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Northpoint Points South 162

RebornData (on behalf of the madding crowd) writes: "I'm sending this via a dialup account because Northpoint just shut off their network (according to my ISP -- Telocity) as a consequence of their financial troubles. Here's an MSNBC story about it. Telocity claims that they will find an alternative provider for me, but it will be at least three weeks. Methinks anyone trying to order / change DSL service from anyone in the next few months is going to be hosed ... because *every* Northpoint customer will have to be reprovisioned. Ugh." As a former Flashcom victim, my thoughts go out. And those of you with the enviable opportunity to catch up on some cuddling by the fire can perhaps burn all your old contracts and "cheap, always-on access" advertisements.
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Northpoint Points South

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm posting this from an @home/northpoint connected machine. As of right now I'm still connected, even though @home said that I might be cut off yesterday.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Damn you and your so-called "facts"! How dare you contradict a "micro$haft $ucks" netmonkey? They are the very backbone of slashdot society! You are obviously a liar for your non-anti-MS post and your mother is no doubt a cheap whore. I hope Tux eats you in your sleep and your windoze box crashes because you should use redhate lunix it has maed me 31337!@#!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Click this link and get a clue: []
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Today we lost almost 800 people. Wednesday, MCI shut off our networks because we could not pay the bill.

    I've read comments saying NorthPoint screwed over someone for 6 months and he never got his line. I'd like to say that NorthPoint did not sell or market lines to users. NorthPoint did not screw you over, your ISP did.

    It took less than 2 days to process an order through our system. The rest of the delay was your ISP. Of course they are going to tell you on the phone that it was all our fault.

    People are saying we shut down the network and screwed customers. Well here's a newsflash, our provider, MCI shut US down when we failed to pay the 2 and a half million we owed for network services this week. Your ISPs did not pay us for services. They offered a quarter the neccessary amount.

    It's not like this came out of the blue. We went into Chapter 11 three months ago. It doesn't take a rocket ship scientist to figure out we might be tight on cash and that maybe they should pay to keep their suscribers provisioned.

    The worst part is, if we (at NorthPoint) had been doing our jobs, many of you would have lost your connections months ago when your ISPs failed to pay the bills. But instead we kept things running, draining out our funds, hoping to ride it to better times. Hoping our customers (your ISPs) would pay thier debts. In many cases, they didn't. And they are telling you we are the bad guys.

    I can't speak to the people who say our managment fucked up. Maybe they did. But this mess got started by companies not paying us for services rendered, and mega-corps pulling the rug out at the 11th hour. After that managment had the duty of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

    For now, we are gone, but your ISP is, in many cases still out there and might screw you again once they find a new partner. 2.5 million a week to support our 100,000 lines. And that is no profit for us. That is what we paid. Do the math folks. You want DSL, you're going to have to pay for it. Or, you can get it from some super sized backbone provider like Verizon, who can afford to charge 40 bucks a month, since they have destroyed the competition...

    And don't forget, AT&T would be happy to install a cable modem...
  • by volsung ( 378 )
    Your attempt at sarcastically bashing the Slashbot-mindset is both trite and overdone.
  • "My thoughts go out..." WTF? Having to use a dial-up account, especially temporarily, is not a great tragedy. Minor inconvenience sure, but large problem, no.
  • Well I certainly hope no serious businesses are hosting anything important on DSL lines. If your servers were on a DSL line to begin with, well then you deserve what you get. If you're using it for internet connectivity for your employees, then it's more understandable, but broadband turn-around times are not 30-45 days unless you are looking at home-user-grade broadband connections. Call up your local telco and you can get hooked up with a T1 pretty quickly.
  • There is more to life than online games.

    Hell, I was using a dial-up connection that (because of the quality of my phone lines) wouldn't connect over 26.4 kbps up until 2 months ago. Sure, cablemodem is nicer, but it hasn't changed my life any. Going back to a modem would be inconvenient, but not devastating.

    Hell, if you need to play online games that much, find some friends and have a LANparty.

  • DSL is such a tangled mess.

    Here's one charming example sent to my boss after we went through hell trying to set up only to have to cancel it since Verizon said he was too far from the CO (or something).
  • Are you saying that you've never heard of commercial grade SDSL? It was affected by this as well. Furthermore, there's no theoretical reason why the exact same thing could not happen to a provider of any other sort of internet connection.
  • ISDN's not any better and a hell of a lot more expensive.

    ISDN's drawbacks:

    In some areas, it's not much better than dialup (56k, has somewhatshorter latencies and connect times).

    The ISPs will gig you for much more money the moment you add the second B channel (115-128kbps)- to the tune of as much as $300 per month for the privilege to go 128k with a block of four addresses.

    They're no better at fixing screw-ups with the ISDN line as they are with your voice or xDSL line (If you're getting the xDSL from one of the Baby Bells, that is..)- it's really no better.

    While I will agree with you about the CLECs butchering themselves on razor thin margins, I do not agree with you in the slightest that ISDN's are an answer to getting "reliable" connectivity.
  • I am one of the 100k customers who will be taking it up the tail pipe very soon.. My question is to all you Business/Legal people.. what can I as a business DSL customer do ? AT&T refused to buy Northpoint's customers, it seems northpoint had a lot of customers.. how were they losing money ?

    Was my isp that contracted out to them not paying ? Or was it companies like flashcom ? Which went bankrupt and basically screwed northpoint as well all their customers ?

    And how can Northpoint and ATT make such a deal ? knowing fully well how badly they're gonna screw over thousands of customers ? This deal hurt consumers..ARGH!!!!! I'm not making any sense.. I know but I have no clue who to get mad at.. NP ? ATT ? My ISP ? I've been paying my bill every month.. how come Northpoint was not recieving money ? and how come they have to shut down due to lack of funds ? especially if the "consortium" is willing to shell out 2.4 million in order to keep their customers happy.. What is northpoint doin with the 135million ? if they're goin bankrupt ?.. they're that badly in debt ? How ? Fuck FUCK FUCK FUCK.. Argh..
  • Don't forget that your telephone company will charge you per-minute while connected via ISDN.

    This adds up pretty quick when you want you leave it on 24/7.

    Let's see, at 1 cent a minute, it'll run you
    60*24*30 = 43200 minutes in a month or $432/mo in telco charges.

    Uh, no wonder ISDN isn't very popular.

    Now if the telco doesn't charge per minute anymore, I want to hear about it!
  • Of going with telocity as my DSL provider I am glad I waited. I feel for these people.
  • Most phone companies have an unmetered local usage plan, or at least a capped pricing system (chares by minute until $10/mo or something).
  • I lost two locations that I support today to this. I had a second Internet connection in one, but the other I had to move to dialup and host their mail on my line. We're trying to move the locations to Covad lines. I'm just curious if the other providors are going to be able to handle this many people scrambling for access.
  • Their failure to provide the courtesy of a graceful transition period has resulted in me deciding to take my dial-up, long-distance, and cellular service away from AT&T, and bringing it elsewhere, as well as deciding to get DirecTV instead of cable.

