Fwd: Re: broadband access

Richard Esplin richard-lists at esplins.org
Fri Feb 5 23:00:37 MST 2010

I accidentally replied to Scott Jones directly. I'll forward my response to the list since the topic just came up again.


----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: Re: broadband access
Date: Sat 30 January 2010
From: Richard Esplin <richard-lists at esplins.org>
To: Scott Jones <sanchiro at gmail.com>

Yeah, Comcast lures customers in with very aggressive pricing. It surprises me that they don't lose everyone when the introductory period runs out and their prices double (or triple). That's when I left Comcast too.

Digis' business class service comes with some sort of SLA. However, I've been working from home on the residential class service for two years and have had only minimal downtime (maybe four outages of less than ten minutes, two outages a little longer). One time I got a little huffy because we had a 30 minute outage at the moment I was trying to submit a deliverable (just my luck), and the representative politely reminded me that if I needed to depend on the service for business I should be paying for business class support. Seems fair.

The business class service also comes with larger bandwidth caps. They don't do a strict cap, but their speeds only apply to the first X GB transfer per day. They have a monthly cap as well. Once you hit the caps, they throttle you back for the duration of the period. I think it is a reasonable system. I exceeded the cap two months in a row during a project last year and someone called to politely inform me about the higher tier. They asked if I wanted to move to it. Last time I checked, the bandwidth limits were clearly stated in their fine print (though I wish they had a page clearly explaining things). They have been very open discussing the limits with me--instead of acting like I was a criminal, they treated it as an up-sell opportunity. I think it's a reasonable approach to fairly spreading costs. In summary, there are three residential bandwidth tiers, and I'm in the middle one. I don't remember the exact numbers though.

I am not aware of them tampering with my traffic for any protocol. My bit-torrent sharing seems to go as fast as anyone else. (Though one of their techs said something about never meeting a legal bit-torrent user. He didn't believe that I only use it for FLOSS ISOs.)

The thing that bothered me most about the service was the rebate they had for the equipment on the roof. It was supposed to apply after three month on the plan. I think a rebate like that makes sense (they need to cover their installation costs if I drop service right away), but in stead of applying it automatically they required me to fill out some paper work. I shared my concerns with them and I don't know if they still do that.

My favorite thing about Digis is that when I have had a concern I can call someone up who not only knows what they are talking about, but is empowered to fix the problem. Even their lawyer was willing to have a reasonable conversation with me when they sent me a DMCA notice for my Tor exit node.

If you do go with Digis, let them know I referred you, then I get a month free (or something like that).


On Sat 30 January 2010 16:10:50 Scott Jones <sanchiro at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am looking at Digis' site, Richard. Could you help me understand? Which
> service do you have? Why, in the name of simple speed, would one want the
> business class service, which is rated 6 mbs for $99 when the residential
> service listing is for 7 mbs for just $34.99? I don't need a boatload of
> email addresses.
> I will give Digis a call and review these plans with them. I guess I have
> been enjoying one helluva deal with my 15 mbs download Comcast service.
> Scott
> On Sat, Jan 30, 2010 at 4:01 PM, Richard Esplin
> <richard-lists at esplins.org>wrote:
> > I have been very happy with Digis: reliable, fast enough for my uses,
> > relatively affordable, and you can actually talk to them.
> >
> > Richard
> >
> > On Sat 30 January 2010 15:42:54 Scott Jones <sanchiro at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Anyone else using Comcast, in Sandy/Draper/Midvale area? I have been
> > paying
> > > about $55 per month for business class cable from Comcast but our last
> > bill
> > > lists a charge of $99 per month.
> > >
> > > What other options do I have for broadband, outside of QWEST? I can't
> > stand
> > > their ads with the 'FiberOptic ... (like) Speeds'.. I get over 15 mb down
> > > and well over 1 mb upload consistently with Comcast.
> > >
> > > Suggestions?
> > >
> > > Scott


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