Reader Feedback on As I See It: Babes in Broadband
August 4, 2008 Hey, Victor
I sympathize with your wife’s plight concerning broadband. My phone carrier is AT&T. They told me my house was about 250 yards too far from the switch for them to supply me with DSL. Later, I was talking to customer service with my ISP, and she asked me if I wanted DSL service. I started on a rant similar to the one you just published, and she told me she had checked my address and they could supply me with DSL service.
It seems that PeoplePC subcontracts DSL service from AT&T and supplies subscribers who live too far from the switch for the phone company to guarantee speed. My speed is sometimes faster than the intro speed from the phone company, and sometimes it is slower. However, it is always faster than the dial-up I was using before. You might check with another ISP and see if they are offering the same service I got. Anything is better than waiting on the phone company to expand their service.
Here in Switzerland, we have another problem. For a long time, there was only one phone company, Swisscom, which was owned by the government and which provided 100 percent coverage of terrestrial phone lines to the country.
Today, they are covering also nearly 100 percent of the country for mobile phones and 100 percent for high speed internet (ADSL), with the slowest speed at 1000KB/100KB at a rate of about $10 per month, the fastest at 5000KB/500KB at about $50 per month. In some few places, for technical and economic reasons, the promised speed cannot be reached. There is no traffic limitation. Today’s competitors are using the same infrastructure, when we are talking about landlines, trying to build their own one where it makes sense economically. For about a year, VDSL connections at 20000KB/1000KB have been available at a price of around $70 per month. With this, there are limitations in terms of availability, but they react quickly when there is enough request.
Now to the problem: Compared to other countries, ADSL is slow and expensive. When you look at the German market, speeds are four times higher and prices start at €10 per month. But as it is in the United States, this service is only in available in certain places–big cities, etc. Living in a democracy, I would prefer that everybody has high speed internet at a lower cost compared to other countries, but with high availability and quality, too. However prices must drop. I also do not remember the last time I had a problem–it must be some years ago.
I think the term to use for your situation and mine is “suffering at a high level.” Hope your situation improves soon.