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Cognigen Internet Services Speakeasy DSL User ID: flatrates Date: Thursday February 06, 2003

 
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Speakeasy Residential DSL: The Basics

 

Technology

What is DSL?
DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is a technology that uses a standard copper two-wire pair (or line) to transmit high speed (high frequency) Internet connectivity to areas that will support the service.

How fast is DSL?
DSL can obtain speeds as high as 1.5Mbps and above, but the speed your location can receive depends on your address, line quality and the distance to your local phone company's central office (CO). A Central Office is the main switching station for the phone lines in your area. It is the office where the ILEC (your local telephone company) connects the phone circuits, and makes the routes between local and long distance.

Can I get DSL in my area? Click here to run a pre-qualification on your address. This will determine if your address is in an area where DSL is available. DSL service can only be delivered within a radius from your phone company's local central office. Typically, our highest speed service is restricted to a distance of 15,000 feet from the central office it is served from.

What are the different DSL "flavors" available at Speakeasy?
Speakeasy offers several kinds of DSL service. The speeds and type of DSL available to you depends on two factors primarily: 1) Your distance from the phone company's Central Office (CO) and 2) the type of lines used between you and the Central Office (fiber/copper). Each type of DSL has a different price, and different important attributes.

ADSL - Asymmetric DSL is available up to 15,000 feet from a CO. Typically the download speed is faster than the upload speed. While ADSL can generally be installed up to 15,000 feet, this general rule does not guarantee that we will be able to install the circuit or that the circuit will perform at a reasonable level. Our ADSL service is also referred to as RADSL (Rate-Adaptive ADSL).

The term "rate-adaptive" means the technology adapts to your individual line conditions, e.g., your specific distance from the CO and the quality of the copper line that serves your DSL. Speeds expressed with ADSL packages are the maximum speeds your line may achieve. Although we will do everything within our power to provide you with the best possible service, due to the nature of the technology, ADSL services do not come with a service level guarantee. The actual speed is determined by both distance & copper quality, and installations resulting in "best business effort" speed (the maximum achievable speed based on technical conditions prior to install) will be considered successful. As many businesses require a guaranteed service, ADSL is not available for business locations. Speakeasy recommends SDSL service for all eligible businesses.

SDSL - Symmetric DSL, able to be served up to 15,000 feet from a CO. SDSL services deliver the same rate of download speed as upload speeds. It is a more robust connection, which is guaranteed at a certain level of connection speed.

IDSL - IDSL is based on ISDN, an older technology that was designed to work well with existing ISDN transmission methods. SDSL, and ADSL travel over regular copper lines and cannot have any electronics on them (such as, for example, amplifiers or repeaters - commonly used to "boost" the voice signal on conventional telephone lines). Some ADSL, and SDSL orders cannot be fulfilled because of electronics or distance issues that are uncovered during the ordering process. In that case, IDSL may be the best solution. IDSL has the ability to work over great distances, and through certain types of electronics. If you are very far away from a Central Office, or there are electronics on the copper line you are given by your phone company, you may still be able to get broadband service using IDSL.

How is DSL delivered to my business? Our business customers are provided with a DSL service that runs over a second, unused pair of copper wires running into your location. Your phone services and DSL service are on completely different wiring.

Ordering

If I am currently a dialup or email customer, can I keep my existing Speakeasy email address?
Yes! If you currently are a non-DSL customer, or a customer who wishes to add another DSL service to your account, we would prefer you call our sales department to add the DSL line as an addition to your current service(s). Do I need to have phone service through a specific phone company to order service?
Customers ordering DSL must have voice service on the service number provided through one of the ILEC's in their area. ILEC stands for Incumben Local Exchange Carrier. The allowable ILEC's which Speakeasy can provide service through are:

What phone number and address should I provide?
On the order form, please provide the phone number for the location where you wish to obtain service, as well as the name and address information from the phone bill for said number. The address and name we receive must EXACTLY match the phone bill (including punctuation and spelling) as the phone companies require identical information on our orders as appear already in their systems. If your address is significantly different in reality from the phone bill information, you may provide that information independently from the order, once the order is placed.

Can I specify a preferred line vendor?
Speakeasy places your order with a line vendor of our choosing. The decision of which vendor you are placed with typically is made based on availability of that vendor's service at your location, price, and speed to installation record. We cannot allow customers to select a specific vendor.

Installation

How long will it take to get DSL installed?
Depending on location and line availability issues, it can take anywhere from 12 to 45 business days on West Coast as well as through ILECs (local telephone companies) such as Ameritech. On the East Coast, time to install is usually around 20 to 45 business days.

Who is involved with installing my DSL?
There are three companies you should be aware of in this process:

  1. The ILEC: (Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier, also known as the phone company) Every provider of phone-provided internet connectivity has to interact on some level with the ILEC as they essentially "own" the physical wiring infrastructure from the Central Office to your home. This includes all the wiring, phone poles, and phone boxes. They are responsible for installing any physical connections.
  2. The CLEC: (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) We order our loops (or lines) through what is known as a CLEC. The CLEC leases the basic infrastructure from the ILEC to provide a separate, private, ATM layer of the Internet connection. We use connections through a CLEC because of the more robust and customer friendly data networks and speedy delivery. Your vendor may be one of a few CLEC's Speakeasy currently partners with.
  3. The ISP: That would be Speakeasy! Speakeasy provides the third layer of this service. The third layer of the internet connection is the service and IP layer. We connect you to the services that give your DSL connection value, such as email, web-hosting, static IP addresses, as well as provide complete customer support and billing functions.