    My personal use of AT&T services comes out to about $3000 a year. Over a ten year period, that's $30,000. Spending a couple hundred dollars to preserve the connections for 30 days to protect a future $30,000 revenue stream sounds like a pretty good business decision to me.

    Check out this petition. []

  • I'm writing this via my own Northpoint DSL line (through, so I can assure you it's still on here, though it worries me that I might have to move to alternate IP addresses before my new line is turned on on 4/7.


  • I feel bad for the people who got bit by this,
    but I must say good riddance to northpoint, they
    dicked me around for six months before telling me,
    oops, sorry we actually can't sign you up.
  • Very simple. The DSL providers were selling a service for $40 that cost ~$50 and tried to make up the cost on volume.... Anyone remember the old Saturday Night Live Skit about "The First National Change Bank?"
  • Northpoint's warning was too late for us. Sometime between last thursday and friday our internet service went down. When we called XO Communications for service we were told they knew of no major outages. It wasn't until we dialed into another ISP and saw last Friday's Slashdot story on this very subject that we knew what was going on and confronted XO, finally getting them to admit that, yes, the link would never be coming back on.

    A friend of mine (who serves a number of lawfirms that are Northpoint customers via XO) was informed yesterday that, as of Monday, they too will be out of service. At least he has time to get his DNS moved, while his email is still working. We on the other hand have experienced the joy of faxing and calling and waiting, only to still be unable to receive emails a week later (despite getting a new, 256k DSL link through another providor in our building). If you haven't moved your DSL from Network Solutions to someone who uses a less archaic form of authentication (e.g. or, do so before something like this bites you in the ass.

    As of this morning I was "assured" the change to our new DNS servers (with new IP addresses due ot the ISP change) would be done by tonight (the fax and authorization was sent on Monday). Of course, I was assured the same thing yesterday, and the day before that, so I'm not holding my breath. Meanwhile web pages don't resolve and my users must make do without email. (as a comparison, took 30 seconds and $10 for the change to go through, $10 I would have gladly paid for such speedy service from NSI).

    Thank you Northpoint. Thank you XO for the heads up. Thank you Network Solutions for your competence and responsiveness in updating your DNS maps. Not.
  • My Flashcom service was absolutely fantastic and fast, customer support was terrible, but then I almost never had to call them once the connection was up. I was luck in that I was an early subscriber in Boston and was given a SpeedStream 5250 SDSL modem so I had symmetric speeds from the get-go.

    By the time they went out of business last month, I was at 768K symmetrical for $60/month, which was probably the best deal in the country, including cable if you care about upload speeds, which I really do. Unfortunately now every other option looks like crap. $50/month for RADSL @ 604/128K and it cuts out when my wife uses the speaker phone? You've got to be kidding!?!? $90/month for 144K SDSL? Ninety dollars for less than double 56K modem speeds? I think I'm going to cry!

  • I'm the sysadmin for [], which was one of the many systems affected by Northpoint shutting down their network. I've seen other folks comment about MSN not given their customers notice, etc. Well, even with the notice, there was nothing we could do.

    We got our Internet access through Infoasis [], which told us on the 22nd about Northpoint []. Yet, all we had was a week's notice, not nearly enough time to get another DSL line (from say, Pacbell) or a T1. Giving a week's notice was nothing short of irresponsible on the part of Northpoint.

    Thanks Northpoint, thanks for not show any compassion for your customers and making us now have to scramble for alternate connections.


  • According to the ISP for the company I'm currently working at, NorthPoint made the announcement on Friday, but told the ISPs they'd have 4-6 weeks before the connections would be killed.

    On Wednesday night, the word went out that this wasn't true, and lines started being cut immediately.

    AT&T, who is buying the network, could have kept the connections open and integrated the customers into their base, but they declined.

    NorthPoint could have bought themselves a few more weeks to save their customers, but started saying nasty things about Verizon, who decided to start cutting wires.

    Verizon, who backed out of the deal, could have picked up the customers very easily as well, since they ran most of the NorthPoint connections, but due to the pissing match, refused.

    Bottom line -- most customers got only a few hours notice at best. As far as I'm concerned, all three parties acted irresponsibly. I now have a few days of downtime while I wait for a new T1, and I'm pissed enough that I won't be buying service from AT&T or Verizon any time soon.
  • I was a customer of MSN/Northpoint (Colorado) until this week when my service was shut off. I received a call Tuesday with the warning that I would lose service in the next 2-7 days... Thursday morning my line was dead.

    Here's the kicker. I have attempted to obtain comparable service through Covad, but they claim my line is not capable of "the 1.5mbit/128kbit ADSL connection you ordered because you ordered voice/data line sharing." Funny, because that is the EXACT same service I had with Northpoint.


    Great to see that Covad is handling their prospective customers well.
  • I'm another "victim" of the NorthPoint shutdown, but I hardly feel like a victim. That's because I had IDSL for 3 months and paid absolutely nothing. That's right, nothing.

    I signed up with Flashcom for IDSL at $50/month, free modem with one year contract. A guy from NorthPoint came out to do the installation. Everything was installed just fine and I rejoiced at being freed from my 33.6 network connection. The next day Flashcom announced they were dropping residential lines and selling the accounts on NorthPoint lines to Telocity.

    I called Telocity, gave them my Flashcom account number, and they told me they never heard of me. I tried several times, always with the same response. I tried using Flashcom's on-line account number checker, and it didn't have any record of me. I called and emailed Flashcom, and they told me that they didn't own my account any more, so they didn't care.

    In the meantime, no one was sending me a bill and my service just kept on working. I figured that I tried hard enough to pay SOMEONE, and stopped calling. If they don't want to take my money, so be it.

    Telocity has basically gone under, Flashcom has gone under, and NorthPoint is now gone, taking my IDSL with them. I'd signed up for a backup dial-up account when I heard that Flashcom was going under, so I still have service, but I'm back at 33.6. Blah.

    Maybe if any of these putzes had something resembling a billing system, this mess might have been avoided.


  • This is the exact reason that I use PacBell as my carrier, and PacBell Internet as my provider.

    They might not have the best customer service, but their actual product is beyond compare.

    I have several friends with speakeasy and other 'alternative' providers using COVAD, and I truly feel sorry for their angst. In the 1.5 years of having PacBell, I have lost service for a grand total of 96 hours.

    I am satisfied with my 99.9927% uptime with PacBell.
  • let me get this straight.
    In the US.. the DSL provider is not the same as the ISP providing internet?

    See.. up here in Canadia.. the copper is provided by telco, and the DSL service is provided by whoever the ISP is..... period. THe telco isn't likely to go broke....

    So my ISP sends out people to hook up the DSL gear.. test the lines, etc...

    From what I understand, y'all have this system down there where an independent entity sets up a huge DSL call center and then farms out bandwidht to differnet ISP's.. well no duh it's not gonna work....
  • SO I guess it sounds cool, that it's deregulated.
    Ours is too; we could also do the same thing, but probably don't have big enough markets to make it worthwhile.

