Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Adios, DSL

Only one more posting to gripe about DSL, since it will soon be getting the boot, the old heave-ho & the bum’s rush from our house. A technician will be out to install a successor system, based on cable access, in a couple of weeks.

The phone line will be bundled with Internet as well, since I haven’t forgotten the incompetence of our current phone company from almost a year and a half ago. “Disconnect one of my two lines, please, I don’t need it any more,” I said (this is a reconstruction of the gist of our talk). “Yes, sir,” they said. “Please make sure just to disconnect the one line I don’t need,” I reiterated. “Yes, sir, of course. We’ll do that.” And what do you know, in a few days my entire service was disconnected.

“Can you restore my service?” I asked, calling from a pay phone since I’d let my cell phone service lapse shortly before this happened (gist again) (soon after we got cell phones, so we’ll always have telephony around here). “Well, yes, but unfortunately we don’t have that plan anymore, so we can’t, but we have other, more expensive plans.” “You can’t restore it, even though I was disconnected in error? Your error?” “’Fraid not.”

Actually the new plan wasn’t that much more expensive—before I started working at home and making a lot of calls all over the country. Now it’s been creeping up, and I don’t like that either. The new service will be flat-fee, instead of flat-fee for x minutes.

Then there’s the issue of setting up a home computer network. Originally, my ISP was supposed to send a networking card or gizmo or something. “Will it work on Macs? I have Macs,” I said (you know, gist again). “Sure, you’ll be fine,” they said. Gizmo comes. “For Windows Only,” it says. Eventually I try a wireless networking gizmo from a computer store, supposedly good for Macs. Installation seems to work, until it refuses to do the last step. Call to support: “It’s not installing.” “Yes, sir. First check to make sure your computer is plugged in…” This discussion goes nowhere, and I wished the gentleman a good day in Bangalore. Return gizmo to store.

Since then, when the DSL actually happens to be working, we have to switch the lines physically. Which gets tiresome pretty quickly. I was almost glad in June when the hard drive on the Green iMac click-click-clicked its way to oblivion over a few weeks. We replaced it a soon after returning from Canada, but now we need a real network, which we’ll get with cable access. Come on over, cable guy.


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