Another computer analogy that might make this easier to understand is to think about purchasing a computer. If you are looking for a value computer service, you purchase from a name brand company who does the following:

  1. Buys the parts from another company to build the bare bones hardware of the computer.
  2. Uses another company to purchase the OS and/or software (say Windows as the OS and various virus protection software).
  3. Finally, provides the support, delivery, billing, and added features (like warranty) themselves.
Speakeasy's relationship with the ILEC and CLEC is essentially the same.

What are the steps for installing DSL?
As we allow our customers to choose between Residential SDSL and IDSL as well as standard ADSL, there are two processes for installation:

If you are ordering (R)ADSL service:

  1. Place an order with a Speakeasy Sales Representative and they will walk you through the process of getting your phone number and address to check availability. You can also order online at http://www.speakeasy.net/dsl/
    If you qualify, select your desired speed and answer a few questions so the order can be placed. Speakeasy will then supply you with an order number and web address to track your order.
  2. The order processes with the CLEC and ILEC. Speakeasy receives a date called the 'loop date', because your local telephone company connects the copper line at the central office to the CLEC equipment. Occasionally this date is not sent to us until after the work has been completed. Because the work requires no customer interaction, you do not need to be present at your home for this date.
  3. Once the connection date has passed and the connection has been verified, one of two things will occur. If you ordered the self install kit only option, you will receive a kit 3-5 business days after the connection date. If you ordered the Professional installation, you will also receive a kit, as well as an email detailing the date and service window for your technician visit. If you are receiving the Professional install, you or someone you know over the age 18 will need to give them access to do the work
  4. For those who have the self install kit only option, you should be ready to surf! Simply install the kit using the instructions included, and we will begin the billing process (unless contacted) in 7 days. If you are receiving a Professional installation, you or someone over the age of eighteen must be there to give the CLEC technician access to the location of your computer. They install the DSL bridge or router to the phone line, any special filters required, and verifies that the DSL signal is there at the speed you ordered. Billing will begin immediately after the completion of the successful service visit.

After that you are ready to browse the Internet. You can always call Speakeasy if you need any additional help configuring your computer.

If you are ordering SDSL or IDSL service:

  1. Place an order with a Speakeasy Sales Representative and they will walk you through the process of getting your phone number and address to check availability. You can also order online at http://www.speakeasy.net/dsl/ If you qualify, select your desired speed and answer a few questions so the order can be placed. Speakeasy will then supply you with an order number and web address to track your order.
  2. The order processes with the CLEC and ILEC. Speakeasy receives two dates at two different times. The first date is called the 'loop date', because your local telephone company visits and hooks up the cooper loop for your DSL circuit to the central office. The second date is called the 'installation date', because Covad visits your location and actually hooks up your line to the DSL bridge or router.
  3. The 'loop' date occurs. If your local telephone company has access to your phone box, you don't even need to be there. If the phone box is inside your residence, is otherwise inaccessible, or you are a Verizon customer you or someone you know over the age 18 will need to give them access to do the work. Once this is completed, you receive the second install date.
  4. The 'installation date' occurs. You, or someone over the age of eighteen must be there to give the CLEC technician access to the location of your computer. They install the DSL bridge or router to the phone line and verify that the DSL signal is there at the speed you ordered.
After that you are ready to browse the Internet. You can always call Speakeasy if you need any additional help configuring your computer.

What is a Self Installation?
Self-Installation is the option that all residential ADSL customers are defaulted to selecting when ordering, unless the only available vendor option is not offering self-installation kits. Customers with a "self-install" order will receive a self- installation kit 3-5 business days after the local telephone company installs the line. The kit contains a modem, line filters, network cables, and instructions for the self-installation of the DSL. The kit is simple to use and much quicker than the standard 4 hour wait for a technician. Customers who have more than 5 wall phone jacks, TDD devices, or alarm systems which use the phone number submitted must use our "Professional Installation" option. All SDSL and IDSL customers receive a Professional Install.

What is a Professional Installation?
For residential ADSL customers who either would prefer a technician to perform the installation, or fall into the previously mentioned categories, (see: What is a Self Installation?) we offer a Professional Installation. Customers receive the self- installation kit as normal, but also are scheduled for a technician visit. The technician performs the install, typically installing special filters if the phone configuration is out of the ordinary. There is an additional charge for this service, and does require an adult over the age of 18 to be present for the entire scheduled installation window.

