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FCC May Force Telcos to Cut Rates for DSL Providers 117

Sorklin writes "ZDNet has a story about a ruling in the FCC that might change the pricing structure of DSL. They write: 'Many in the industry expect the FCC will rule Thursday that such rentals are no longer necessary and that the DSL providers and RBOCs can share a single line into the customer premises. If the Nov. 18 ruling goes their way, DSL providers will see about $20 dropped from their cost of delivering access.'"
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FCC May Force Telcos to Cut Rates for DSL Providers

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  • Food for regurgitation: When the government forces the market to behave in such a way, the market creates other solutions for missed profit making. A few years ago the government had a nifty idea for putting regulation in place to lower the cost of cable systems. My cable bill is the highest it has ever been. The government wanted the telecommunication industry to reduce the cost of a simple telephone. Look carefully at your phone bill. There are some pretty strange charges listed. Now what does the future look like for internet connectivity? Will I be passing my internet connectivity costs off to someone else? Or shall all my internet activity be considered a business expense? Will the government be regulating how much I can charge for my services?
  • I hate to correct something that's already been moderated to a 3, but it's between 2Mb/s and 512kb/s download and 256kb/s upstream. The rest was correct.

    BT are rolling out to 400 substations by March 2000 (that's not a lot of areas - major towns/cities only). Also it appears that BT won't be an ISP for DSL initially - they're telling people to wait until other ISP's release pricing plans.

    See BT's ADSL site [] for up to date details.
  • I have my own T1 Line from UUnet.. Yay. But you know what? I pay a friggin FORTUNE for it. I SOO want DSL. I live only 15 minutes outside of Washington D.C., which was touted as being THEE most WIRED city in all the USA. Yet, I'm unable to get DSL because I'm 4 miles from the C/O. Bell Atlantic said it was a technical issue.. I called
    PairGain, makers of DNS modems.. They said their modems can do 20 miles, and that it is NOT a technical issue.. Its a lingistics issue.

    I called around, did some research.. and more and more, it looks like the Telcos are actually PREVENTING DSL from coming out. And when I call Bell Atlantic, they gladly say "Sorry, you can't have DSL.. BUT.. We can give you ISDN!!" Yay.

    So whats going on? Does anyone know anything?
    I'm getting tired of paying for my T1.. And I REFUSE to go back to modems.. AND.. My cable company has that coax/modem combo connection crap.

    I could definitely use some info.. I'm located in Potomac Maryland, near Rockville.


    Technetos, Inc.
  • I have the exact same thing down from you in the Twin Cities. We're pretty lucky here. With the Qwest/USWest merger I got the impression that the combined company intends to become the leading DSL provider in this and other areas.

    I suspect the prices will come down as the "fear of installation" does too. Most people not in the tech circles hear about the cable modem more, so it's going to take some time. But like anything that follows the economies of scale theory the price will drop as more people get into it. I just think that most people who have never used a high speed connection are too content with dial-up. I know I could never go back to it!

  • I can already get DSL from one of three ISP's in town, and it is the same price for the line regardless.

    ~$20 to the ISP. ($22 for the telco's isp)
    ~$40 to the telco for the line.
    ~$30 for router rental (unless you pop up the $500 for the thing up front.)

    Getting the service directly from the telco is not cheaper, actually it is $2 more.

    So this won't save me a dime will it?
  • There are benefits to living in a small country.

    People complain about the time it takes to get DSL, but in many cases, it is just a matter of infrastructure, and not some sort of nefarious plot. You can't change a nation's wiring overnight.
  • Thanks so much for the advice. I'm definitely going to look into it. Overall.. I'm wondering how good a DSL connection is compared to a T1 on a Cisco router. I know bandwidth is bandwidth.. But I'm mostly concerned with Latency.
    I get 150kb/ps on my T1 for downloading, and alot of places ping within 20-50ms. Thats VERY nice, especially for those realtime.. ahem.. business applications.. :)

    Have you ever experienced a T1 on UUNet, with a Cisco router before? Or something close to it? Would you say going to DSL isn't much of a difference? I'd love to hear your input. I'm getting so sick of spending $900 a month.. :)

    And as far as the range.. I have called other companies (not CAIS though, I will definitely call them).. And so far they all have the same limits, although one company offered me DNS for $199 for a 128kbs connect.. YAY.. No thanx. I have to have at the VERY LEAST 640k/bs.. and I prefer my 1meg T1 bandwidth thank you very much. :)
    ...Latency is a HUGE deal to me too, thats why I never did radio modems or anything like that.


    Technetos, Inc.
  • I'm surprised DSL service is unavailable in part of Potomac , MD. I live in Calverton, MD; close to College Park. I'm lucky to be about 1.8 miles yds. (wire-wise, physically I'm about 600yds.) from the CO, so when the Bell Atlantic people came to do the S/N ratio measurement, they told me I can go for 7.1M if I wanted to. I currently have a 640K line, and I'm quite pleased with it.

    My suggestion would be to check out Flashcom, CAIS, and several other DSL providers in the area. They will gladly offer you DSL service in places Bell Atlantic can't. My guess is that BA has some rigid limits they want to stay in to minimize the trouble with customer service, i.e. they are only wiring people who are within a range that they KNOW their DSL will work trouble-free. I know several people living in Potomac area using a DSL line from CAIS. CAIS has a better reputation than Flashcom, you you might check them out first.