    But when you get your service, who is the entity you chiefly deal with. I assume you don't deal with all 3 providers on your own from the start. Do you call the ISP and they arrange the rest or what?
  • It's always good to see what my ISP has to say about the DSL situation... so many people are having problems and yet ours seems to be up 24x7.

    Let's just hope that Covad keeps its act together.

    Good luck, Chris
  • I had PhoenixDSL/NorthPoint for a year and they
    never once sent me a bill. Not hard to figure
    out why they went bankrupt. I was switched to
    Telocity 2 weeks ago, and bingo a bill for back
    services. Of course, I am in with dial-up because
    Northpoint just screwed me. Nice, a $500 bill
    and now no service.
  • For what it is worth. My sDSL from Panix via NorthPoint is still working.8:52 Eastern Time 3/30/01.

    If your in the NYC or Boston area, and lean towards the technical side of things, I strongly endorse panix ( They have keep us fully posted about Northpoint. They have given us two choice for alternative DSL, and they have helped current DSL customers by offering free dial up, ISDN, and co-location of servers. Totally a stand-up company!

  • Quit a few providers did not warn their customers. Xnet/Winstar sent no information and have not posted anything about Northpoint on their site. And of course they are very slow about getting back to complaining customers.
  • Heh, my friend is in charge of DSL provisioning @ SWBell and said this Northpoint thing is going through her office. doH! Her next remark? "heh.. yeah.. Covad too" You might be introuble, my friend....
  • Don't forget that your telephone company will charge you per-minute while connected via ISDN.

    Now if the telco doesn't charge per minute anymore, I want to hear about it!
    Well, Southwestern Bell doesn't charge me for usage on my ISDN line. I don't know the details of the service plan, as it was set up by my employer about four years ago.
  • I used to be a DSL customer through the local telco. I'm now a happy Cable modem user. The telco's had a great opportunity bring easy home internet access to everyone. DSL was out a viable option long before two way cable. Did they do anything with this opportunity? No. So now cable is everywhere, plus my cable company actually wants to make me happy. They're customer service actually is willing to help when I have a problem.

    Sorry DSL the telcos sunk that ship themselves...
  • My SDSL through northpoint is still working. My ISP called me today and said that they already ordered me a new circuit throuch Covad and that they have priority for Covad lines, and i should be back up in a short while. Atleast while the DSL is down, they are giving out dialup accounts. But covad sucks, and I dont want ADSL, so i guess its cable for me from now on.
  • My SDSL had a 80% uptime and bandwidth guarantee (of a 784kbps circuit, i was guaranteed 666kbps, and 80 out of 100 pings to my default gateway)
  • Actually I was warned about MSN DSL outage due to Northpoint bankrupcy the same day Northpoint declared it. I had DSL access for three days after that. MSN gave me 6 month free dialup and some other goodies to compensate for that. So I don't feel screwd by MSN, I am mostly angry at NorthPoint.
  • by hndrcks ( 39873 ) on Thursday March 29, 2001 @08:56PM (#328619) Homepage
    Some technical background about why "those companies that shoulda saw it coming" couldn't have done much, regardless:

    The Northpoint network used Copper Mountain DSLAMs with a frame relay backend. Rythms is the only surviving DSL provider that uses a similar setup, so customers in a CO that have a NPT _and_ Rythms DSLAM would be able to keep their router and IP. Everyone else is screwed.

    Everyone is screwed anyway, because the ILECS, smelling blood, have refused to 'hot swap' the existing DSL pairs over to a new DSL provider. Verizon is the worst - full re-provisioning of the pair required, 20-30 days of delay and obfuscation until a 'new' pair is forthcoming, if ever.

    Some ISPs have gone to local PSCs (public service commissions) to get relief. I believe the Texas PSC has sided with the ISPs, and required SWBell to hot-swap the pairs to a new DSL provider.

  • Mine with Ameritech (EEEWW) was just like 2 phone lines. I had call plan 400, which gave me 400 local calls per ISDN channel per month before any additional charges came into play.
    It was provisioned for Voice and Data, and I have a comp ISDN account with a local ISP. I never got any unexpected bills. My only problem was not paying any of them for 6 months. Then they get pissed and turn off your phones. Whoops! :-(
  • Lucky you. I was also through Phoenix. And twice Telocity sent out migration information, saying it would happen within the next few weeks... and twice nothing occured.

    I finally got the Telocity "modem" (it's only what, 4x the size of the Copper Rocket?), and wasn't bothering to set it up while my other one still worked. It went out for a day, so I tried setting up the Telocity one, and nothing. Just a nice flashing red "status" light. Fortunately, my old modem started working again.

    Well, yesterday, DSL out again. Still no success with the Telocity modem. However, the copper rocket modem DOES have the green connect lights come on. So I don't know what's up anymore.

    I'm going to call tonight and figure out what the hell is going on with my service if it's not working. Heck, even if it is working, maybe I'll call just to see where things are.

    (Yes, it was Phoenix through Northpoint)
  • Salesman called trying to sell me AT&T local phone service 30 minutes after my network was cut off becauise they boutght Northpoint's hardware but wouldn't support the customer accounts.

    It was probably one of the more memorable calls of his day. I suspect that AT&T has just generated a large number of no-longer prospective customerslike myself who promptly called up their phone company and changed their long distance provider, and who will no longer consider buying any service whatsoever from them if it can be avoided.
  • Telocity has basically gone under

    Huh? Telocity was bought in December by Hughes Electronics, who has also provided millions in interim financing. Granted, Telocity's had quite a few service problems of late, mostly with routing and their NNTP servers, but things are a bit better now.
  • Is it only me, but doesn't this seem like this is an unusually clear case of monopoly abuse?

    I've set up four DSL lines, and I've had to work with both Verizon and Northpoint. There is no comparison between them -- Northpoint was far superior in every way. Northpoint was an ambitious, customer focused company. Verizon was a fat and lazy monopoly.

    I do not understand the economics at play, but I do know that Verizon was actively trying to sabotage companies like Northpoint. Then they did a clever head fake -- Verizon signed an agreement to acquire Northpoint, but then conveniently decided to not honor that agreement. Oops! Too late for you to look elsewhere for financing, game over. And where is a disgruntled customer like me going to go anyways? All roads lead back to Verizon.

    After my Northpoint connection was shut down, I reluctantly called Verizon. After first telling me that my line did not qualify for a DSL connection (wrong), someone eventually told me that I just would have to wait in line for them to provision more DSL connections.

    Again this looks like a classic case of monopoly abuse -- as least as bad as anything as Microsoft has ever done. So why don't we hear more about this?

    -- Eventually all discussions end up comparing one of the participants to Hitler, that's when you know the conversation has ended.
  • I support the uplink connection for a ISP that has used Northpoint, and my company hosts and manages colocated equipment for them in our data center. Thank god we do, otherwise they'd be out of business TODAY.

    I've been working like crazy editing MX records for those DSL customers who had their email delivered down their DSL pipe, and setting them up on the servers we manage. At least they have an alternative. What was that deal where NorthPoint forbid their ISPs from going elsewhere when it was clear with NP's future was?

