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Why anyone is paying $61.90 per month for broadband connectivity now that SBC and Yahoo! are offering it at 15 bucks a month is a fine question. I pay my bill to the same company Greg does and I pay only $42.95 per month.

So why does Greg continue to pay $20 more per month? Because he cringes at the possibility that, while switching providers will lower his monthly bills, he might subject himself to a visit to customer support €œhell.€ That is a very scary place €" a place where dialing an innocent toll-free number may ultimately lead to multiple hand-offs €" across the country and almost certainly across the world.

Narrowband is all but dead. No one in their right mind would sign up €" or should be allowed to sign up €" for anything other than high-speed Internet access. It is no longer a question of whether to have broadband, but from whom to buy broadband. The SBC-Yahoo! offer at $15 is very appealing, though it does require self-provisioning. For those technically fit and with loads of patience €" this is a compelling choice, but for Greg and the rest of us whose hearts skip a beat with even momentary loss of connectivity, the comfort is worth skipping a double latte each day.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Neal is correct. Customer service and start-up glitches are hell. I've been there. And inertia is a real thing — I'm living proof. Like most people these days, I've got too many things going on to deal with this.

    The issue of why I pay that much for comcast is a legacy issue. There was no DSL/competition in my area and I'm a long-time broadband Internet subscriber.

    Comcast bought AT&T cable (my previous provider) and then tried to extort cable TV/internet bundles at $80+ per mo. I told them to take a flying leap and filed a complaint with the CA atty general (too bad Eliot Spitzer's in NY) and the CA PUC. Needless to say: no action from the govt.

    But perhaps all this public shaming will motivate me to change. Stay tuned.

  2. Now that numbers are portable (at least in my area), you can move to Voice over IP and get great price reductions by bundling. I am getting VOIP phone service, high-speed internet access, a digital video recorder settop and a bunch of premium TV services all for $115 per month from Optimum Online. I was paying that for land-line voice service alone!

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