High Speed Internet

Last year when AT&T bought Bellsouth they had to agree to make DSL available for only $10 per month to existing phone customers who did not yet have DSL service with Bellsouth. They started offering this in July or so. But they also were required to offer DSL service without phone service for $19.95 per month to anyone in the Bellsouth service area. My plan was to wait for this and then drop my home phone service (about all I use my home phone for is dial-up internet and receiving unsolicited phone calls from my credit card company and non-profit organizations). The DSL service would actually cost less than my phone line. According to today’s paper, they started offering this on December 20, calling it FastAccess DSL Direct. The plan is actually DSL Lite, their slowest service with speeds “up to” 768 kilobits per second. My dialup is up to 50.6 kbps and right now is 48 kbps, so it should be a big speed upgrade even though AT&T offers plans of up to 3,000 kbps and 1,500 kbps.

The only catch is that you have to pay $75 for a modem. If you order DSL service over the web you can get a rebate of the $75, but you can only order the stand-alone DSL service over the phone. AT&T has to offer the $19.95 service for 30 months, so over a couple of years I wasn’t worried about the $75 for the modem. I called the toll-free number, 1-800-626-9149, waited on hold for about 20 minutes, and was ready to order. They were even going to cancel my phone service at the same time. I asked if there was any way to order this online so that I didn’t have to pay $75 for the modem. They said I could go ahead and order DSL lite online, get the modem, file the rebate, and then call AT&T and have them cancel my phone service and start giving me the $19.95 deal. So I’m going to try that. I can’t do it right now because they initiated an order for me and I have to wait a couple of hours before that order will be out of the system. It’s like waiting 2 hours to go swimming after you eat lunch.

4 thoughts on “High Speed Internet

  1. Well, I only waited an hour because I think that whole waiting two hours before swimming is a myth. I signed up online and should be able to get the rebate. The DSL Lite service is $19.95 without a contract, but they offered an option with a contract at $10, which I felt like I should stay away from.

    Honestly, I’m only trying this cheap way out of curiosity and at some risk. Mom said they gave her a $7.50 credit each month, but I don’t know that if I don’t have phone service that I would be able to continue to get a monthly rebate. I got a confirmation e-mail saying that the modem cost will be spread out over 10 months as a $7.50 charge on my monthly phone bill. I don’t know if I could have chosen it, but I should probably have put the $75 on my credit card because now the rebate will probably be drawn out over 10 months as well.

    Also I have to keep my phone service at least for a month or two until I get my rebate, so at $28 per month for two months I will be using up a lot of the “savings”. And the other possibility is that I am somehow excluding myself from eligibility by becoming a DSL customer or taking the rebate. So it could be a complete disaster.

  2. I was looking for a wireless router on Sunday so that I could use my Palm for wireless internet. The Netgear one like Mom has was $40 at Amazon and the Linksys one like Susan has was $50. That seemed kind of steep for a plain old 802.11g router. Fry’s had a store-brand router for $20, so I went up there to get it, though I worried about the tech support for a cheap router. When I got there they had a bin of Netgear routers for only $28, so I got one of those.

    AT&T says they shipped my modem, so I should be up and running in a few days.

  3. I got the modem today. Instead of a Westell modem like Mom’s, it is a Motorola 2010. I walked through the modem setup wizard which was very slow, but it worked. Eventually I was on the internet! A speed test indicated 631.7 kbps download speed and 95.4 kbps upload.

    I went to the AT&T site to check my rebate status, which then forwarded me to Bellsouth’s site which showed my rebate. When I clicked to accept it, I got a technical error. So I don’t know that I have actually requested my rebate yet. The site said it could take two months to process, but once they did that that any future installments for the modem would just be eliminated. The question of whether I need phone service that whole time is still up in the air.

    Then I ran through the Netgear setup wizard. At some point my computer froze up. Also they recommended I change my internet password, so I found a link where I could do that. Anyway, the Netgear setup went smoothly but after restarting everything, I wasn’t getting any internet. I think the problem was that I reset the password over the internet, but my modem was still using the old password. Though I could log on to my modem via the IP address 192.168.1.254, I didn’t see a place to set my password. And I didn’t want to install the tons of Bellsouth software they recommend. I used dial-up and eventually was able to change the password on the web back to the default. Once I restarted the modem and router, they worked fine. I named the network after my street address so at least people will know whose network they are trying to hack. But I did restrict access using WPA-PSK security and changed the admin password. I was able to get on the wireless network with my Palm no problem. Now if Apple will just introduce a high capacity iPod Touch at Macworld, I will be set.

  4. The rebate worked, however I wasn’t able to apply for it at the website above for several weeks. But after I received my first bill with an installment of $7.50 I applied for the rebate and it was processed (even though I no longer had phone service at that point; I did use my old phone number in applying for the rebate). On the next bill I got a credit for the previous month’s $7.50 and another one that cancelled out the current installment.

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