Posts Tagged dsl

Windstream Soundbytes

So I talked with someone who should know what they’re talking about with regard to Windstream. Not naming names because it isn’t important to do so anyway. Here are are some of the more interesting (though predictable) things that he mentioned:

1. Windstream’s biggest customers are AT&T and Verizon
Telcos buy backhaul from other telcos when it comes to providing cellular service. As long as Verizon and AT&T continue to rule the roost in the wireless biz, Windstream will continue to get a fair chunk of change per month for T1s and fiber Ethernet connections to cell sites in their footprint. In many cases other cellular providers also have to use Windstream for backhauling their cell sites, which generates even more revenue for Windstream, which isn’t particularly forgiving when it comes to T1 pricing either. Read the rest of this entry »

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State Of The Internet, Fredericksburg, TX

Interesting stuff happening lately about internet service in this area:

  1. My mom saw a Verizon truck in the county fair parade today (I didn’t go; saw no need and was tired). The truck has “High Speed Internet coming soon!” or similar painted on te side. This is DSL, not FiOS (Verizon always refers to their fiber offering by its trademarked name). However from what I hear Verizon’s DSL release is just a ploy to drive up the sale cost of their system here; Fredericksburg isn’t a large metropolitan area, and there are too mayn bridged taps and other phone system anomaies here for DSL to reach beyond a small part of town. At least that’s what the scuttlebutt says. My prediction: Verizon offers some flavor of DSL to folks who can currently get Windstream DSL, then sells the system to whoever will take it, using the “we have DSL in our central office” argument to jack the price up slightly above what the system is worth.
  2. Bee Creek Communications, the local our-hands-are-tied-and-if-anyone-competes-with-us-we-lose wireless ISP, was in the parade today as well. They also have a third-of-a-page ad in the paper advertising free installation to new customers until September 15th. A few years ago an installation with similar equipment would have run you around $220. The problem here is that their network is already over capacity in some areas, they’re spread too thinly in terms of manpower and their speeds are the stuff of yesteryear, barely competitive with satellite internet (though their monthly transfer caps are higher). The service also requires a two-year contract with a $125 early termination fee. If you want a one-year agreement service will run you another $10 per month. In short, don’t buy. Read the rest of this entry »

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All AT&T, All The Time

I must say, AT&T has been active and\or in the news lately…

Starting off with the wireless division, we see the iPhone getting a few new laurels to rest on. It has snagged the top spot for most sold US wireless phone this quarter from the Motorola Razr, and also appears to be 2X the reliability of BlackBerries and nearly 3X the reliability of Treos. AT&T has also opened up free AT&T WiFi access to iPhone and other smartphone users. This is particularly cool since the company also bought up hotspot operator Wayport right around ten minutes ago.

Last but not least, 1.1 million customers and a lot of spectrum, towers and other such infrsatructure got traded for a cool $944 million in AT&T’s buyout of Centennial Communications, yet another regional GSM carrier to fall under AT&T’s sway.

UPDATE: Looks like AT&T will be allowing iPhone tethering…for $30 on top of your regular data plan. The transfer limit is 5 GB with this option, and if you’re thinking that the total data cost is equal to that of a dedicated modem, you’re abso-freaking-lutely correct. Ripoff? Yes, but I suspect people will bite. Though Sprint’s network is generally faster, and tethering is only $15 on top of a data plan, which is also $30 on top of a voice plan but also includes everything from navigation to text messaging.

Speaking of WiFi, you get that free with most AT&T DSL/U-Verse plans. Which may be capped. The monthly transfer caps are as follows:

$10-$20, 768K, 20GB (DSL only)
$25-$32, 1.5M, 40GB
$30-$36, 3M, 60GB
$35-$43, 6M, 80GB
$55, 10M, 150GB (U-Verse only)

The caps are a bit biased speed-wise toward the lower-end tiers, but of course cost-per-GB-wise toward the higher tiers. Overages will be $1 per GB. The caps are squarely between Time Warner Cable’s proposed 5-40 GB limits and Comcast’s 250 GB cap. What’s funny about this is that AT&T hs plenty of backbone infrastructure, especially with U-Verse, to allow everyone to download as much as they want. Of coursse, business-class users won’t see these caps, but users in the Reno, NV test market already are, or they’re being grandfathered in at 150GB per month. What’s unnerving is the result if you only qualify for a lower-speed DSL connection due to distance from the CO: low caps, high overages.

Speaking of U-Verse, AT&T has introduced an 18 Mbps tier (1.5 Mbps upload) for $10 more than the 10/1.5 Mbps one, or $65 per month, though people have reported that they’ve gotten better deals by calling AT&T to upgrade. The caveat: the U-Verse service has to share bandwidth with any TV that’s running, and the shared pipe is only 25 Mbit/s wide downstream and 2 Mbit/s upstream. This “profile” is due to the fact that VDSL (the tech upon which U-Verse is based) drops off quickly speed-wise as distance from the VRAD (fiber-fed DSL terminal) increases. The result: if you’re watching TV, you get 14-15 Mbps internet speeds instead of 18 Mbps, though TV quality doesn’t degrade while the internet is being used. No word on caps on this tier; let’s hope they’re to the tune of 250GB…competitors are sure to deploy DOCSIS 3 in response to this new U-Verse tier, and Comcast‘s caps are well above AT&T’s proposed ones.

Last but not least, AT&T is trying to create a video search engine (!?!) in partnership with a startup by the name of Divvio. Once can’t but think that this new service, dubbed Videocrawler, will be a nice tool for chewing up your gigabytes once caps are in place. Why I oughta…

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