For the longest time (which roughly corresponds to at least the entire time I’ve lived there) I haven’t been able to get DSL at my apartment. Qworst, which is in charge of the telephone wires in my neighborhood in accordance with their government-mandated monopoly (how do you break up a national monopoly? Why, you break it up into slightly-smaller but still predatory regional monopolies, of course, you silly rhetorical questioner!) has long offered the paradoxical answer of “Yes, but, no” to the question: “Can I, in fact, get DSL at my address?”
The “Yes” part of the answer means, in corporate-monopolistic-style verbiage, “Yes, it’s available in our list of options in that area!” but the “but, no” part of the answer means “but, because we’d have to spend money to replace all the crappy decades-old equipment in that area, we wouldn’t make any money on it until there’s enough
suckers customers to pay us to install it, so all these stupid laws mean that we can’t actually sell it to you. Yet.”
The advantages of DSL over what I’ve had to settle for (Comcast cable modem broadband) is that, with a DSL line, I can have a dedicated, all-my-own IP address on the internets, and run a server out of my house. With a dedicated IP address I can have a domain pointed at the IP address, so that people wouldn’t have to remember a string of numbers that might change at any moment. Also, most companies that offer DSL don’t have restrictive terms of service like “If you run a server of any kind (email, ftp, porn, you know) we’re going to sue you and throw you into Gitmo as a terrorist and confiscate all your pretty shiny computers and spit on your friends and family and rape your pets and make fun of your personal consumer electronic device choices”, like, oh, say, Comcast does.
It’s so screwed. Comcast has faster download speeds, and decent upload speeds, but Cthulhu-forbid that you actually, you know, make use of those speeds. So, even though DSL is technically slower, it’s less-encumbered by restrictions of the legalistic type. Depending on where you buy your DSL service from, of course.
Here’s the problem: even though I could go to any of a number of places to buy DSL service (I’m thinking of Speakeasy, myself, but there’s lots of others and I haven’t decided yet)… it all comes in over your phone line.
And, therefore, because DSL comes into your house over phone lines… that means that, essentially, I have to deal with the local telephony monopoly at some point in the transaction.
I did win that battle, though. Basically. It was a tactical victory. I had to give up my phone number but I got out of a two-year contract without having to pay any early-cancelation fees. And, of course, I got Qwest in trouble with as many as four different consumer-protection agencies. And I got to own the sexiest phone ever (even though it’s very high maintenance and even (shhhh! don’t read this too loud!) a bit… um… jealous, noIamnotkidding).
So the idea of dealing with them again, even through a proxy… well, let’s just say that my cockles remain cold. Unwarmed, even.
Hmmm. Still trying to decide.