    The ISP related that there was a lot of finger pointing between Northpoint and Verizon as to why they had such a high failure rate on all circuit orderss. At one point, I believe I heard 70%. That was an issue for Northpoint to solve, and from what I hear, you guys really messed up there. I've worked with this ISP for almost two years now and I know they've not introduced any of these alleged delays you mention.

    Your management worked out a terrible deal for working with Verizon. From what I heard, Verizon would blow your circuit requests off by simply dropping them and having them ignored.

    Sure, order processing probably took only a couple of days on your end, but when the order was placed, there was a waiting period to have both Verizon and then Northpoint come in to do their respective parts. THEN, there were the delays in having NorthPoint follow up when something didn't occur. Due diligence, my ass.

    Given the nature of the business, Northpoint did not own this process, and it was clear they should. The ISP would get plenty frustrated waiting for you guys and Verizon to work out your differences in many circumstances. When things went smoothly, that was great, but when there was a problem beyond the ISP's scope, God help them.

    If Northpoint had been bought out by Verizon, that would have solved a lot of these little bickerings that I heard about. I blame your management for really screwing the pooch on that one. My personal guess is that when Verizon delved deeper and deeper into how Northpoint conducted business, they ran away and never looked back.
  • Are you that thick? Open your eyes, and reread. The ISP has its own servers in our data center, and I was moving MX records to point to them. Nothing at all to do with Northpoint, thankfully. All we got from Northpoint was the ATM pipe to the ISP's router.

    I won't even go into (ok, I will) the NorthPoint techs who blamed us when circuits didn't work (well, the traceroute from the Internet fails at your router, so you MUST be the problem). The ISP would say to the NP tech "we corrected everything, so could you check your stuff to make sure it's ok" and the NP techs would find the mistake on their side. No, blame someone else for your screwups. It's soo much easier!

    You gotta relax, man! NorthPoint screwed up, and you can't blame that on anyone else but NorthPoint. Perhaps ISPs didn't pay up, but not the one I support. Whose fault is it that NorthPoint allowed the deadbeats to continue operation? Who could have gotten collection agencies on their tails? NorthPoint? Well, they did't, let things slide, and see where it got them? Who negotiated such a crappy arrangement with Verizon? NorthPoint! Accept some responsibility, bud, finger-pointing is so declasse'.

    Oh, and by the way, here it is Monday, and my co-worker who got DSL through Northpoint is still reachable, even though a majority of the ISP's circuits are dead. Shows you how much of a clue Northpoint has, or ever had.

    I truly feel sorry for you, but it's NorthPoint's own fault they went under. Bad management, too much finger pointing (It was the ISPs who didn't Pay, It was Verizon who was screwing us over, blah blah blah, oy). Accept it, and let it go. Your management should have handled EVEYTHING better. If they had, you'd still be working there, right?
  • I had Covad as my network provider, but my ISP was Flashcom. I had ISDL which is DSL over ISDN. I was NOT paying ISDN rates since the line cost was bundled into the network fee. At the time this was the fastest service I could get (144K/144K) due to my distance from the CO. When Flashcom went belly up Covad took over their business. They wanted quite a bit more a month for replacement service, and it would still only be the 144/144. I then found that Bellsouth would now be offering asdl to my location (must have built an outhouse someplace or yanked out some loading coils between the co and here). They won't be installing till july though. I ended up with Telocity, they installed in about 3 weeks from ordering the service. So far it seems to work ok, but I can't say it is always on. The line drops out once in a while (about every 10-30 hours) and I have to reboot my gateway and router to re-establish connection. Since I'm NOT running a server this isn't fatal, just a PITA.

    I think the telco's will EVENTUALLY get their DSL act together, or DSL will be replaced by fiber to the curb. Internet access will become as important a service to the home as the phone and cable tv are today. I don't think there will be three providers of this service, and soon (in some areas) one company will deliver all three over the same pipe.
  • Don't blame Telocity for this one. Your OLD ISP isn't trying to help you here, their employees are too busy updating their resumes to make sure their customers have a soft landing. Have Telocity treat this as a new install, and send a CERTIFIED letter to you current ISP DEMANDING they release you from your contract to switch to Telocity. When Flashcom went into bankruptcy and their accounts taken over by Covad I sent BOTH of these companies Certified letters and signed up with Telocity for new service. Three and a half weeks later I'm on Telocity. I also signed up for a dialup connection on a month to month basis to handle any downtime inbetween (but it actually wasn't used much, transistion was smooth...of course my FLASHCOM connection was on a different phone line). Telocity has other problems, though some of them may be related to power outages in CA, or a noisy environment in my telco's co. My connection drops out once in a while (every 10-30 hours) and I have to reboot the gateway and router. Also one of the two nameservers assigned me has been down since day 2. (However I know of a few other nameservers on other isps that I can reach....longer path but they work).
  • Then there's Flashcom that NEVER sent me a bill. I called them several times and usually was on hold forever and gave up. When I finally talked to someone It was like pulling teeth to get any billing information. No wonder they went backrupt. I even had to send a CERTIFIED letter to get my closing balance out of them. When customers WANT to pay their bills and CANT there is something wrong.

    I now have Telocity (was either them of Bellsouth who thinks Linux is a four letter word). We'll see how they handle their accounts. I've talked to a few people locally before getting them and most were happy with the service. They used to be known as CRAPOCITY around here, things now seem to be improved somewhat. Anyway my ISP needs are not as demanding as some. And it's nice to be able to now download an ISO image in under two hours!!
  • Now that is a funny story. I can just see him either getting TWO bills for service, or maybe (if he kept his mouth shut) not getting billed at all.

    Sorta like calling down the block to a phone that was forwarded to Hong-Kong.
  • Ok, is anyone with me when I say that companies such as msn and telocity should have seen this comming?

    We've known that northpoint was dead, and was suffering. And in the past two weeks, it was pretty apparent that they were gone reguardless. This is reckless to wait until its all said and done and then look for another provider.

    the only ones that look somewhat prepared was telocity, but three weeks is still a long time. I feel sorry for people on MSN, businesses and similar providers, who are completely assed out right now.
  • Heh, the network engineers are the same people who do the tech support. Unlike alot of ISPs, our call load is so low 90% of the time that one person can easily manage all the incoming calls and still answer the phone on the 2nd ring. Its all about running the network correctly. When you pay the extra money to get good equipment, and set things up right the first time, you dont have headaches down the road.

    Its always a plus to have the customer call back later on to say Thank You, or get snail mail from a CEO or other big person thanking you for such great service. Boosts morale and makes you feel much better :)
  • by bruns ( 75399 )
    Its too bad, people expect alot for little. It just doesn't work that way. Had the companies selling DSL charged what is necessary to not only cover the costs of the DSL install and continuing service, but to make even a small profit, they might have lasted longer.

    End users complain about reliability, but they dont bother to read about DSL before ordering it. If you have to depend on an Internet connection, you are better off with ISDN or T1. T1s have a SLA which guarantees certain uptimes. I cant remember the last time DSL had one. But like I said, people want alot for little, they dont want to pay 900 a month for a T1, they want 100 dollar SDSL or IDSL.

