spotty. Yahoo DSL is cheap, but a lot slower than what I am used to. And if I was willing / able to pay $100 a month, I would stay with Dataflo.

After a lot of thinking, I decided to go with the Comcast for $34.99 and leasing the modem for $3 a month. There is no length of service required, so I can cancel when the price goes up. Who knows, maybe I will find a better alternative by then. My installation is scheduled for June 30th. The installer does the outside work (which there shouldn't be much, we had cable about 4 years ago), runs the line to my computer, and then I have to do everything else. Gee, I hope I can handle it!


  • Ouch, I wouldn't want to live where you live! That letter was just bullshit. They are trying to get more money out of you, probably because they know that a lot of people will just pay and shut their mouth.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:51 PM  

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