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Old 05-26-2007, 03:57 PM
 
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Hello. I'm moving to Cary this summer and have a question for any new transplants about DSL service. I called Bell South to set up my new telephone service, and they said that they coudln't offer me DSL service (for the location in Cary where I'll be living). It wasn't clear if it was a capacity issue (is Bell South limited in the number of DSL lines they can run in certain area?), or if the particular street where I'll be living just isn't in the correct proximity to Bell South's DSL lines (?).

Given that I'm not exactly moving to the country or some remote area, I was surprised by this. Did anyone have the same problem? The Bell South person did say that they may know later if they'll be alble to provide me with DSL service (not sure what she meant by that...)

Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2007, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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DSL uses the standard "POTS" telephone lines from your house to the telco's central office. There, however, the line has to be connected to a DSLAM (DSL... Access Multiplexer, I think), which has fixed capacity. It's big bucks for a telco to expand DSLAM slots so sometimes that doesn't happen right away. Alternatively, it could be an issue of the distance you are from your nearest telco central office, since DSL signal degrades above a certain number of thousands of feet.

My suggestion: I'd look at cable Internet. Generally higher than DSL, but they do have some lower cost, lower speed options more competitive with DSL.
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
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We're running into the same problem with Bellsouth in Chapel Hill. Our neighbor across the street has DSL but BellSouth says it does not have any available ports. We're on the waiting list. If we don't get it soon we will sign up for cable.
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull City Rising View Post
DSL uses the standard "POTS" telephone lines from your house to the telco's central office. There, however, the line has to be connected to a DSLAM (DSL... Access Multiplexer, I think), which has fixed capacity. It's big bucks for a telco to expand DSLAM slots so sometimes that doesn't happen right away. Alternatively, it could be an issue of the distance you are from your nearest telco central office, since DSL signal degrades above a certain number of thousands of feet.

My suggestion: I'd look at cable Internet. Generally higher than DSL, but they do have some lower cost, lower speed options more competitive with DSL.
Bull City, thanks for the info. I know a little about the DSL technology, but your explanation make it more clear.

I checked out Time Warner Cable's cable internet....it was around $44.00. Like Alice_61, though, if I can't get DSL, I may need to get cable internet. I'll be working out of my home, initially, and will need internet connection from Day 1.

Since you seem in the know about these things, what can you tell me about digital phone service? Time Warner offers it. I already scheduled Bell South for telephone service, but I'm wondering if I should go digital??? Can you tell me the major differences between regular & digital phone service?
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louiemoon0810 View Post
Bull City, thanks for the info. I know a little about the DSL technology, but your explanation make it more clear.

I checked out Time Warner Cable's cable internet....it was around $44.00. Like Alice_61, though, if I can't get DSL, I may need to get cable internet. I'll be working out of my home, initially, and will need internet connection from Day 1.

Since you seem in the know about these things, what can you tell me about digital phone service? Time Warner offers it. I already scheduled Bell South for telephone service, but I'm wondering if I should go digital??? Can you tell me the major differences between regular & digital phone service?
In re pricing... yeah, TWC hides the fact they offer multiple prices. Check out this page -- Time Warner Cable: Road Runner High Speed Online (http://www.timewarnercable.com/nc/products/roadrunner/order_info.html - broken link). There is a "Road Runner Lite" available for $30/month instead of the $44 for the full-speed RoadRunner. Still your download speeds are up to 1.5 Mbps which is as fast as regular cable modems were a few years ago... so it can be a really good deal.

In re digital phone -- I haven't used it through TWC before. In Boston we had MediaOne/Comcast and I liked their digital phone service, which was set up to run through your home telephone line (such that any regular extension in your house worked fine.) Also, theirs had a battery backup so that if the electrical power went out, your phone still worked (though if cable service went out, you were more out of luck.) I *think* TWC's does not have a built-in battery backup but it's been a couple of years since we checked. You might also check Vonage, Packet8, or one of the other VoIP carriers over a cable modem.

Good luck!
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Old 05-27-2007, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
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One thing I noted was Earthlink.net cable used Time Warner Cable was a couple dollars cheaper: $42.
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:49 PM
 
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Bull City, thanks again. I guess I'm more old-fashioned (rather, resistant to change), so I don't even know what digital phone service is. Are your phones somehow hooked to the cable lines that come into the house? Or do you still use regular phone jacks? Also, is there any difference, in terms of sound quality? I'm guessing you still get caller ID, voicemail, etc....and all of the other goodies that come with "regular" phone service?

[BTW, I did use Skype a few weeks ago, to view a web-cam video from a friend. I didn't like the idea of talking through the laptop's microphone. The sound quality was poor.]

I appreciate your help!!! (Heh! You'd think someone in IT would know about things like VoIP and such....but hey, I'm a project manager. Like any good PM, I try not to get that embedded in the details!)
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,024 posts, read 5,646,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louiemoon0810 View Post
Bull City, thanks again. I guess I'm more old-fashioned (rather, resistant to change), so I don't even know what digital phone service is. Are your phones somehow hooked to the cable lines that come into the house? Or do you still use regular phone jacks? Also, is there any difference, in terms of sound quality? I'm guessing you still get caller ID, voicemail, etc....and all of the other goodies that come with "regular" phone service?

[BTW, I did use Skype a few weeks ago, to view a web-cam video from a friend. I didn't like the idea of talking through the laptop's microphone. The sound quality was poor.]

I appreciate your help!!! (Heh! You'd think someone in IT would know about things like VoIP and such....but hey, I'm a project manager. Like any good PM, I try not to get that embedded in the details!)
Hi Louie,

With digital phone service, the cable co. hooks up a box between your cable connection -- it's an interface between your inside house wiring and the cable network. I think it does use VoIP on the back-end, but on a controlled network basis (with QoS and all sorts of other goodies.) The phone quality and reliability, in my experience, has been as good as regular ol' telephone service and better than Vonage.
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Austin TX
959 posts, read 4,326,889 times
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We are using Time Warner for phone, internet, and tv. If you have all three services you then get a discount on your total. This is the second cable company we've done this with and we've been really happy. You won't notice a difference with digital phone at all, quality wise. I even talk to my brother who's in college in Bulgaria and it's crystal clear And the roadrunner is very fast. Pages are loading faster for me than they were on my Cox cable in Northern VA. Nevertheless I'm considering going up to Roadrunner Turbo which is an extra $10 and even faster We use our computers very heavily for various things...

I also highly recommend Time Warner's customer service (though be sure to call them directly and not use a third party to order - I did that and they messed up my order). We had a weak signal and they ran a new cable through our attic and all the way out to the street at no extra charge. When I initially called them (the weak signal was discovered b/c our phone was working intermittently after they set it up) - they were there in less than an hour. They said they take lost phone VERY seriously b/c you never know when someone will have to use it in an emergency. They always try to be at your house in less than an hour. Oh, AND they called to make sure everything was working ok after each service visit.
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
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Indigo,

Does your digital phone have a battery backup? Have you checked for 911? Have you had any phone outages?

Thanks,
Alice
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