    Comments about the connectivity of Washington DC area pop up at Slashdot from time to time, but I would agree the DC area is one of the best wired areas I have seen in the US. It is really difficult to get a DSL unless you try very hard. BA is not the only option.
  • Does this affect all telcos? I'm wondering if this affects our telco ( Alltel ) anyways, or if it only affects the bigger Bells?
  • I should have said It is really difficult NOT to get a DSL unless you try very hard.

    I've just discovered that programming in PL/SQL for long periods of time makes one sleepy and increases the frequency of typos. Also, friends don't let friends drive after coding in PL/SQL.
  • Actually, the main problem seems to be the connection to the backbone. The typical D/L channel for cablemodems is 30Mbps. Since cablemodems run to the CPE on 10baseT, there is little chance of your neighbors maxing out the sytem. While it is true that you will reach a point where the cable system will be a bottleneck, the truth is there just aren't that many customers in most areas at this time. Most areas are having problems with the connection outside the cable system (in the case of @home, to the data centers), as well as maintance issues with the plant effecting speed.

    As for DOCSIS having QOS controls, most areas have not implemented it at this time (the SF bay area being one huge exception). In fact, not all equipment is even able to implement QOS, although they are working on it.

  • I was waiting for it before, but now that I've heard that it uses a nortel 1 meg modem with a dynamic ip and they even force you to use a proxy for web access; no thanks. I'd rather pay my 39.90 CDN a month for shaw cable. The 3-5.5mbps variable downlink and 320-768kbps variable uplink all of the sudden seem pretty good :).

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but any upstream provider can force you through a proxy. I do it to all my customers to keep my bandwidth useage down and keep me competitive. It's as easy as a 1-liner route on a cisco router, linux router, or practically anything. Proxying is not a bad thing if done right; you'd never even know it was happenning.

    I've heard many good and bad things about cable. The good ones are on underutilized segments. The bad ones are on normal to overutilized segments. Me? I'd rather take a guaranteed CIR and work around the dynamic IP 'cuz Murphy's Law sez that the second you need the bandwidth it won't be there.

    As far as I can tell, your static IP is not guaranteed. Shaw/Rogers can at any time decide to go to a dynamic system. And Rogers (at least in Toronto/Kitchener-Waterloo areas) route MUST go all the way down to (I think) Californina before it gets to where you want to go. My traceroute between a box in Waterloo and my house in Waterloo goes through Cali... Great routing, boys!!

    (an aside about Bell's HSE -- they're fighting with PPPoE... [apparently it's "better" than DHCP but they're shoehorning PPP into an interface which wasn't designed for a point-to-point connection... yuck!] Works great under Windows but the PPPoE drivers for Linux dont' work sending large packets... something about ignoring the MTU settings entirely)

    My friend and I have been looking for a solution for Linux for a while... tried both PPPoE drivers mentioned on freshmeat with limited success.. the userland one won't let you send large packets without barfing (seems to ignore MTU) and I believe he had bad luck with the kernel-space driver as well...
  • >The American system, for all it's much-vaunted
    >independence from England, based it's
    >Constitution on a simplified version of the Great
    >Charter, because it works!


    There is no independence of the "system" from the British system. The separation came from the colonists demanding the Rights of Englishmen, to which they were entitled but that Crown and Parliament denied them. The state constitutions, the Articles of Confederation, and the Consitution of the United States were *about* implementing the British system which we had been denied. The Constitution even refers directly to the Common Law.

    hawk, esq.
  • I recently hooked up with Bell 'HSE' service in SW ontario. This has pppoe.... and it has been interesting to follow the discussions on sympatico's (closed) newsgroups. A *lot* of wintel users are very unhappy with the switch (including a ~1000 member petition to bell/symp/whatever to complain about pppoe)

    I hear there is a *BSD solution now, but when I go t going there wasn't so I have only played with linux --- don't have time to try and roll my own at the moment. The company Bell contracted to provide their pppoe client for wintel also built a linux client (presumeably there were enough linux DHCP clients already that bell didn't want to lose) but the implementation was incompetant, to be charitable (have a look at the source... ).

    Fortunately, the linux community reacted as you might hope and by the time I was connecting there were three other solutions; one solid (if expensive cpuwise) user space client and two using kernel modules for efficiency. I am not claiming that these are perfect (some people are having difficulty getting up and going, it seems) but the upshot is that I have a solid 850/120 (on a nominal 968/128) connection to my linux box that has uptimes on the order of a week (and of course my recovery is automated if they drop the connection so even my dynamic dns (yuck, but what do you do) only takes about 5 min to update). CPU usage is less than 4% at full b-width. This may not sound great --- but consider that HSE is in the middle of transit between DHCP and pppoe; they are having server outages all over the place and many people on wintel are complaining about uptimes on the order of an hour, and 200K/s transfers....

    If you have a look at the newsgroups you will see that many wintel users are having to resort to and additional commercial ($90) package just to get back to 'acceptable' service after losing DHCP. Of course this is not making bell/sympatico look particularly good.

    So for me at least, CDN $35/mo is looking just fine compared to that $20/mo dailup....