    I dont feel the least bit sorry for people these days. If you want good service, go with a reputable local provider which has been around for years (not months) and get _real_ Internet access.

    One of the reasons why the ISP I work at has survived for 7+ years is because rather then trying to take the world by storm and not being able to support the resulting customers, we focused on local access, not jumping on the bandwagon, developing our own tools and products, and made sure to not make the mistakes that other providers have. Doing real innovation, as well as providing the customers with service which outclasses even the largest national providers is one of the most important aspects of the job here.
    When was the last time you could call an ISP's tech support and speak directly to the people who run the network (and without having to press one for billing, two for tech support, etc)? Average wait time for tech support here is 20 seconds. Maybe some other providers should try harder.

    Trying to get support for DSL is frustrating esp. when it takes Verizon a week to get out onsite with the customer just to tell us nothing is wrong (and bill us for it), and another week for the DSL provider to get off their asses and fix the problem and tell us Verizon is at fault. You can sorta see the loop. It goes on and on... I mean, just the other day, Verizon took a pair of our lines providing our customers with DSL, and reallocated them for one of _their_ customers, totally ruining the DSL, making us look bad.

    DSL providers like Covad wonder why they aren't getting paid for service - ISPs wont pay for service that either isn't there, or is down 90% of the time. ISPs wonder why they aren't getting paid for DSL service - consumers wont pay for service which they cant use or which isn't there.

    *shrug* I am just tired of this crap. Spend the extra cash necessary to get reliable service and these problems wont happen!

    Ok, I'm done with my rant :-)

    If any northpoint customers happen to read this, e-mail me and I'll get you information on some providers who can help restore your service.
  • I was one of Verio's first DSL customers in the Washington, DC area. I first found out about this mess from Slashdot (Thank you Slashdot!) last Friday. Multiple calls to Verio resulted in long hold times, people who knew nothing, and finally Verio's official policy:
    • Go to dialup.
    • Go to a T1 (at 5 times the cost)
    • Go to hell! (or at least away)

    I chose the last, and signed up with via Covad, and I have my fingers crossed. At the least, the folks at Speakeasy appear to have a clue, and they also seem to care.

    BTW-- I think AT&T is bullshitting on this one. They could have immediately cut off all the non-paying ISPs, and kept the others up a few weeks while things get sorted out. I know it will be a very cold day hell, and pigs will have to become airborne, before I do ANY business with AT&T, and I was considering switching to them for celular phone service. Maybe its this additude that sent their stock down the toilet in the last couple of years.
  • Prior to today, how much coverage has there been?

    Damn little. Slashdot had a piece [] on Friday. Then nothing until Wednsday when the L.A. Times [] did an article. []

    Mike Swaine [] picked up on a Register article, [] also on Wednsday.

    That was it, near as I can tell until today when everyone is covering it after the fact.

  • As a flashcom victim myself, I can tell you that your delaings with Northpoint are probably not over. I tried to get dsl service with another provider, a covad reseller (my flashcom install was covad) and am told that I can not switch the line because flashcom still retains ownership of the circuit. Since flashcom will not respond to anyone's email or telephone calls, getting their permission to switch is impossible, and if you think that its only a matter of waiting until they finally switch off.....wrong. Verizon (my local exchange carrier) tells me that even if the company goes under, they still own the circuit as a company asset and they cannot switch it....Nice huh? If you sign up with a provider that they have authorized, you might be good to go, but all the providers that flashcom authorized to take possessions of the lines will only offer iDSL (since I live 14013 feet from the CO). The one provider I found who would offer me RADSL is not authorized and cannot switch the ain't over yet folks...fasten your're in for a bumpy ride ;-)
    I think....therefore I am
  • Unfortunately, Missouri PSC will probably not do what the Texas PSC did, to further create the illusion of "SBC-friendly state" to get the SBC headquarters back in Saint Louis :-P
  • Not at my house in downtown or the 8 hotel properties that we had service with Northpoint either. Luckily we had seen this coming and our T1's are almost installed although the company would not put one in at my house :-(

    BTW, they were all with Internet Connect as ISP
  • It really sucks what ATT did in this whole mess. They took the hardware and let the customers high and dry and are as much to blame as Northpoint's management.

    But lets look at ATT's decesion because it really makes a TON of business since:

    1) Why keep DSL customers that have contracts and rates that you didn't promise them...

    2) Don't give people enough time to switch them to other DSL providers but give them a shitty DSL experience. Who knows maybe they may try a certain cable modem service instead, ahem, @home?

    3) When (if) ATT starts selling DSL they will have a network for pennies on the dollar, that they can force all the customers to their rates and terms and conditions.

    ATT didn't do it because they are mean, they did it because it makes the most CENTS!
  • I had a clue that the DSL system would come down, but they could have given me a few weeks to switch. It is very unprofessional of AT&T and feel that something very bad should happen to the person(s) that made this move at AT&T(just wishful thinking). But seriously folks, the ex-customers of Northpoint should write AT&T about your displeasure or else they will continue on this path of destruction in the future.
  • ...since former DSL subscribers will probably end up getting cable modem. If that was the case, then our cable modem service will get even slower! What do you think? I use @Home (the only option for high speed Internet connection at a decent price).

  • switch to XO. it might take a while, but it's worth it.

    i made the switch (i'm in nyc) over a year ago, and have been much happier. yes, it's more expensive, but you get multiple ip's, reliable service, their customer support is pretty good when I need it, and they send you notifications a week in advance when there might be a 5 min window of issues with your line because they're fixing hardware.

    all in all, my servers have been running smoothly on my dsl line for months.
  • What is northpoint doin with the 135million ?

    They're not paying the employees any owed vacation over 25 hours, but the CEO (Fetter) got a $45,000 bonus. Expect more of this, DSL is a failing business model.
    I enjoy the Company Death Watch over coffee every morning.

  • DSL is inappropriate for a business. So is cable. This, I think, is a very good illustration of why.
    There are a lot of caveats, including location (we're not national), but we've got a 7-day lead time for circuits up to 5Mbps. It amuses us daily that CLECs move so slowly, and that customers accept it. Er, well, I should stop speaking badly of the competition.
  • Ahh, s/45/250/ my mistake.

    Thanks for the ammuni^H^H^H^H^H^Hinformation though.
  • by Noer ( 85363 ) on Thursday March 29, 2001 @08:08PM (#328646)
    From what I've heard from a reliable source (a friend of mine whose business used Northpoint until 3 days ago), MSN DSL customers are really screwed - MSN didn't give them ANY warning at all about the cutoff, and MSN contracts through Northpoint (err, that should be past tense, no?) in the New England area.

    I would say "serves em right for using MSN," but MSN knew for days at least about this; I can't imagine an ISP not notifying its customers about this kind of cutoff.

    It's a shame... Northpoint seems like they provided a good, reasonably priced, reliable service, especially when compared with, say, Verizon.
  • by Noer ( 85363 ) on Thursday March 29, 2001 @08:26PM (#328647)
    I don't know what you can really do. But I know why this happened.

