Somewhere on this site I saw critiques of companies alleging to provide phone and Net services. My brief comment is to stay as far as possible away from Earthlink. I switched to them because I was so dissatisfied with Qwest, was promised by Earthlink that they were not affiliated with Qwest, but of course that was a lie, and the so-called service is unbelievably bad. The problem is that I saw some reports of satisfied customers here. And my close neighbor is happy with Qwest and Broadstripe, but I saw a long list of horrifying reports on Broadstripe elsewhere. It’s amazing how bad some of them are and even more amazing how much difference there is in our experiences. It also seems ridiculous that we have so few choices.
broadstripe has declared bankruptcy:
They have to be ‘fair’ and support the other providers based on the Ma Bell breakup and other history. At least that’s what I heard.
If you are talking about what I think you’re talking about, unfortunately, the telecos got out of that requirement about 5 years ago via loopholes in the FCC regulations.
So, at this time, it is possible and common to have zero choice in your ISP, e.g., if Qwest is the only provider on your street, you can have Qwest or nothing. And, in many parts of the country–especially in rural areas, there is literally zero broadband Internet access at all. (Handling this was part of the same regulations and billions of dollars in tax breaks for the telecos that came out of the Ma Bell breakup–that requirement also got lost in the loopholes).
There’s a lot to complain about, in general, with regards to the telecos and cable companies as ISPs and the way they’ve used their monopolies to offer crap service at high prices. One could also complain about their efforts to change the Internet to be more like the worst aspects of cable TV + long distance phone service. But, I think Qwest is one of the least worst of them at this point–they’re the least mucking around with people’s uses, in my experience.
So, not great by any measure. But, better than some others.
Also, to the degree that it may make a difference, the current U.S. President actually seems to see this whole situation as a real problem that needs to be fixed–e.g., it’s a national infrastructure issue, or it’s an issue created by government regulation gone awry. The past president and some of the other candidates in the last election seemed to see this more as a “business issue” that they could leave to take its own course.