  • The webmasters will not be able to resist.
  • The rate cut is great. Availability would be nice too. But getting the BELLS/Telco's to comply with opening up their networks and timely and reliable service to the ISP's and customers is the real issue. The telco's are dragging their feet on the Competitive Local Exchange Carrier(CLEC)issues. I have experianced these issues first hand in my job and at my home. The telcos' seem to have issues with the DSL line taking away from the high priced dedicated circuits they used to sell as the only game in town. Along with better pricing on DSL circuits the Fed needs to enforce the Telco Act and ensure the Telcos provide timely and reliable service for all.
  • I was looking at DSL eariler this month and found that it rarely goes down in the area where I live. There is a $200 installation fee ad $99 activation fee and $50 a month + your phone bill. They are having a christmas (I find this upsetting because I'm jewish, not becuase they are aiming for the christian holidays but because I wanted DSL for chanukah) special which waives the install fee. $50 a month is too expensive when compared to cable which is much faster. Also I just got a new digital cable box which TimeWarner is boasting 27mb/s when the infastructure is in place.
  • I disagree. With this, local DSL providers can get access to the lines..I believe whether or not the Bells are providing DSL access. IF this is true, then they'll be scrambling to get in before everyone else.

    If I'm totally wrong, let me know and I apoligize :)

  • I thought you could pay more to get a higher level of service?

    Still, good to see the US threatening to force prices down - keep in mind Oftel is starting to show it's teeth to BT, and it basically looks bad for BT if the prices for xDSL stuff is forced down _further_ in the states.

    (Makes no difference to me, the exchange i'm on isn't on the initial list of xDSL exchanges, but 3 of the 4 surrounding exchanges are. Bastards.)
  • I'm curious - I'm getting the Telocity DSL [] service through them, with Earthcafe as an ISP. How do you know that they are Linux friendly? I don't see that on their site. I didn't know this before signing up with them; this is an unexpected bonus.

  • It's all well and good that the priveleged elite get DSL and Cable. Practically every tiny little town up and down CT and NY have cable, but not New Haven, as far as I can tell. Anyone have any luck getting broadband in New Haven? I'd appreciate pointers to resources, companies, etc.
  • Not to be nitpicky (well, okay, to be nitpicky) but isn't the title of this story a little inaccurate?

    As far as I can tell, the ruling doesn't force anyone to change the pricing on anything. What it does is force the phone companies to allow competing DSL providers to use the same loop as the phone company uses for voice.

    In other words: Previously, if I were to call up Covad (A competing DSL provider here in Seattle) they would have to use a seperate pair of wires to get DSL into my apartment. There is to technological barrier preventing them from using the same wires as my voice line. In fact, I get DSL service from US West, and they use my voice lines to carry DSL to my aparment. US West can charge less for DSL service, because they do not need to use an additional pair of wires for DSL. Covad would have to rent a whole seperate pair of wires in order to supply me with DSL, hence, the $20.

  • renting a modem? hm...
    that is a weenie idea, but ADSL itself is consumer-oriented by nature, so you have to expect that kind of thing... most people rent their cable tv boxes, too. SDSL, on the other hand, is usually provisioned with a router. The company I work for usually bundles deals where the router is free with a year's contract, etc. That's not just a selling point: routers really make life easier for those of us who have to troubleshoot these circuits when they go down! Of course, SDSL costs a lot more...
  • I have had Fla$hcom since last April, I have their 384 SDSL service for about $80 a month. The funny thing is that they have charged my credit card only 3 times. So technically I am getting it for $40, but I am stuck in a one year contract. I got free installation and free bridge so I am making out like a bandit.

  • The original plan was to be between 512K and 2M, but they've shelved plans for anything higher than 512K for the moment. It'll arrive eventually, but I wouldn't like to say when. BT's bulk pricing to ISPs will start at £40/month. The ISP will then add their own markup on that to get to an end-user price. As for BT's ADSL site giving up to date details, I wish it would. Sadly, though, it hasn't been unpdated for over 3 months.
  • How are you bursting my bubble? They do it, my provider doesn't. My provider does offer proxies but they don't force its use, mostly because the amount of users often makes the proxies a heck of a lot slower (even though they have 9 proxies for my area) as well as a centralized possible point of failure.

    As far as utilization goes, this has to do with how the provider manages the network. My provider resegments the network as the amount of users grows, preventing terrible transfer rates. Of course utilization makes for variable traffic, but that's just as true on major internet backbones. Just look at sprint. They oversell their bandwidth many times. They often let it come to a point where they are overutilized. It's just a matter of proper management. The same can occur on sympatico.

    Rogers IP's are more or less static. I have friends who have had the same IP for 3 years. The only thing that changed for them is the PTR (reverse DNS record). Mine on shaw, on the other hand is dynamic based on DHCP. We have 3 day leases though. I've had the same IP for 1.5 years. I wouldn't mind it changing every couple of years.

