[thelist] Re: dsl vs cable

Benjamin kalos at carolina.rr.com
Wed Oct 23 09:17:01 CDT 2002

I've had 3 different cable modem accounts now (different states) and have
loved every minute of it (mainly because I used to work for an ISP and
became spoiled by the dual OC3's).  Unfortunately Deke's experience with
Comcast was bad, however it is not typical.  My wife worked for them (we
beta tested their cable modem access when it was rolled out in our area)
and his troubles with returning the cable modem can happen to anyone (with
the modem or the box for that matter).  A few things to note here are that
it is always a good idea (tm) to return the equipment to the local office
so that it is entered into the system then and there.  A lot of the "cable
techs" aren't actually employed by the cable company directly but rather
through a contracting company.

In the 5 years I have had cable modems I have never had my IP address
change in regards to it being released.  It did change when I opted for a
newer model of cable modem as the IP was bound to the MAC address of either
the cable modem or my NIC.  This holds true for Comcast, ATT Broadband, and
TWC's RoadRunner.

Granted the tech support people have no clue about Linux, but Linux support
from _any_ ISP is little if any unfortunately.  None of the cable companies
have cared, however, that I happen to run roughly 7 machines online.  With
Comcast I used a hub because we only had to pay for an extra IP address
(for my wife) since she received the service for free as an employee.  As a
matter of fact, the TWC RoadRunner installers cracked up at the stack of
machines I have under my desk yet noted nothing nor said a word to the
unstated fact that all would be connected to the internet.  They installed
the modem and made sure my Windows box could see the internet and then left
the rest of the software on my desk with the work order stating our initial
account name and password.

It is unfortunate that you had bad experiences with your cable modem but I
have learned that a little common sense and preparation can go a very long
way when dealing with any utility company, not just the cable company.


At 08:20 AM 10/23/2002 -0500, "deke " <web at master.gen.in.us> wrote:
>I had cable internet from Comcast, because DSL wasn't available until
>I bought a house in July. I've got Verizon now.
>The tests say 500k versus 650k that I had with Comcast, but that's not
>a difference I can detect without a stopwatch - fast sites are here NOW
>and slow sites are still molasses. Upload speed is 128k either way.
>The difference I find is that Verizon is reliable. Rock solid. The
>Comcast connection was constantly dying. The "lease" on the IP number
>is supposed to last a week, but it never lasted more than 2 days, maybe
>3, and then it would be difficult to get the system to reconnect. I had
>to disconnect the router/switch each time and connect directly to the
>modem with Comcast before I called them for support in order to be able
>to convince them that they were hosed, instead of me.
>They wanted me to buy a hub, and rent individual IPs for each of my
>puters in order to connect, and oh, better not have that linux box
>connected, even if I don't go online with it. The support people at
>Verizon not only allow you to have my router/switch, but they told me
>*exactly* what to do to configure it.
>My wife is "as dumb as bag of hammers" when it comes to the internet,
>by her own admission, but just last week, she was telling me that she
>was glad we switched to Verizon, because she doesn't have to fight the
>computer any more.
>Verizon has just introduced a "Veriations" deal now, where DSL is
>*significantly* cheaper than the $45 that Comcast was charging me. When
>the cellphone contract runs out, I plan on switching from
>VoiceStream/MobileT to Verizon because on their deal, I can use the
>excess cellphone minutes each month for long distance on the *wired*
>phone. I only use $10 worth of long distance, but with Veriations, my
>long-distance becomes free.
>When I moved, they told me to just give the cable modem to the guy who
>installed the cable TV at the new location. I did. They started billing
>me for $162 for the RCA cable modem (which would not be a recommended
>modem at $99).  Called them, they agreed that the modem had been
>returned, and told me everything was taken care of. The next month,
>they sent me to a *collection agency* for the $162. Spent 3 hours on
>the phone getting them to look at their files, and they finally agreed
>that the modem had been returned, and everything would be square now.
>The next month, the collection agency called again. I spent from 9:50
>AM until 4:05 PM before they finally were able to locate the papers in
>their files that indicated that the modem had been returned. I told
>them to come get the digital cable box as well; I didn't want to risk
>my credit rating by having their equipment in my house. Over the next
>five days, I got four phone calls trying to convince me to keep cable
>TV.  I now have DISH network installed, more channels, better
>reception, less money, and when DISH commercials come on, they don't
>blast you through the walls like the too-loud Comcast commercials did.
>I am a *very* happy camper to have been able to tell Comcast to take a

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