What is included in the professional installation?
Our vendor technician performs the following tasks during an onsite, Professional installation:

Do I need any additional Inside Wiring for DSL?
If you are ordering our SDSL or IDSL service and know you need further internal wiring to carry the connection to your desired location for the modem, you will need to pre-approve inside wiring work/charges at order placement. We cannot allow approval after order placement. If you select to have the technician perform up to 2 hours of inside wiring and future wiring disputes arise, you will be responsible for providing the signed copy of the inside wiring authorization form which the tech has you sign at the completion of installation. Inside wiring can be easily and cheaply accomplished by your local electrical wiring professional, many of which are licensed and listed in the local yellow pages. Our vendors are NOT certified to do the extensive inside wiring work that sometimes is necessary. Approval at order placement is a protection step to ensure you are aware of any fees associated with the installation.

Can I cancel my phone line after DSL is installed?
If you are an ADSL customer you must not cancel or change your phone number for any reason. Because your service is shared on this number, any changes the phone company makes to that physical line will directly impact your service. If your phone service effects your shared-line service for any reason, regardless of personal fault, you will have to reorder service and have to pay any and all installation fees associated with the reinstallation.

SDSL and IDSL customers are not so strictly limited to their phone number, but are advised to not cancel the service number provided as it may negatively effect the DSL service.

What if I want to change local phone service carriers?
For the duration of your Speakeasy DSL service, you must maintain phone service with the same ILEC that you had at order placement.

Hardware and Network

Can I provide Internet access for multiple computers with a single DSL connection?
Yes, depending on the speed you get, many users can simultaneously use the same DSL connection. We will provide you with additional IP addresses for a very slight additional cost. Speakeasy will provide you with the DSL hardware, but you will need to provide any hubs or cabling necessary for your local network.

How is my DSL line connected to the Internet?
Your DSL line is directly two hops from your location to a Redback SMS 1000, and then to a Cisco 7000 router. It is connected to 11 Internet backbones, including MCI, Sprint, Alternet/UUNet, which are served by T1/OC3 and DS3 connections.

What additional computer equipment do I need to use DSL?
Each computer using the DSL for Internet access requires an Ethernet card. Using more than one computer with DSL also requires an Ethernet hub. Speakeasy does not provide Ethernet cards or hubs. This is your responsibility. Please contact a Speakeasy Sales Representative for details. If you wish to connect multiple computers to the DSL hardware, you will need to provide the necessary Ethernet hub and cabling for those computers.

What type of DSL modem will I receive?
Our Residential customers receive Efficient modems of the 52xx series. All residential services are configured in bridging mode with static IP addresses. Some packages may receive static IP addresses under the knowledge that we reserve the right to change those static IP addresses to dynamic IP addresses at some point.

Can I get routed service?
No. Routed service is a business class service and is not available with a residential connection. Most hard ware that is provided with the residential services is not capable of performing static routing. Your DSL modem is pre-configured for the service you ordered. Any additional modem configuration software that is provided with the hardware itself is not needed and contains features that will not work with your service level.

Can I obtain more static IP addresses after installation?
Yes, however you cannot have both static and dynamic IPs. In addition, there is a limit to 10 IPs per residential circuit. To have more than 10 static IPs, you'll need a Business level circuit. Any IP addresses added to your account that exceed your package limit will be charged per month, per IP.

Can I use a modem I already have from another DSL service?
You may use a modem from a previous DSL service, providing it is on our list of supported modem types. To find out if you can use your modem, please contact our sales department at 1.800.556.5829, option 3.

Billing

How will I be billed?
All Residential customers are invoiced via email. Invoiced are also available via our online MySpeakeasy page. Speakeasy bills for the month in advance and invoices one month prior to the start of the service window. These net-30 payment terms require payment by the first day of that service window to avoid any interruption in service. Customers are responsible for all email invoices sent, regardless of email address specified for billing being actively checked. We can provide mail forwarding and a change of the billing email address if requested. Paper billing for residential customers comes at an additional charge for processing costs.

Are there any fees other than my monthly service charges?
Speakeasy also bills you for one non-service fee: The Federal Universal Service Fee (FUSF). The FUSF is charged on all interstate communications services, including Internet connectivity. This is not a tax, and no customer is exempt from payment. Originally, the FUSF was set up as part of the Telecom Act of 1996 to help fund Internet connectivity for low-income areas and rural hospitals. You can find information about this here: http://www.fcc.gov/cib/consumerfacts/usfincrease.html.

Can I have my bills sent to another email address?
Yes! We allow the change of email address that the bill is sent to via our online customer service tool, MySpeakeasy.

Service Terms

Do I have to sign a contract to receive service?
Our contract with customers is called the Speakeasy Terms of Service. There are two ways this works. If you place your order online, you agree to these terms and provide initials that we save on record. Initials on Internet contracts have been recognized as legally binding digital signatures. If you place your order with a representative, they approve and add the initials for you, and provide you an email after order placement that gives you access to the terms for review. You then have 72 hours from order placement to cancel without penalty. Those customers keeping service after 72 hours are bound by the terms and any future modifications.

Is there a specific period of time I have to have service with Speakeasy?
We require all broadband customers retain service for 12 months from the date of order completion, as reported by the vendor. Those customers canceling after 72 hours of order placement or outside of any completion grace period are financially responsible for all associated fees as defined by our Terms of Service.

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