    Verizon did the usual Bell Atlantic thing and made like they were going to buy out Northpoint... and then dropped it, causing Northpoint to look really bad and be unable to get other investors (as the other investors had already been scared away by Verizon). So Northpoint was screwed, and Verizon gets rid of a competitor.

    This kind of crap should be examined by the feds.
  • I'm a (now former) Northpoint customer....up until two weeks ago I had heard nothing about my ISP switching all their accounts to Telocity. All of a sudden I get an email that says "...we have written you several times regarding the termination of your DSL service..." Do I called Telocity to migrate my service, and they can't find my data. The migration rep then pushed me over to new orders, and they couldn't find my information. After 6 phone calls (each about an hour long), I still don't have my gateway, and as far as I can tell I'll be without DSL for several weeks...UGH! I think I'll just stop paying!
  • And yet delightfully accurate. Thanks for the chuckle, AC.

  • I guess it just depended on what the problem was - I had 3 outages due to line problems and all were diagnosed and fixed within a day of the problem report being filed. I believe Quest is actually responsible for fixing my line, but techs at Northpoint needed to diagnose the problem and I never had to wait long while the ISP was contacting them.

    I actually liked Northpoint as a provider... except they still owe me a rebate.

  • hmm... I have telocity, and I'm still up (ssh'd in right now).

    either I'm in for a screaming halt today, or it only affects some telocity users in some areas. I'm not sure what provider they use for my area (Minneapolis) - my former ISP was phoenixDSL who used Northpoint, but the account was sold to telocity when phoenix was bought by Megapath (who don't do residential).

    I also wouldn't worry too much - typical telocity contracts are month to month, no installation charges, free static IP, and more for ~$50. If you hate the service (or it goes out on you) you just send the modem back and quit it.

    I am one of the unfortunate few who don't have the luxury of being able to get out at any time - my year contract with phoenix is still valid with telocity, meaning I can't dump their service until June. I also didn't get the right to refuse the price hike from $40 to $50, but $50 seems to be the best I can get these days, so I guess I'll have to live with it. Cable modem is not an option for me even though it's cheaper - I value static IPs too highly. Cable in my area also has a 'no servers' restriction, which I think is ludicrous - just about every machine out there installs a web server (apache, pws, whatever the mac personal web server is called) by default, which is a violation of their contract. I wasn't willing to live with those terms whether they enforce them or not.

  • As I chronicled in this article [], you are pretty much powerless to change DSL providers once they pull the rug from under you. That's because the contract for service is between the CLEC and your local phone provider -- not between you and the telco. So even though it's your name on the phone bill, you'll have a tough time convincing the phone company to terminate your current (underwater) DSL service so you can move to another service.

    You won't find this little tidbit of information in your DSL service agreement. You're at the mercy of the CLEC to terminate its contract with the phone company.

  • You want RELIABLE faster net access ? Get ISDN.

    Faster than what? I think most DSL users want something faster than ISDN and won't want to step back.

    However, for people like me who were far enough from the CO that we could only get IDSL (which is basically a type is ISDN) then switching to ISDN in the aftermath of the Northpoint fiasco is a perfectly good choice of action.

    As an aside, when I got IDSL the equivalent-speed ISDN was just as expensive but I wanted "always-on," so I went for IDSL. (I've never used ISDN, so I'm not sure about the details.) Now, in checking for alternatives to DSL, my ISP has told me that because ISDN demand has dropped over the last year (everybody wants DSL), the price has also dropped. Bottom line: I'm replacing my USD$40/month IDSL service with USD$20/month ISDN service that's just as fast.

    Folks on the fringes of DSL connectivity should *definitely* check out the ISDN alternative.

  • your telephone company will charge you per-minute while connected

    I'll check. Many thanks to you if you've saved me from a grievous error.

  • by Raymond Luxury Yacht ( 112037 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @08:35AM (#328665) Homepage
    I write to you through AOL.
    My life's become a living hell.

    "Northpoint down? The devil you say!
    Connect us to the net, and earn your pay!"

    So 25 users, a modem share,
    "You've got Mail" now fills the air.

    This geeks unhappy, and not a poet.
    You read this saying "Brother, don't I know it!"

    My ISP has got their eyes on,
    That magical fiber owned by Verizon.

    While I sit here, screaming to those that know me,
    "Those fuxors at Northpoint can feel free to blow me!"

  • by stil ( 112175 ) on Thursday March 29, 2001 @08:25PM (#328666)
    The linked MSNBC story has pretty much all the information you need to know, as far as history goes. The interesting thing is what has happened in the the last week or so.

    The CEO of Northpoint, Elizabeth Fetter, released a statement through their website ( on March 22 indicating that a network shutdown was going to happen at any time, and that subscribers should seek service elsewhere immediately.

    Unfortunately, no major news organizations really picked up the news until later the next day (a Friday), with the end result being that many people didn't even find out about the news until Monday of this week.

    Additionally, because Northpoint waited so long to contact its re-sellers (MSN & such), those resellers weren't able to notify thier customers until Friday at the earliest. For the business customers, many didn't find out what was happening until they got snail mail on Monday of this week informing them that their service was about to go kaput.

    As to why Northpoint didn't give more forewarning, perhaps someone else can say. What I do know is that there are a LOT of DSL resellers out there that are hoppin' mad at Northpoint, because they are the ones that are about to lose business from their customers. Many forever, as customers move over to cable modems or fractional T1s after having been burned by thier DSL experiences.

    Watch for companies heavily dependant on Northpoint for DSL re-selling to scramble mightily in the next few days - I wouldn't be surprised if some just went out of business.

    Meanwhile, the DSL market becomes further consolidated by the big boys...


  • I've got Covad DSL, and I have never had a problem with it. I know 3 other people who claim the same high level of service. The only problem (that everyone is facing) is the Baby Bells not switching people fast enough to the Covad network.

    It's ironic, the Bells would rather you have 2 phone lines than a DSL and phone line, b/c they have higher proffit margins on the phone lines. They are in no rush to switch you over, and they know that they have (Covad, Northpoint, any other provider) at their mercies with the speed of there "response" (or lack of response)

    Covad is also running a promotions to "grab" the northpoint customers. I don't know the details, I guess if you have compatable equipment they just switch ISP's, or if you ISP is in their network they just move you to Covad's. I'm not sure.
  • My company lost service sometime yesterday as well. I have one of our servers here with me now, hoping to restore at least email service to the comapany in the next day or so. It'll be a couple weeks before we can get a new connection... Ugh

    Rob Flynn
  • by Wolfstar ( 131012 ) on Thursday March 29, 2001 @08:59PM (#328675)
    Um, not sure where you got your information, but I'd like to provide a different view.

    I do commercial Level 2 Support for a large national ISP. We had a bunch of customers through Northpoint, and the network went down hard yesterday. My personal view on why they went under is that their support was horrendous.

