Speakeasy.net, the ISP recently referred to as the "world's greatest ISP" on the front of slashdot, is trying to scam people. The new NetShare plan sounds pretty good, from the available information on their public site. Speakeasy has long encouraged people to run free wireless APs, and it shouldn't be surprising that some people are using wireless technology to share DSL costs with their neighbors (I am). So, it appears, this new NetShare plan provides an easy way to have my "customers" (really just one neighbor in my case) pay speakeasy directly. And, as a bonus, they'll get an email account and some limited tech support from them. Sounds good.
After reading the /. story, I wanted to find out more. The FAQ on speakeasy's website has some information, but doesn't say anything specific about pricing. It wants you to login for the full story. At first, the login page was dumping me to a 404. Now, at some point in the last hour, it was fixed. Instead of a login page, NetShare Admin is now listed as an option under Add/Remove Services. So I clicked it.
I guess I may as well just get to the fucking point already. Here is a screenshot of the signup screen, inside the MySpeakeasy members area.
Only half of what your neighbor pays speakeasy gets credited to your account. You can choose to charge people anywhere from $20 to $100 dollars, per month, and you get 50% of that credited to your bill. In my case, our $100/mo dsl bill is currently being split between 5 different people, including our neighbor, so everybody is paying $20. And if I were to switch my neighbor over to the NetShare plan (instead of having him pay me cash, like he does now) I'd be out $10 per month (while he'd be paying the same ammount).
"Alright," some might say, "then just don't use it". Well, that would now make me a violator. Buried in the FAQ, under what is surely the wrong question, lays this very uncool, very un-greatest-isp-in-the-world, answer:
- I don't use WiFi but still want to share my connection (Ethernet, carrier pigeons, free-space optics, whatever). What's your policy?
So, if I'm understanding all this right, I now have the choice of paying $10 more per month, or violating their TOS. But what even defines third parties? Should I be charging my 3 housemates as NetShare customers, too? I mean, I am collecting fees from them, after all.
This is all bullshit! I was expecting to find we could all pay less from using this so called "revolutionary new service". What the fuck, Speakeasy?!
As they say on IRC: pls fx, kthx.