After nearly 10 years with Speakeasy, I think the time may be approaching when I will need to leave them for another provider. The broadband market has not been kind to independent ISPs; as much as I'd like to continue to support what used to be a spectacular company, the writing is on the wall. I've probably been on borrowed time ever since Speakeasy decided to pull out of the residential market a few years back (I'm grandfathered in), and sold themselves to Best Buy (WTF?!??); a few months ago Best Buy turned around and sold 'em to Megapath.
For several days now, my DSL service has been a mess. There was an outage earlier this week, and things never returned to normal. Lots of dropped packets, repeated intermittent outages, and really poor throughput when it does manage to stay up. The badness seems to come in waves; sometimes it is so bad it is like being back on dial-up. I've been trying all evening to download some eBooks I bought from the O'Reilly half-off eBook sale, and it has been incredibly frustrating.
IMO the mess that has resulted from the Speakeasy-Covad-Megapath merger, plus the fact that they are still at the mercy of AT&T (who owns the "last mile" equipment) may very well prove fatal. To their credit some of their tech support people do still seem genuinely interested in helping (thanks, Kit!), but I suspect it is a losing battle. Other than Kit the support tech (who in the current regime has limited ability to actually *fix* things but did at least manage to keep the support ticket open when someone else wanted to close it after my circuit started passing a trickle of data again), MegaSpeakVad now seems to be ignoring my trouble ticket.
I'm looking at alternatives. If things don't return to normal within the next few days (and maybe even if they do...), I'll be signing a contract with someone else. A co-worker recently got Comcast Business Class service to his residence, and is quite pleased with it; as much as I detest some of Comcast's business practices, this may be my best option. It really pisses me off that Comcast may be my only viable alternative.
Unfortunately, even if I switch I will need to hang on to the Speakeasy account for a while, until my wife gets everyone she knows to switch over to a new e-mail address. She's already got a Gmail account, but not very many people know about her Gmail address yet.
The years just pass like trains. I wave, but they don't slow down.
-- Steven Wilson