    When your line went down - and if you have DSL, your line WILL go down someday - you call into your ISP. Your ISP verifies their side, and then called Northpoint to open a ticket. You called into Tier 1, which basically took calls, noted down information, and read back to you what was posted on their support website. This info was largely useless, because as recently as October, right around when the deal with Verizon first came up, Northpoint used a paper-only trouble ticket system. Yes. Paper Only.

    If, after two or three hours, the ISP hasn't heard anything or been contacted for testing, with Covad, you call up and talk to someone who can do the testing. With Northpoint, you had no choice but to call the Tier 1 folks, who promptly told you that there was nothing that could be done because they have four hours to respond. (I once called 2 hours in, sat on hold for an hour and 45 minutes for Tier 1, and when they picked up, told me that there was nothing that could be done, then hung up on me.) No matter how far you escalated the issue within their management, no matter how long the ticket had been open with them, you could not call any sooner than four hours and expect anything to get done.

    Eventually, once the deal with Verizon fell through, this began to change. Rumor has it that they started using a computerized ticketing system at some point in there, and they removed the four-hour requirement. We were provided numbers that went directly to the Tier 2 testers, and sometimes things actually got done. There were still annoyances - if a customer went down, and it was determined that their router or DSL Modem went bad, a tech was sent out, tested with a spare modem, verified it, and then took the spare modem with them when they left!!!! Issues such as this were the norm, and why Northpoint went under is that their Partner ISPs - like us, who had over a thousand DSL customers through them - were constantly given the runaround when it came to support, and they didn't realize this until they were right on the brink, with Verizon backing out and virtually no hope of actually securing investment capital.

    Northpoint had bad business practices and poor support, realized it way too late to do anything about it, and paid the price. Maybe their service was cheaper and more reliable than Verizon. But don't forget that you get what you pay for, and don't make the mistake of thinking that they were a decent company.

  • In good ol' Australia, we dont even have that option in a lot of places. Our major telco is not rolling out boradband in a big hurry, they make too much of existing ISDN to stop that particular moneytree. It really sucks that the only service I have is 56k and no more. Satellite is hideously expensive, and I dont have access to cable. Yes, and this is in Sydney. That sucks something fierce.

    The only thing I am envious of the USA is the access to broadband that Australians can only dream of mainly. Well, me anyway. The lack of boradband is frustrating and I do feel for the people who will be affected.

    ADSL is promised in my area for 2002. I'm not holding out much hope
  • by pmcneill ( 146350 ) on Thursday March 29, 2001 @08:29PM (#328682)
    Actually, the ISPs couldn't do much about this due to either a bankruptcy law or a court order (can't recall right now). Essentially, ISPs were not allowed to start mass migrations away from NorthPoint because that would undermine NorthPoint's business and ensure that they would fail. Both my ISP (DSLi) and Telocity, and probably others, at least planned for this. As soon as NorthPoint got shut down, I called DSLi and was told I'll be back up on Rythms DSL by next Thursday.
  • For the past week or so, my DSL ISP (Speakeasy) has been kinda saturated. I had three weeks of great service after I signed up, but in the last week or so my bandwidth has been shot to hell and I've been seeing packet loss. There's no packet loss between me and the gateway though so I can only assume it's congestion on their end... I think a lot of other ISP's are being saturated with Northpoint refugees too.

    Well, consolidation is kinda scary but at least the survivors should be better off financially. I'm sure Speakeasy and the others are making some nice bucks from this. At least Speakeast is doing something about it... they'll have another OC-3 going up shortly, they say. Hmmm...maybe I'll just get my own OC-3 after I win the lottery. :) []
  • ... but you know what, the same thing is happening in the dial-up net customer realm too ... I would love to have cable modem and/or DSL access but it ain't in my neighborhood yet, and judging from the slowdown of broadband progress, it may not be a reality here for a couple of years ... Meanwhile, the enjoyable, reliable, dependable ISP service we received from a local ISP just vanished into thin air ... sold out to Earthlink - so after paying for a year in advance, all of a sudden I lost my email address (which they said I would have access to for post 90 days ...) and dialup service ... they said in a form letter that Earthlink would be sending us a packet and blah blah blah but we have yet to recieve a packet and our win-doze/linux dialup attempts are met with failure starting Wednesday ... if I desired Earthlink or AoL I would have signed up with them eons ago ... but now I have to seek another local provider - and I'm not certain that they're not headed to the same destination soon enough ... Basically, it sucks and there is no regulation and the customer can be royally fucked and there's nothing you can do ... I believe (or at least hope for ...) that this cries out for regulation of sorts - net access should be awarded the same consideration as TV/radio (FCC, etc.), phone, power ... considering that for many it is a lifeline to work, school, etc. and that access should be provided even to the most economically disadvantaged to grant opportunity to those who seek to better themselves ... Meanwhile, my emails to my "former" ISP go unanswered, though if my email account has been prematurely disabled, I don't figure they'll telephone me or send me a letter ... BTW, the provider name is Inficad in Phoenix, AZ area ... they can bite my shiny metal butt and if I had the power I would slap a class action lawsuit on their asses immediately ...
  • After Northpoint's internet service went out, Timothy's thoughts went out! Then other people's thoughts started going out as well! Brains all across America are shutting down, going dark! It's the end! Aaagh!

    Wait a minute...

  • As a former Flashcom victim, my thoughts go out.

    Maybe this is not supposed to be related to the common phrase "my heart/feelings go out to them"

    Maybe this means the thoughts go out, like "the lights go out", or like sending email out.

    I got it. With the service shut down, his connections to the outside world are shutting down, and his thoughts are literally going out(that is, shutting down), sort of like HAL singing Daisy in 2001. His connection is so sssllloowww. Loosing touch with the digital world

    What a horrible fate!

    Watch out people. This could happen to you.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [] comic strip

  • by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Thursday March 29, 2001 @08:16PM (#328694) Journal
    When tough times and bankruptcies take out the little guys, you can always count on monopolies to see you through!

    Sad, ain't it?
  • I'm just curious if the other providors are going to be able to handle this many people scrambling for access.

    Well, I can only speak for my experience, but since our original is through RCN (nee Brainstorm), I asked them about T-1ish feeds, and was told that they'd had very few extra orders. OTOH, when I contact the nice Ricochet people to talk about setting up a quickie alternate (backup) feed, they were swamped with callers.

  • Call up your local telco and you can get hooked up with a T1 pretty quickly.

    On what planet is that??? Most parts of the US, if you can get a T1 provisioned and installed in under 6 weeks, you pretty clearly have a deal with Satan. 8 weeks is more typical.

  • They did give proper warning from what I've seen on their website, and its a week old. Sure it may not be enough but they did give warning so this shouldn't have come to no surprise to anyone.
    At this point it is clear that the sale process to which we have dedicated much effort has not yielded long term financing, or a strategic partnership that will allow NorthPoint to continue its current level of operations. As a result, the cessation of services to our customers and the complete shut down of our network is imminent. We will take the following steps: 1) effective immediately all pending orders will be held until further notice and 2) effective March 23, 2001 we will no longer accept new orders and will cease all new service installations. We urge you to take immediate action to secure alternate services for your needs.

