ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, PacBell, SBC

ISP Hall of Shame Inductee

Say, aren't you forgetting someone?
Pacific Bell (My RBOC)

ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, PacBell, SBC


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Say, aren't you forgetting someone? Pacific Bell (My RBOC)

You know, you're right! I plumb forgot to mention the RBOC. My Regional Bell Operating Carrier is Pacific Bell, now a subsidiary of SBC Communications (NYSE: SBC). A long time ago, they provided the dual-channel ISDN line (128K) to my apartment when I was working for A Big 3D Graphics Workstation Firm. More recently I had to deal with them when I had DSL installed.

PacBell (a.k.a. PacHell) is accused of failing to make scheduled appointment windows (that's called "lying" in my book), billing for services not received ("theft" in my book), providing crummy ISP services like frequently down mail servers ("bad service" in my book), offering bait-and-switch promos ("cheating" in my book). A subsidiary of parent company SBC Communications is accused of deliberately throttling down NNTP (USENET) connections in Houston, Texas to speeds far slower than posted claims ("false advertising" in my book).

PacBell DSL sucks for specific reasons. They gouge you with fees and/or penalties. There's really no escape. You can get a free modem and maybe installation if you sign up for a year or you pay a hundred bucks and pay for installation if you don't want to commit. On top of that they offer technologically inferior Asymmetrical DSL (ADSL), meaning that upload speed is severely restricted (128K or maybe 256K if you're lucky). Compared with Telocity SDSL (784K/784K), that's pathetic and you really can't host a web site.

The folks that bring you POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) do one thing good: plain old telephone service. They still suck, though.

May 3, 2001 update

While SBC started it in February, the other Baby Bells have been increasing DSL charges following AT&T's recent price increase for cable modem service. Unlike long-distance and wireless telecommunications, it looks like consumer-grade broadband Internet is going to follow the cable industry's practice of increasingly expensive rates.

Phone companies suck.

October 14, 2001 update - Broadband is very, very ill

There's a bill in Congress, the Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act, that would allow the RBOCs to not have to open up local access before jumping into the long-distance services market. Basically, this bill would be a legal endorsement for the anti-competitive practices that have killed off all of their independent DSL competitors (e.g., NorthPoint, Rhythms, Covad).

If this bill passes (H.R. 1542), broadband access will probably be set back several years. Then again, even if this bill does not pass, the RBOCs are probably too strong anyhow (they haven't shown any predilection in playing fair).

February 8, 2002 update

The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is investigating allegations that Pacific Bell is "cramming" DSL subscribers, i.e., loading up their bills with false charges. This comes at a particularly bad time for the phone company as they are applying to get into the long-distance market. Serves the jerks right.

February 27, 2002 update

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1542, a.k.a. Tauzin-Dingell (after the two authors) today. It goes to the Senate now where, if it passes, four companies will have won: BellSouth, Qwest, SBC, and Verizon, essentially "The Phone Company." All other DSL providers will be snuffed out.


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BlueLight/Spinway
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Last modified on Wed Jan 1 18:38:37 GMT 2003
by tarahertz@yahoo.com
Copyright © 1999-2003 Tara Hertz.
All rights reserved.

ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, PacBell, SBC