New ADSL coming later today

by Michael Alderete on 2/2/2004

Last week I signed up for a new ADSL account with Speakeasy, a top-rated ISP providing service in the Bay Area. Over the last five days, just about everything that needed to happen has happened, except for receiving the new DSL hardware, which is “out for delivery” according to UPS’s package tracker.

The reason for the change is simple: we signed up for DSL after I moved in with Rochelle, at the end of 1998, when it became clear that our needs for internet access could not be met by a single phone line. “When are you going to be done with the internet?”

Back then, only one provider covered our neighborhood, and even then, only with their more expensive business-class SDSL service. With no other options, we signed up for it. We’ve had the 192/192Kbps service for about five years now, and neither the price nor the speed has changed.

Even once other DSL options came to our neighborhood, they initially weren’t much better, or cheaper, than what we had, and were a whole lot less reliable. I can count the number of times our DSL service went out on one hand — in five years! And of those, two occurred when the service was sold and transferred from one ISP to another, two outages that could have been planned for and minimized if the new ISP had been communicating better.

Today Moore’s Law and other developments have improved reliability tremendously, and left our 192Kbps service in the dust. We can get way more speed for half the price, and with reliability and quality of service that’s certainly good enough.

It took a little searching to find a DSL provider who explicitly allows running servers, who doesn’t block ports, and generally meets our slightly different needs (since we run our own network at home, including servers and custom domains, etc.). And then I needed to set up a more powerful firewall, that would make the migration smoother, etc.

That’s all mostly done, so I’m sure as soon as the new hardware gets here I will be tearing into the box, setting it up, and switching over — even though I should be doing other things. The concept of surfing 800% faster is intoxicating!

Our servers will migrate a little more slowly, since I’ll need to do things like update the DNS records, and other tricky technical stuff. There will be some disruption when I start those, probably this coming weekend, but using the new connection for our desktop systems should be a piece of cake.

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