    If I had their service, I would demand a refund or start a group and bitch to their partners, anyone as a matter of principle. For those who are owed the full month if they had paid, or paid for yearly service. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but its users were warned, and unless you don't keep up to date with the services your purchasing then your no better than Northpoint is for not minding what your money is going to...

    Toy truck thieves still at large!! []
  • Lots of people are getting hurt here

    My condolences, care to send me their addresses I'll gladly call 911 and have an ambulance over to their house immediately. This is what a contract is for, you know, contract, the things that obligates a vendor to provide a service... As stated, those customers should legally go about getting their refunds, FYI no one is getting hurt, maybe their feelings are, but if you can tell me ONE INSTANCE WHERE THE INTERNET IS A NECCESSITY WHERE SOMEONE COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT IT, then I'll forever shut the fuck up, if not your trolling, as am I for responding to your moronic post with a moronic rebuttal.

  • After a week lacking internet access, the company I work for could possibly cease to exist.

    Then you my friend are working for a company with no managerial insights. Ever hear of Disaster management?

    Our clients, without the service we provide, would also face the danger of catostrophic damages.

    They too then have issues for not having a backup plan.

    Companies, no matter what you think, are made of people, and people rely on their employment to provide food, money, and shelter.

    This must be a new sort of business created being that 15 years ago the Internet was nothing. Wait... if your business did exist then, how did it carry out its business?

    To answer your question, the person getting hurt is you, when my newly unemployed coworkers kill you for your shiny gold watch.

    Highly doubtable ther "brutha" not where I'm from... Ever notice why school shootings never occur in New York City? Well the answer is simple, if a student pulls out a gun, another student will pull out a bigger one...
  • by deran9ed ( 300694 ) on Thursday March 29, 2001 @08:51PM (#328718) Homepage
    my thoughts go out... (sobs network packets)

    MSN: Captain for get us to radio connection
    DSL: You'll get never for our DSL lines
    MSN: Warning you we be for the last time
    DSL: What for are you to do

    connection reset by peer

    (sorry had to)
  • by cavemanf16 ( 303184 ) on Friday March 30, 2001 @06:18AM (#328719) Homepage Journal
    You are all failing to realize that this guy probably works for/runs a small business! So it would not make sense for him to have ISDN, T1 and OC3 backup connections with a Beowulf cluster of servers. Some businesses just need an internet connection for their employees to go looking for info, work on webpages for other companies, etc. so it does behoove him to get an inexpensive broadband line. And DSL is the cheapest alternative out there for broadband up and down streams. In retrospect, I'm sure he'll look for more assurances from a broadband provider in the future that service will not go dark suddenly.

    Before you mark me as flamebait, realize that there are companies out there using the internet for reasons other than hosting websites. Head hunters, webpage designers, etc. do not need an expensive T1 line, just always on connectivity.

  • The Bankruptcy Court and the FCC completely failed Northpoint customers. Absolutely in no way should this deal have been allowed (AT&T buying Northpoint without at least temporarily providing DSL service). I can't tell if it is stupidity, politics or corporate lobbying that made this happen. I suspect it is stupidity, because leaving 100,000 DSL customers out in the cold is just too insane.
  • As a former employee of a 'major' DSL provider ( ! Flashcom ) I have seen this coming for some time now. Things like > 8000 subscribers on single 10Mbit connection, various ILEC's 'loosing' orders, Covad moving from the wholesale to the retail space (and back again), and on and on.

    When you have Covad and Northpoint at the mercy of organizations like Pac Bell and Bell Atlantic, who are themselves tryng to move into the same market, build-out and service is bound to be problematic.

    If you're thinking of DSL, don't bother. Trust me. Do your self a favor and spare yourself the 3-6 month wait and the migrane - just order cable if you can get it. If you can't, maybe you're neighbors will split a T1 with you.

  • After reading the posts on here you'd think the second coming of Christ was on hand. Everyoner says "It's not fair!" or "How could FCC, Courts, ATT, etc do this to us?" I have only two comments:

    1. Company's have a duty to their shareholders and creditors, not their customers That's right, companies don't owe you squat. Look at the contract you signed. Do you see anywhere it says they have to provide service? No. The deal is you pay, they give you service, they don't give you service, you don't pay. Simple as that. This company was going out of business, they need to focus on getting the best deal for their shareholders and creditors. Customer sastisfaction is only important if your in business.

    2. It's not the electric company Ok, if this was the California power companies, I could understand the concern. We have become dependant on certain utilities such as water, electricity, gas, heating oil. And in those cases I would say that those utilities and the governement have a responsibility to be sure that even if they go out of business, you still have power, water, etc. But this is the Internet, it's not a utility, you can live just fine without it. No one, no matter how geeky needs the Internet. Do you guy run out and protest the local Safeway when they close down a store near you? No.

    "Well what about companies?" you say. Any company whose business relies on the Internet is not going to be Northpoint. If they are, they need a slap up-side the head. I bet they run Oracle on NT connected to NetApp too.
    He had come like a thief in the night,
  • by ccandreva ( 409807 ) <> on Thursday March 29, 2001 @08:29PM (#328732) Homepage
    OK -- I'm an ISP. But . .

    The biggest problem with DSL is it came out of the gate at bargain basement prices. The CLEC's left themselves little margin, and cut huge deals for some companies that promised to sell a million lines -- ie Flashcomm. They couldn't do it, not even selling below cost.

    Many small ISPs tried to compete on price, and can't. Covad was selling lines to me for more than Flashcom was selling to end users.

    Now Flashcomm's Chapter 11, and I'm making a nice living. Not that Covad couldn't go under and screw me and my customers too.

    You want RELIABLE faster net access ? Get ISDN. Faster than a modem, not likely to disappear without any warning, and higher in the priority queue to get fixed.
  • by gluebard ( 413184 ) on Thursday March 29, 2001 @08:38PM (#328738)
    Business DSL, Business DSL, Business DSL.. get it? This is not a minor inconvenience for businesses. With 30-45 day lead times for most any braodband alternative except cable this leaves many businesses including mine seriously screwed. Our office is dark now, we'll be working from home cable connections until Megapath can switch us to Rhythms and/or we get business cable installed. Far from being a inconvenience, this is shaping up as one of the worst user disasters in the brief life of the commerical Internet. Over 100,000 broadband connections going dark across the country representing many more users. There have been outages affecting far more users but not for 3-4 weeks.
  • The people who have been cut off should use this opportunity to join America Online.
    Just look at our features.
    56K connections
    Ease of use. (When you put a jpeg file in an email we automatically convert it into a bitmap just incase the person you sent it to can't see jpegs. The 50 fold increase in file size is well worth).
    Glorious 256 color graphics.
    Even more pretty but useless chat features.
    Download AOL 6.0 today and enjoy 700 free hours.
    Don't forget our new multilevel AOL marketing scheme where you get paid for each person you refer. Send out emails urging people to join AOL. If you send enough of them you might be able to quit your job from all the income.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?