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Hi. I'm a Unix Administrator, mathematics enthusiast, and amateur philosopher. This is where I rant about that which upsets me, laugh about that which amuses me, and jabber about that which holds my interest most: Unix.
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A (sad) tale of ISPs in the USA

Posted 04-14-2014 at 03:04 PM by rocket357
Updated 04-14-2014 at 03:16 PM by rocket357

I moved recently to the Seattle area for a job with Amazon.

I'd had Time Warner Cable in San Antonio, which was woefully under-saavy for some of the stuff I was wanting to do (mostly revolving around IPv6), so I was excited to see what opportunities there were with new ISPs in Seattle. My wife didn't want to live *in* Seattle, so we got a nice rental setup out near Renton, a little ways south of Seattle.

One of our next door neighbors is a Comcast employee, as evidenced by the Xfinity truck outside. I've had run-ins with Comcast before, so I was looking for ANYONE besides Comcast. I called around and found CenturyLink.

The call went as follows:

Me: "Hi, I'm looking to setup FiOS you guys offer FiOS?"
Tech: "Yes, we offer FiOS, I can get that setup for you if you would like."
Me: "Awesome! What speeds?"
Tech: "20 Mbps is the top tier we offer"
Me: "20? That's ummm...really slow. I was on 50 Mbps cable with..."
Tech: "Oh, but that's a *shared* line. You'll like this service more. Fiber makes it better."
Me: "What, like latency?"
Tech: "Yes, exactly."

Long story short, I sign up after the tech explains that they're expanding speed capabilities in my area. I get the self-install kit.

Kit arrives, I open it up. Strange, there must be a mistake...this is a DSL modem, which I clearly did NOT order.

I call CenturyLink.

Me: "There's some sort of mixup here, I ordered FiOS, and you guys sent me a DSL modem."
Tech: "Right. We run fiber to the DSL office, then DSL to your home."
Me: "No kidding? So you do the same thing EVERY OTHER ISP IN THE NATION does? I expected fiber to the home!"
Tech: "Fiber to the home? Who does that?!?"
Me: "Google 'FiOS'. Please, google it."

Long story short, I was bold-faced lied to...but it's better because this new-fangled "fiber" technology reduces latency and all.

Just like every ISP has been doing since probably 1995.

When are ISPs in the US going to wake the f*** up and pull their heads out? I'm seriously considering moving outside the US just so I can get decent internet.
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Views 764 Comments 3
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Total Comments 3


  1. Old Comment
    You have it easy. I do not have an internet connection in my home, because the university (I live on campus.) manages the local network with censorship software that will only allow Windows to use the network. I must take my computer to a cafe in order to use the internet. I wish I had it as good as you do. (And yes. I shall not stay at this job very long.)
    Posted 04-14-2014 at 10:52 PM by Randicus Draco Albus Randicus Draco Albus is offline
  2. Old Comment
    KC has Google Fiber. It's pretty cool.
    Posted 04-15-2014 at 10:17 AM by vmccord vmccord is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Randicus, that is insane. I wish you all the best in your hunt.

    Vmccord, I envy you =P
    Posted 04-18-2014 at 09:59 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline


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