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[ale] ADSL???

<Added BellSouth to the CC so they can hear people's, err, dislike for their
asinine policies>

<Added a friend of mine in Atlanta who was interested in BellSouth from
ADSL.  Please remove qtip at gatech.edu from the CC on any follow-ups, as he
probably doesn't want lots of rants in his mailbox.>

I'll tell you how this compares with US West's ADSL policies, and what I
know from friends elsewhere using ADSL from other phone services.  Keep in
mind that if there's a phone company more disparaged than BellSouth (hard to
imagine, I know) anywhere on this earth, it's probably US West.

On Thu, 29 Oct 1998, Tory Michael Deron wrote:

> 1)  You have to pay $200 dollars for the equipment, and although they use a
> standard Ethernet card, and I already have one, they require you to buy
> theirs.

My equipment was completely free.  I told them I already had a NIC, and US
West went ahead and gave me a 10/100 3Com for free (they knew I had PCs; if
I'd had a Mac w/o a built-in NIC, they offer those), and told me I could use
it if I wanted, or play frisbee with it, or put it in another box, or
whatever.  People I know with ADSL elsewhere also get their equipment free.

BellSouth, you're never going to compete with cable modems if you charge for
the equipment.  Period.  You're going to have to make your money off the
monthly fees, and tie-ins like getting them as collateral customers for your
ISP instead of, say, Mindspring.  People expect to get that equipment freely
/ cheaply, just because that's the market condition your competitors (both
cable modem and other ADSL providers) have created.

> 2)  They charge a $99 connection fee, and refuse to allow you to connect it
> yourself, up to and including, connecting the equipment to your computer.

US West charges a $100 setup fee (keep in mind that ADSL requires a
dedicated modem on the phone company's work, and some behind-the-scenes
stuff with your ISP to get you on the 'net).  That's pretty standard, from
what I hear.  Actually BellSouth is being fairly cheap here.  Most phone
co.'s charge $100 or so for the setup work of just opening your service, and
then charge another $100 - $150 to come out and actually set up the
equipment in your home / office.  This second fee is always optional if you
want to do it yourself.  Of course, US West only charged me 1/2 of the setup
fee because they're running a move-in special, and I set the hardware up
myself, so my startup was only $50.  They even automatically spread that out
over your first six months, with no interest, whether you want them to or

> 3)  They expect you to sign a 1 year contract, and if you move with in that
> time, you have to pay for the remaining months in the contract. (I'll be
> moving in April of next year)

I can cancel my service today with no penalty (other than having to pay the
rest of my startup).  I pay on a monthly basis as I use it.  Of course,
ADSL's already more popular than US West can keep up with (perhaps because
of their more reasonable pricing and support.  You think that might have
something to do with it, BellSouth?), so they don't have the same pressure
to get an initial guaranteed pool of customers that BellSouth does.  It's
even more ridiculous in BellSouth's case since they don't give you the
hardware, so they don't have that expense to recoup.

> 4)  When asked what my operating system is,  I said, Linux, and got the
> response, "Sorry, we only support Windows9X", and she would not discuss it
> further.

BellSouth, this is completely absurd.  There's nothing to support with ADSL
on your part from the modem on in to the computer or hub.  It works with any
machine with a 10-base-T card and a TCP/IP stack, regardless of operating
system.  Most other ADSL providers rightly allow anything.  I told US West
that I had Linux, Solaris, and *BSD machines, and they were more than
willing to provide me service.  Heck, I know someone elsewhere using an
Amiga with her ADSL connection (I offered to give her a real computer, but
that's another story ;-).

> Obviously Bell South intends to serve only the technically handicapped,
> while milking people for all the unnecessary dollars they can get.

Interesting that they won't even allow NT apparently.  I wonder what they'll
do when Windows 2002 comes out?  I wonder what they do to people with a hub
and two supported Windows 9x boxes?  Or do they just not allow you to hook
it to a hub at all?

> Needless to say I will not be getting the service.
> Just my two cents, and an FYI.

You know, after my positive experiences with ADSL under US West, and my
preference for ADSL over cable modem (having used both), I would have
recommended BellSouth's ADSL to people in Atlanta I know wanting a faster
connection than their 56K modem.  With policies like these, I definitely
will not be doing so in the future, and will instead suggest cable modem
service as the route to go.


Chris Ricker                                            kaboom at gatech.edu
                                               chris.ricker at m.cc.utah.edu
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation
for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
	-- Soren Kierkegaard