Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Goodbye, AT&T...

Yesterday I received my DirecTVDSL gateway box in the mail. My homenet has been running on AT&T Broadband's cable network since last April, when my DSL provider (XO) discontinued service as a result of Northpoint's shutting down. It was ironic, since I'd switched to XO when Flashcom went down before them.

Cable Internet service was fast - faster than my DSL is today or was before. But cable systems are designed for those who want to passively consume - not those who want to produce. Though what I produce may well be drivel, it's still not what AT&T has in mind.

Way back when, of course,, this wasn't a problem. AT&T Broadband in New England started out as Continental Cablevision HighwayOne - one of the first cable ISP companies. Their AUP essentially was "don't run a business off this, do no harm, and keep your systems secure". Then it became MediaOne, which after rollouts and system swaps in the Boston area wound up getting my town right around the same time TimeWarner decided to start rolling out RoadRunner internet service. Following this?

Anyhow, my town's TimeWarner became MediaOne which became At&T Broadband (but still using to identify this little backwater of the network). But between the reorg of the network that went along with @home's demise, and the forthcoming Comcast takeover, I can see the handwriting on the wall for cable's suck factor to increase exponentially.

So I went DSL shopping (Salem's always been good in that area), and settled on DirecTVDSL (the former Telocity). I ordered service on February 1st. Yesterday (the 12th), I got the gateway and took it home. 20 minutes later I had my network up and moved over - it would have been about 15 except I fatfingered the subnet mask when I reprogrammed my Netopia, and it took me a minute to realize it.

And to make things even better, not only does DirecTV have the kind of "lassez-faire" AUP that I remember from the Good Old Days, but they even tell you how to set up your own domain and cheerfully offer you an option on their customer pages to either point it at their pages (they offer the standard 10MB of free webspace) or point it at your STATIC IP! Woo-hoo!

So anyhow, I'm surfing and serving a little slower (I get about 800/160 ADSL, the speed tests are indicating), but I can feel the freedom in the air.

And Comcast won't be snarfing my packets once they Borg AT&T!

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