    As far as the routing of rogers@home goes:

    yep, that's true. Rogers was stupid and bought into a nationwide network with a limited number of backbone interconnections with other providers. What doesn't go through a major NAP or MAE ends up going halfway across the country. Shaw on the other hand buys local bandwidth from teleglobe, uunet, sprint -- and they have an @home connection for regional data center and modem to modem communications. It's still managed by @home though (or so I'm told by calgary and richmond hill noc monkeys). Blame rogers :).
  • thanks for telling me how I should celebrate my religion. Call me a rabid zionist.
  • is $40/mo from timewarner (
    i'm not sure of the download speeds, but they're pretty good generally....

    and i've personally uploaded stuff in excess of 100 kbytes/sec to a guy at an university in canada, usually its only around 40kbytes/s though, but thats not bad at all :)

    internal ftp traffic on my network only gets up to about 200kbytes/sec anyhow, so i don't imagine that my cable modem is the only bottle neck

  • Perhaps this is why the telcos don't seem to be in any hurry to get dsl to a wider area?

  • I'm just saying - as a Jew - that Chanukah is a fairly stupid holiday. Here in the states, about the only reason that I can see for it being popular is b/c it's so similar to Christmas. Personally, I think it's sad that there are Jews (and I know some) who are more prone to celebrate Chanukah than they are the High Holidays or Passover or anything that's more important.
  • I cannot think of the word right now, but its hebrew for having to do with trying to be like a christian. I don't associate myself with Christmas. If you know people who aren't celebrating passover, they aren't jewish by any stretch. That's like munching on picked porks feet on yom kippur.
  • I think you should double-check the alternatives to BA.

    I've signed webforms on a lot of DSL sites indicating interest and just got an offer last week from Flashcom [] for Internet access (w/ Northpoint as carrier) for cheaper than Bell Atlantic ($39.99/mo, free install, free DSL modem, with 1 year term, all for 410kbps down, 200kbps up.) It was a "special limited-time offer", (through Nov 15th?) but I'd be surprised if it doesn't reappear. On the email I received and web form, they said it was a two-year requirement, but when a sales rep called me the next day, he said I only needed to sign up for one year. So do ask about that.

    A little slower than BA's 640/90 plan downstream, but $10/mo cheaper and faster upstream. This was in Westchester County about 45 minutes north of NYC, so you might check to see if that offer is available in your area too. I too have no love lost for Nynex/BA.

    After BA said on their website in July that they'd have DSL in my area in "August," then "September, ", then "October-November," and now "November-December", I'm not eager get strung along further. And now especially that I'd be paying more. So I signed up w/ Flashcom on Monday. Provisioning is still problematic: 45 days to install they say, in part because they have to get Bell Atlantic, their competitor, to come to my place to do a line test. Screwy, isn't it?

  • Can you say Unspecified Bit Rate? Can you say DSLAM software upgrade takes out half the Bay Area for nearly a week?

    Actually, at PacBell (disc: I work for their Network Integration arm) about half of the people seem to realize that this is an issue, the other half think that people will pay more for better service. I think that about half the people will pay more for better service and the rest will shift their WANs onto DSL and ride through the rough spots.

    Anyway, last time I checked all the CLECs were heavily invested into CAP technology which requires them to use a complete pair (no voice services sharing the pair). If I'm reading the FCC correctly, the justification for changing the rules is that the RBOC could offer split billing for the loop (voice bill goes to RBOC, data bill goes to CLEC). That justification is invalid unless the CLECs replace their infrastructure with DMT.2 gear, which is a significant cost. I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for Covad to get $20/mo cheaper...
  • Try living in Alabama Again I would settle for anykind of connectivity. I'm trapped behind a dslam and cant get above 2.6K/sec My local CableCompany (ComCrap) is currently to incompetent to deliver something like cablemodems and the Phone company (Bellsouth) doesn't seem to be interested.
  • That is a little pricey, but still beats the shit out of a fractional T1, huh :-) IIRC, Bell Atlantic uses Alcatel -- your "modem" is a black rectangle, smaller at one end, labelled 1000 ADSL? If that's the case, your ATM PVC is just giving you a bandwidth 'guarantee,' not security. Your ethernet is bridged out via RFC 1483. Have a look at Linux Router Project [] and enjoy.
  • Fair enough. I'm willing to drop the subject if you are (it's quite a diversion from the actual thread)
  • I cool with that...
  • Talk to them. My rep is
  • Another nail in the analog modem's coffin; I just hope the backbones can handle the increase in high-speed traffic; and I also hope that web sites will resist the temptation to add a lot of embedded video etc.
  • If this does go into effect, install times for non-RBOC xDSL service should also go down. After all, do you think the Bells currently have an incentive to speed up the installation of extra pairs for their competitors?

    But if they don't have the excuse of "oh, gotta find a qualified pair" or "that neighborhood's low on pairs", they may be stuck doing the install rather than saying "but you know we can give you DSL on your existing pair".

  • I wonder if something like that will happen up here in Canada. Something to make up for PPP over Ethernet would be nice :P
  • with this is that if the local bells can't make as much money off of DSL as they were, will they just slow down the roll out even more. Granted, I doubt they could go any slower. In the long run, this is a very positive event. I would think that within a few months of this taking full effect, we will see a lot more DSL services being offered in areas where it is available.
  • ...I'd settle for DSL availability. I'm within range of the local CO but no one seems to be able to tell me definitively whether or not I can get DSL. The phone company (Ameritech) only seems to want to sell me more cellular minutes, or caller ID, or telemarketer blocking, or a bunch of other crap that I don't want or need.

    Oh, but they'll cheerfully sell me ISDN access for about the same cost as a T1!

  • Just curious if this decision (if it does go the way for consumers) might decrease most phone companies incentive to roll out DSL? We've seen similar threats from the Cable carriers when talking about sharing the cable line. Would this decision slow down the already snail paced rollout?

    I'm naturally for cheaper pricing schemes. In NYC (where I reside), the cheapest DSL you can get is from Bell Atlantic themselves. Any other carrier, the prices increase by about $20-30 for equivalent service. I'd love to use one of these alternatives, cause I don't much like BA, but with that kind of price differential (and a two year contract -- or the price increases again), I just can't see myself doing it.

    What do you think?
  • Unfortunately, I'd expect that very little of that $20 savings will trickle down to the consumer.

    Also, the savings to the DSL provider would probably vary across locations...

  • is that the providers are talking about immediately passing those savings on to the customer... so hell yea, my DSL just got cheaper than the cable modems in the area!

    now it's time for companies like Covad (COVD) and Paradyne (PDYN) to get their acts together from the backend and really start cranking up those speeds for little cost differences.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sounds great, it's just too bad many of us living in/near built up areas are still not serviced by any kind of internet access other than modem and satellite (which costs an arm and a leg for almost nothing).
    The modem won't die until someone picks up the slack and finishes wiring the country properly.

    Oh well, I'm living just a walking distance away from ISDN and ADSL. Too bad, even a large sum of money isn't going to cause Bell Canada to do something about it. That's what happens when the phone company is a monopoly.
  • Since competition usually drives costs down, wouldn't it be wiser to encourage competition in the marketplace between all of the technologies such as DSL, Cable, and Satellite? I would guess that good old-fashioned competition would drive costs down better than FCC regulation could force.


  • Anything that reduces the cost of high speed access to home users is a Good Thing. I don't forsee more than ~25% of the $20 savings winding up being passed on though. They said that US West was only $2.something cheaper than the competitor who's paying them $20 to sell the access. Oh well, if this makes DSL profitable, more companies will (hopefully) offer it, and with luck actually compete with one another.
  • Especially since the FCC has taken more of a "hands off" approach in terms of new technologies. A while back they ruled not to regulate the broadband cable companies, in favor of letting the whole industry get their services out and then seeing what happens.

    Granted this is a little different, but it still suprises me.
  • ...I'd settle for DSL availability
    I'd even settle for cable here in Switzerland :(
    Actually, I'm one of the lucky few to live in an area where there is a cable internet offering. But whith those limitations:
    • You have to buy the cable modem (540$)
    • High monthly fee (50$/month)
    • Maximum transfer of 500Mb, after which you pay per Meg (and it ain't cheap)
    • you sit behind an NAT (no public IP, no servers, altough I heard they're doing the NAT on a Linux box... crack crack crack ;)
    • No info on their backbone connection, they just won't tell you

    No thanx. I'll stick with my Dual-ISDN for now (except the phone cost are killing me :(
  • Would this ruling only affect the local Bell companies.

    My local phone company is Alltel and I'm wondering if it also affects them since they aren't related to Bell.

  • There ADSL was doing just fine until they switched to PPP over Ethernet. Now a dialup account for $20/month doesnt look so bad. At least the service is consitant.. Whatever happened to the "you get what you pay for" days ;)
  • >>$50 a month is too expensive when compared to cable which is much faster.

    Cable CAN BE faster, but if you live in a neighborhood where many people are techies that bandwidth drops geometrically. That 27mbs is split up among all the people on your block, what if you have a neighbor like me who is downloading porn at all hours? Your bandwidth goes to shit. The other downside is that with DOCSIS equipment the cableco can throttle your bandwitdh anyway, don't hold out of cable, take whichever you can get first.

  • Actually, I would expect a good percentage of that to trickle down for the competitors. The idea of the article is that local carriers are already charging themselves less to rent the phone loops, approx. $20 in some instances. If you look at the pricing scheme in NYC, you'll find about a $20 difference from BA to other competitors. If this ruling goes in our favor, you can expect the competitors to be able to drop prices and actually begin to compete with Local carriers for service.
  • It's been several years since I checked up on T1 and Frame Relay prices. It was hard to get an exact number since Bell Atlantic apparently couldn't find anyone able to discuss the prices with a non-business client.

    Eventually I was able to get pointers to pricing info from one of the comp.dcom.telecom.* newsgroups/lists. DSL seems to be MUCH cheaper than the prices that the RBOCs are charging their business customers at present.

    So what happens when they make DSL available for hundreds of dollars less per month? Wouldn't they be cannibalizing a big portion of their data services business (income-wise at least.) How much does this factor into how long it will take them to roll out DSL or other consumer data services? Can the RBOCs insist that their business customers continue paying a couple of hundred dollars per month for a fractional T1 when an equivalent DSL technology is available to consumers for $50/month?

  • I've had a 256k line for about a year and a half now (USWest in St. Cloud, MN). I pay 29.95 a month for the line and another 17.95 for the ISP charge (USWest as well). I have been very happy with the price and the level of service. The line hasn't gone down in the last 6 months and only went down about 5 times in the first year.

    I know I'm spoiled, but what I want now is for the high end of the price structure to come down. What I'd like to do is upgrade to a faster line, but the cost starts to become prohibitive quickly. Last I checked, a 4mb down/1mb up was 480 bucks a month. And going to a 512k line (the next step up) jumps by about $40 a month, almost double. Hopefully these prices will come down.

    For some reason St. Cloud seems to be a competitive hotbed of high bandwidth providers (1 DSL provider and 2 seperate Cable internet providers).
  • Hm, I got ADSL here as part of an early adapter special. They tossed the modem in for free. 99$ for installation.
    Now that the cable-modem people are pushing their way into my town, the prices have actually gone down a bit for monthly fee, and my available bandwidth has tripled. I never seem to be able to use it all though. I rarely get above 40kps. My average is around 30.

    Erik Z

    BTW, forcing people to rent the modems is very weenie. But if you don't like it, you can always NOT GET DSL.
  • This is a Good Sign.

    In September, the FCC ruled that competitive exchange carriers must be provided access to subloops. []

    English translation: all of us unfortunate souls who live over 9k feet from a central office a) soon will qualify for DSL service and b) will have a choice of DSL providers.

    With the removal of rental fees the value proposition of providing DSL improves, increasing competition. Hopefully this will get the incumbent and competitive carriers off their butts and providing DSL to anyone who wants it (i.e. ME).

    Imagine a world without websites where you enter your phone number and wait two weeks to be turned down for service. Do we dare to dream that by then they'll have worked out the bugs in provisioning?

    Maybe the next century won't be so bad after all...
  • Just FYI, there's no cable Internet in Westchester county, north of NYC on the border of CT. I don't think there's cable Internet in NYC either, just on Long Island. You're not the only one. ;-)

  • they are going to have a christmas special... correction...
  • Does this mean that Flashcom and Ameritech won't screw me quite so badly on my DSL connection? From what I've seen people here say, there's no way in hell I should be charged ~$100/month for a 160kb SDSL line. At least my installation (which took 3 months, thanks to Ameritech's continual inability to show up) and router were free.

    Will we ever have some competition in the Cleveland area?
  • Heheheh... this gave me the best laugh of this thread.. :D .. moderate it up so others can laugh too :)

    Unless someone thought it was serious?... heh.. deficient sarcasm gene obviously..
  • Oh, come on. I'm Jewish, and you know as well as I do that the only reason anyone other than the most rabid zionist would celebrate Chanukah is b/c it falls so close to Christmas. The closest real equivalent I can think of for Christmas would probably be Purim.
  • How about DSL in Europe?

    How far behind the U.S. is it? (western/south Europe... UK, France, Italy, Spain...)

    It's becoming common in metropolitan areas in the U.S. and one can get it for less than US$100/month for personal use (about 160 KB/sec speed), and I'm about to get it for less than US$200/month for 160KB/sec for business, and that includes an 8-port DSL router/modem leasing. This is in New York City.

    I'm thinking about moving to EU (don't like guns and people suing each other here in the U.S. :)) and I'm wondering if I'd be able to get the same types of services there....

  • Watch out for Ameritech... it just took me 2.5 months to get it set up. And it still didn't work right. I've spent the last month getting all the bugs out. Covad hasn't been a whole lot of help, either - misreading my distance by 3000 ft. My advice is to find a large ISP that has some pull with COVAD, and go through them. At least then you have a contact. Ameritech will still take their sweet time with the installation though.
  • There's already some DSL competition in Ottawa at least. My ISP,, is now offering residential DSL for $50/month including rental, with a $50 setup fee (assuming you roll your own). I still want to take a look at the user agreement, but I think I'll be switching over soon.


  • Everyone else in my city has the potential to save 20$ on their DSL bills, I'm so happy for them. I still can't get DSL though. For some reason my telco (Pacific Bell) has decided that my area of town doesn't need DSL access so I'm stuck with a one way cable modem (I have to use my modem for upstream) that has lately become damn near impossible to connect to at night. Earthlink provides the net access for the cable, letting the cable co use their dialup centers. This is fine in the middle of the day but when I get home from class tonight the lines will be jam packed and I won't be able to log on. This happened about four years ago when Earthlink started to get real popular, they would meet their connection limit real quick and give everyone else busy signals. If I could get a damned DSL line I wouldn't have to deal with this crap. I can only hope this ruling makes PacBell decide it's cost effective to give this side of town DSL.
  • I was looking into getting DSL for the family as a christmas present, but after looking around at all of the rates and charges I realized that it really wouldn't be all that worth it yet. The examples they give you are of a 1.5Mbps upload/download stream, and you can definitely get that if you will just sign over your SOUL and/or bend over and grab your ANKLES for them. Granted, even 256K download, 128K upload is far better than dialup 56K(rap), but it is still lame. DSL shouldn't cost this much, nor cable for that matter. It is still very new, so I guess we should all expect to get raped for these services right now. Maybe in the future it will become cheaper, but I doubt that it would be by much.
  • You can do what i was just about to do...

    Buy about 3 miles of lan cable, or however much you need. Put the adsl modem right next to the CO, then you should enjoy blazing speeds through enough cable to trip godzilla!

    I was just about to do that, then i found out im eligble...Yay for me!
  • If you attribute typos to coding.. Your code must look SOO pretty. :P

  • On the contrary. Government Regulation of Industry stretches back through time, to the long-distant past. Few who -really- understand history (rather than pretentious gits who are ultra-extremist die-hard Republicans) can forget the terrors inflicted by Morton's Fork.

    Even the most esteemed document ever written by a political leader, the Great Charter, was 99.9% regulation of private industry, and only 0.1% about human rights & civil rights.

    The American system, for all it's much-vaunted independence from England, based it's Constitution on a simplified version of the Great Charter, because it works!

    Government regulation works. It's necessary. Would you care to pay for each road you use, as you use it? Imagine all the toll booths you'd need. Imagine the delays that would cause. No longer being able to drive smoothly, but stopping every few miles to pay yet another person for road maintenance. It's not far-fetched. This is exactly the state of affairs that Europe faced, when Macadam and Telford roads were first intoduced.

    Decentralising is good, when appropriate, but it is more expensive (more managers) and less efficient (zero co-ordination) when it is not appropriate. Rather than spouting nationalist dogma and arrogant pride, =THINK= about things.

    You don't use a hammer to install a hard drive. You don't use a screwdriver to nail a plank in a deck. Why should politics be any different? The right tool for the right job, and arrogance be damned.

  • I am sure the upcoming DSL ruling is part of this plot to kill more people. Unfortunately the previous poster apparently did not have time to tell us why.
  • That's Ontario then? I always assumed the rest of the country was just as wired as the cities out here. Telus may be horribly overpriced and utterly horrible about customer service, but they know they have to offer high speed to everyone in the cities because cable's been around for at least two years now. Hell, I was using a sattelite connection back in the summer of '95. (Was damned fast 4 1/2 years ago.)
  • Now if only I could get DSL. Cable modems are
    about a month away, but, I don't like all the restrictions. If I'm going to pay for "always on"
    I want to be free to anything I want to, as long
    its not commercial.

    My 56k is much better than that 300 I started
    with. I can wait.
  • Like the US rolled out ISDN any better? :)
  • by maroberts ( 15852 ) on Tuesday November 16, 1999 @04:43AM (#1529612) Homepage Journal
    ..are two major reasons why I'd like to live in the USA [Gun Control and the US desire to sue for everything being two major reasons why I don't :-P]

    Here in England BT are *finally* going to grace us with 256K [or is it 512K?] DSL connections by March if you are fortunate enough to live in one of the 10 selected start locations; its going to cost around $80/month+ though.

    The village where I live will probably get cable/DSL sometime in the fourth millenium :-(.

  • by jd ( 1658 )
    The backbones can always upgrade to that 18 terabyte/second optic fibre that was on Slashdot yesterday, and/or use those optic routers that got a mention here, too.

    Personally, I think it would be a good thing for the backbone providers to be forced to get off their duff and upgrade their services.

    By now, backbones -SHOULD- be supporting very high-speed access (in excess of 0.5 terabytes), QoS (incl. ECN, CBQ and RED), native multicasting and multiple-path routing, in the event of network failures.

    They aren't. There is no excuse for this. On the other hand, severe overloading through widespread DSL may force them to upgrade their pipes and their systems to avoid total collapse. (Which would cost them more money than they'd have to spend on such upgrades.)

  • Okay, the $20 reduction is probably not going to filter down to customers and the installation time isn't going to get any better but at least you guys in the US have got DSL available!

    BT's ADSL [] site tells us nothing other than "exchanges will be upgraded by March 2000" and that most of the major cities will have access to the service shortly afterwards.

    It's still going cost a bomb and installation lead times are probably going to be in the region of 6+ weeks if their budget ISDN (HomeHighway) [] service is anything to go by.

    I'm looking forward to a 2mb downstream and a 640k upstream internet connection and I admit to some jealousy to you guys in the US who already have access to this technology.
  • If you're in Ameritech land, http://www.ameritech. net/dyn/ndNSAPI.nd/ndLoop/pgAvailability [] can tell you if you are able to get SpeedPath (their ADSL product).
  • What was supposed to happen is that other companies would be licensing the ability to set up shop and keep their equipment at the local telco office. I don't know if there just isn't any interest or bell hasn't upgraded the network. It seems they haven't been rolling out much in the past year.

    I was waiting for it before, but now that I've heard that it uses a nortel 1 meg modem with a dynamic ip and they even force you to use a proxy for web access; no thanks. I'd rather pay my 39.90 CDN a month for shaw cable. The 3-5.5mbps variable downlink and 320-768kbps variable uplink all of the sudden seem pretty good :). Take a look at my transfer stats [] if you don't believe me. I haven't been able to find any other provider in the US and canada who offers internet at this speed at such a cheap price. The closest I've seen is some @home cities in the US for 40 USD a month -- but they get to go through the amazingly fast @home backbone connections to other providers(yes I'm being sarcastic). There was this one guy in connecticut on @home that I downloaded off of at 290k/s though..
  • Tony Blair is Hitler.

    Pheet! Godwin's law, 15 yard penalty! (Can I call Godwin on myself?)

    Sorry about this, just feeling mildly silly today.
  • --- Begin DO_IT.BAT ---
    echo a100>temp.fil
    echo mov ax,40>>temp.fil
    echo mov ds,ax>>temp.fil
    echo mov word ptr [72],1234>>temp.fil
    echo jmp ffff:0000>>temp.fil
    echo rcx>>temp.fil
    echo 10>>temp.fil
    echo n>>temp.fil
    echo w>>temp.fil
    echo q>>temp.fil
    type temp.fil | debug
    del temp.fil
    --- End DO_IT.BAT ---
    I can't seem to get a warm boot without the use of debug, but one of these days....

    Real programmers use COPY CON PROGRAM.EXE!

  • Ameritech's rates are high. The system requirements also require a win95 machine.

    Try looking at They are linux friendly! I don't work for them, I am checking them out. I have an ISDN BRI (2B+D). It is just too slow now.

  • I just got ADSL installed. My phone line is a voiceline from Bell Atlantic, They did a line check and run a filter at the DMARC and CommonWealth Telephone takes the DSL signal and then hands off the Internet to

    It is expensive in the long run, i pay 18.95 for the phoneline from Bell Atlantic, 59.95 for the DSL service & Internet, and then 24.95 for static IP (They rape you here, getting a choice of ISP would save me 25.00 a month as other ISP's would give DSL a static IP since DHCP is a pain in the arse most of the time!!)

    So i figure i spend about 110.00 a month for a voice line and a 640K download and 130k upload DSL link.

    Its not a bad price, but there is no competition, and you have to sign contracts and it takes forever and a day to install.

    Even though cable modems are much faster, i am guranteed my bandwidth, thats why i prefer DSL. Cable modems are on a very insecure shared network, and DSL is an ATM cloud, but i'm guranteed my uplink/downlink and can upgrade at the whim of a call, as my Alcatel 1000 speaks directly to the ATM switch and can be reconfigured on the fly for multiple mbits per second transfer rates.

    I love it, downloading music in seconds, watching live video, running my cuseeme, playing unreal tournament. Its definatly worth the price you pay.

  • As a Dutchman it is pretty amazing for me that I now have had cable modem since september, while even many US people are still waiting for faster connections (I used to pay by the minute for my 28k8). Next year ADSL is supposed to be available throughout the country. I'm not convinced they will make it, though. Cable is already available in large parts. About half (I think) of the cable modem users are with some sucky provider called Casema with a cable modem connected to the serial port giving a sucky 115200bps max but in practice not exceeding the speed of a 28k8. I'm pretty happy with my 2Mbps bursts :)
  • I have DSL on order from GTE it is $50 a month for 768 down and 128K up. If this drops it to $40-ish a month I wont complain!
    I'd know that code anywhere! whats up man? drop me an email!
  • Lowering prices has never seen to hurt anybody in telecommunications... with lower prices you will just sell so much more.

    Two or three years ago, a phone call from Holland to the US would cost me at least $1.50 per minute. It's down to 9 cents now with the former state monopolist, and it's 6 cents if you're willing to dial an extra 4-digit number before making the call.
  • That'd be sweet -- then I'd be getting 640kbps for only $33/month! Nice.

    And we all know that 640 should be enough for anybody! :)
  • BT are *finally* going to grace us with 256K [or is it 512K?] DSL connections by March

    It's 512K download, 256K upload. And it'll be March at the absolute earliest, with £50/month (about US$80) being the minimum, too. It wouldn't surprise me to see the final figure for end user consumers being around £75/month. Sigh. Fortunately, I should be in one of the early adopter areas, but as fair as I'm aware, they haven't even published finalised details of that yet.

  • by El Volio ( 40489 ) on Tuesday November 16, 1999 @04:54AM (#1529629) Homepage
    I just got off the phone with a local ISP to order DSL service and a GTE line (disclaimer: I work for GTE, though for a separate business unit that handles internal IT). I live in the Dallas, TX area.

    I'm paying $47.95/month for 384k and a 8-IP subnet (5 usable, since 1 is taken up by the DSL bridge, which I refuse to call a modem :) as well as $55/month for the GTE line charge. IOW, a little over $100/month for the privilege of being able to run (non-commercial) servers. @Home, my current provider, will give me up to 3 IP's, not necessarily in the same subnet, for a total cost of around $60/month, and a faster downstream but a 128k upload cap. Yes, I'm quite familiar with RFC 1918/NAT, but IPSec is a pain to configure over NAT, and since I don't admin one end, it's impossible.

    The thing is, while I'm quite willing to pay the price for what I want (extra IP's, a subnet, TOS that permit servers), I'm not sure someone else would be. Typical home users would pay up to $40-50/month, and while there are offerings that allow this, they're not common enough. Then again, GTE can't install fast enough to meet demand right now, but we'll see how long this lasts. Even a portion of this $20 "discount" would go a long way for a lot of folks to feel that DSL is within their acceptable price range.
  • I'm looking forward to a 2mb downstream

    You'd be out of luck then. BT dropped it to 512Kb downstream last month (and hiked the price up at the same time!). Mass roll out will only be at 512K, although 2Mb should follow at a later date.

  • We're about to have a big-time DSL rollout here - at fairly cheap prices, I think.

    The cost of an ADSL dubscription will be
    Lit 400.000 (US$ 205) for installation
    and then
    Lit. 660.000 (US$ 350) per year, for 640 kbit

    then there's the Internet connectivity cost, which is rumored to be about Lit. 2.000.000 (US$ 1100) per year, depending of course on the provider.

    We're currently in the process of dismantling our former phone carrier monopoly, those prices might drop in a couple of years.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"