It’s once again time for me to start sending out notices to folks that my email address is, once more, changing. As is Courtney’s and, technically, Anne’s (though she tends to use her Hotmail account more than her POP email so it won’t really affect her as much). Why the change? Well, we’ll be dropping Earthlink DSL in the next couple of days as we’ve just had Wide Open West install their cable modem service.
Originally we were Mediaone subscribers until they merged with AT&T who had to give up X number of regions to make the merger happen. Our region went to Comcrap.. er… Comcast, which was OK for awhile because they were still using the same Road Runner network that Mediaone had already put into place. Then @Home went belly-up and Comcrap decided they would develop their own in-house service. Quality of service quickly went to hell in a hand-basket and they lowered their speed caps while increasing the cost for the service plus they put into effect policies that were, at best, stupid and at worst, potentially illegal. Not wanting to deal with it all, we dropped all Comcast service, cable TV and modem, like a hot potato and signed up with Earthlink DSL.
Earthlink DSL is basically Ameritech DSL with a new brand logo on it. The service we’re paying for is supposed to give us speeds up to 1.5MB/sec, but we’ve never done better than 700K/sec, which is about typical for most DSL service. Aside from lower speeds, we’ve had all kinds of connectivity issues. First, it’s still a dial-up type connection even though no dialing actually occurs. Secondly, it doesn’t always connect on the first attempt even though there are no busy signals. Thirdly, it’ll work fine for a few days and then start randomly dropping our connection for no apparent reason.
So we’ve been waiting for Wide Open West to start offering cable modem service in our area for awhile. One, it’s faster than the DSL with guaranteed speeds of 300K/sec up and 1.5MB/sec down, but right now we’re actually seeing speeds closer to 500K/sec up and 1.9MB/sec down. Nothing to be upset about. Two, it’s truly “always on” like what we got spoiled with under Mediaone. Three, it’s only $34.95 a month instead of the $49.95 a month DSL is costing us. Fourth, unlike Comcrap, the cable modem rental is included in that fee. Fifth, again unlike Comcrap, they include up to 3 IP addresses in that fee (less of a concern for me these days as I have a hardware router, but still nice).
The only two drawbacks to switching is 1) we’re going to take a $150 hit from Earthlink for quitting their service before 1 year was up as that was part of the sign-up deal to wave cost of the modem and installation and 2) Courtney and I have to pick new email addresses. I’m debating whether to use my new Wide Open West email address (we can have up to 5 total) or just make use of the email accounts provided by the folks at Blogomania where I’m hosting this site. Neither address would be particularly short as one would end with “wideopenwest.com” and the other with “jenkinsonline.net”, but at least I don’t have to worry in the latter case of the name already being taken. Technically, you can already send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get it, but I don’t know yet if I want that to become my official email address. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions…