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Northpoint DSL Warns Customers of Shutdown 111

noweb4u writes "According to their website it looks like the failed merger with verizon was the straw that broke the camel's back. Hope they can get funding enough to allow their DSL customers to migrate to other providers." CNNfn also more details about the details of the case - for all those who are Northpoint customers - good luck.
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Northpoint DSL Warns Customers of Shutdown

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  • Well I have been on PhoenixDSL for awhile, awaiting my ISP (phoenixdsl, who is dead as well) to transfer me to Telocity. Guess that isn't going to happen. Now the question is whether to order from AT&T if they offer me access on my PheonixDSL acquired DSLAM (think they will do that?)--- or do I go with Rhythms???

  • This, plus all of covads troubles is very disconcerting... it would seem unthinkable that broadband could "go away"... I do not like the thought be being left with only cable.

    Are these broadband companies managing money poorly, or is it just impossible for a "new" company to provide a telecom related service?
  • Much more of this kind of news and all that will be left are the horrible ILEC's service.

    We are already seeing the effects here in Kansas City .. SBC has raised the rates for new DSL to $50.00 .. with little competition in the CO's locally .. why bother with anything else .. this as opposed to Time Warner / AOL ..

    I wouldn't put it past Steve Case to make a *nix client for AOL .. or have him abandon all non windows / Mac users in a heartbeat ..

  • Jeez, I could see this happening to us @Home [yahoo.com] subscribers if the company can't turn it around...

    They can't take away my cable modem.. I'm addicted to speed!! =)
  • Bankrupt digital subscriber line company NorthPoint Communications will sell substantially all of its assets to AT&T for $135 million in cash.

    maybe I am dumb, but aren't the customer accounts counted as assets? so wouldn't the customers become AT&T customers?

    But that is not what I get from their website [northpoint.net].

    Looks like they are mostly hardware, at least according to the AT&T press release [att.com].

    Some business managers can be so dumb.

  • Hope they can get funding enough to allow their DSL customers to migrate to other providers.


    This is where /. loses me sometimes (usually during the midst of a 340 page JonKatz angst-filled essay on the evils of capitalism).

    Can any slashdotter name where funding comes from? Yes, the same schucks that are getting pounded on Wall Street right now. Idiots like myself that bought Redhat (yea, stupid idea, I know).

    Why would any halfway sane investor put money into something only to fund moving customers away?

    And don't these customers share some accountability, chosing an undercapitalized, poorly managed provider?

  • This failed merger reflects the slowdown of the Net economy. This slowdown was forseen by the pundits several months ago, as the peak of the get-rich-quick IPOs became the slump of the IPO-and-die.

    I believe that we are on the verge of an economic slowdown, and although politicians have talked about fixing it, it is very hard to prevent the US economy from doing what investors want.

    Face it. Since much of the world's economy is dependent on the US's economy, a global economic slump is likely to fall into a depression. Of what degree remains to be seen. It happened in 1929; it can happen again.

  • no, the site for lamers who cant get laid is www.icantgetlaid.com
  • Surely it's not that hard to work out the business plan?

    The costs are well known, they know what they are planning to charge.

    They know how much Venture Capital they have.

    And knowing that they go offering a service hoping someone will just give them more money to make them viable!

  • I think about the ones that lost jobs and whose DSL connections are in peril.

    I must admit that the customer service I got from them wasn't quite stellar, however. I wound up going through the local ILEC [uswest.com], simply because they had actually gotten back to me within a day or two, a month after I had requested information from Northpoint. By the time Northpoint had gotten back to me, my circuit was up and I was cruising along with an awesome local ISP [visi.com].

    I'm generally not an anti-corporatist, but I do hope that they win their suit and put at least a little chink in the evil keiretsu that is Verizon, which appears to have put their offer on the table as a bargaining chip in their labor disputes last summer.

    (end comment) */ }

  • Many of these customers had no choice. If the only broadband provider in your neighborhood is Northpoint (which is the case for many, many people, unfortunately), you have no alternative, and, therefore, the concept of consumer choice is nonexistant.


    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • I guess there would be little chance now of me getting my rebate check from Northpoint.

    Anyone interested in a lightly used 3com SDSL modem fer real cheap? Throw in an RJ45 cable at no charge.
  • So what other major DSL providers does this leave? Besides Covad, and the local telcos (which typically suck). Hopefully, a lot of the customers left stranded by Northpoint will migrate to ISP's that go through Covad...

    Just FYI to anyone interested in DSL...I would have to say that I've had an excellent experience with Covad. The technician showed up three minutes EARLY and the installation took about 3 minutes. Speakeasy is my ISP and I have nothing but good things to say about them, too... including their liberal policies about customers running servers over their lines (a rarity for broadband providers).
    http://www.bootyproject.org [bootyproject.org]
  • (Since you're posting here I'll assume your a geek - here is my geek review of Telocity):

    Email is outsourced and sucks (unrealiable, down, etc) - run your own if you don't already...

    NNTP (usenet) was awesome but they have cut key people and one of those was their news admin so currently it is falling over but being worked on (speeds are good now but only within the last week, management has required the current people to fix the news server enough so they can get stats on how broken it is so that they can then give them a budget to upgrade it, WTF!).

    Network is good when we don't have routing problems - at one point in time we were down for days but lately it has been good. I get a consistent 85-90 Kb/s down (and up) the pipe.

    So go ahead and run your own server (which they allow) for email (ideally with a backup mx outside of Telocity for when they go down). They have an offer with on usenet provider to get a free account for a year to make up for the news problems (I haven't tried them yet so no comment).

  • by scoove ( 71173 ) on Thursday March 22, 2001 @10:13PM (#345765)
    Good objective points from child_of_mercy. Unfortunately VC's in general are not objective.

    The costs are well known, they know what they are planning to charge.

    Costs are a funny thing. Look at your typical VC-funded startup. Instead of "doing the right thing", they get told (by the VC) to buy "solutions from Lucent" (or insert your favorite dead but still doesn't know it 1950s culture company repackaged-for-your-enjoyment dot-com name here).

    Remember the VC line: "You don't have time to grow organically! We've projected you to triple in size every month in order to facilitate our exit strategy."

    Having spent the last 2.6 years at one of these, I watched people spend $5 million a shot on things that cost...well... two linux boxes and a good weekend. Their answer to the challenge? "Hell if I know. The VCs said they'd fund it." (Seriously, ever here of Billdats? That's the Lucent word for "takes a linux boxen, perl, ftp and a good weekend... $3 million please")

    They know how much Venture Capital they have.

    But they're always planning on more. It's a drug. The best companies I've seen never got hooked, unfortunately.

    And knowing that they go offering a service hoping someone will just give them more money to make them viable!

    Does throwing money at bad management, bad vendors, bad processes, etc. make them viable over time? Usually it just grows very big ineffective companies. (Of course, it does make for very nice Ebay auctions of the spoils from such chapter 7's...)

    Nothing beats the power of the market to kill off the weak VC ploys.

  • Northpoint is a fucked company in many senses of the word. They were fucked by their customers, and by their "buyers".

    It is likely that Northpoint would have been doing much better if they hadn't needed to write off millions in debt from partner ISP's that never paid up. Phoenix DSL fell apart, and I don't think they ever got a cent from Flashcom. This is info given to me from friends of mine that worked there, and my memory of the details may be hazy, but that is the general idea.

    (end comment) */ }

  • Basically in the same boat. Guess I should have seen it coming. I had service from Northpoint and PhoenixDSL for 10.5 months before they billed me at all. Then only after the Telocity sale did I start getting a bill. Wonder why they went bankrupt? :-)
  • Is it surprising that we are *in* an ecconomic slowdown after what happened over the last couple years in the tech market?

    Just because the tech market is getting hit doesn't mean we are in a depression. There was no way the over valued tech stocks could maintain the false expectations of investors. If the slump hadn't come now it would have been even dirtier in a year or two.

    So hopefully the tech market will slump down to actual (instead of hyper-inflated) worth and we'll all continue happily on. Those that invested heavily in the tech market will feel the burn but the rest of the country (and the world) doesn't have to feel the burn too...

  • Why?
    Because I give a shit about businesses who rely on DSL service to continue to exist. Trust me, they do exist. These small businesses that depend on these lines get royally screwed when their provider goes out of business with little or no warning (my previous employer used redconnect, until they went under in november, so I know this from experience)
    Just think of the impact of all these businesses which are struggling to survive in this market being driven down by a loss of connectivity, and tell me that is better than some day trader losing a bit of money.
    Those who put their money in the stock market are gambling, and they know it. If they have to lose a little money so that people aren't left high and dry, then waaaahhhh waaaahhh.
    Better than several people losing their jobs. Fortunately I was able to secure another one as I was privvy to the state of the company and knew it was going down rather quickly, but my coworkers weren't so lucky.
  • I meant to include that I whole heartedly recommend Telocity *IF*:

    a) you expect *consumer* level service
    b) you don't mind running your own email
    c) you can live with news sucking

    I've been a Telocity subscriber for almost two years now (and no, I don't work for them :->).

  • I know why their bankrupt..they pay their employee's wayyy too much..Not that I complained or anything =). I went from being a LVL 2 tech. at a local ISP to an ITAC at Northpoint. ( copper line testing, DSLAM configurations, etc. ). They paid me $22/hr. *but*, they made me work 5am-4pm, so with all that OT it came out to be roughly $72k/year. Pretty sweet for an 18yr. old guy who still lives at home.
  • The VCs also encourage out-sourcing because it is "hip" right now and they often have a finger in the pie of the house providing the outsourced service... Never mind that the level of service you actually get will probably suck or that the cost will be higher than doing it in house.

    The VCs are out there for one thing: make tons of money and have fun while doing it... Do they really care about the investors who come late to the party? Do they care about actual value? Do you care about sustained growth?

    NO! All they care about is hyping the venture to gain initial value so they can cash out. For anyone who has valued the tech market over the last couple years this alone should be obvious. The VCs and underwriters make a *KILLING* on IPOs. Everyone else who invests in these over-hyped ventures is basically screwed.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Jesus H. Christ

    Northpoint, Jato, and many many other of these DSL providers that have gone down were NOT small time operations. The economy downturn hurt them plenty because of their poor planning. They thought that they were going to expand big, which I would have been thrilled with. People want DSL, or some other form of decent broadband service.

    Who is next to hurt? I fear that Verio may also be hurting a plenty right now. But I have no indication of that.

    Beyond their own internal faults, something that really really hurt these providers were the telcos.

    If you have a choice, please oh please do not go running to a telco for your service. This includes, in no order of quality for the lack of my ability to identify any, Bell South, Southwestern Bell, Verizon (GTE + Bell Atlantic), Ameritech, Pacific Bell, USQwest.

    The telcos have severely fucked these DSL providers every chance they got. I can say this with detailed insider knowledge, having worked for a major ISP which provided services to both Northpoint and Jato. The big problems were getting their equipment racked in at any kind of normal speed or with ease -- the telcos gave them such ass about quality rackspace and access. Just going in to access their own equipment was nearly impossible should their have been an unscheduled outage or the like. The other big two problems were getting upstream (backbone) circuits provisioned correctly and in decent time -- never happened -- and doing customer premise inspection and prep work.

    Now, you are pretty much stuck with the telcos and the big dumb cable providers.

    This burns me, a lot.

    Put your telco flame threads here...

  • A year ago I did get my rebate from Northpoint.
    I had to call them every single day for almost
    5 weeks. Everyday it was some bullsh*t about, we'll check into it and call you. I guess now that they are bankrupt even that tatic will not work.

    I can guess why they went bankrupt, I had service for 10.5 months before they sent me the first bill for service.
  • I will second that. I had nothing but pleasant experience with Covad. Their install people were knowledgable, and knew what they were doing. I am familiar with the horror stories with Pac bell (bay area).

    I get a static IP, un interrupted service, and a curtesy mail when they perform repairs on lines/routers.

    But recently there were also in trouble, as their ISPs aren't paying the bills.

    Let the market decide who survives...

  • by Zeus305 ( 104737 ) on Thursday March 22, 2001 @10:41PM (#345776)

    and it is such a shame that they are bankrupting, because I have been so pleased with their service over the last year. They're instalation and service was excelent. I have no idea what I'm going to do. I have loved my static ip, and I got such a great deal ($30 / month) that i dont know if I will be able to fnd such an offer again. I need a drink. Anyway, there is more info at http://www.ev1dsl.net [ev1dsl.net]. My ISP (Everyone's Internet), who is one of the largest customers of Northpoint, sent this e-mail:

    You are receiving this message because you have DSL service with Everyones Internet and that DSL service is provided through Northpoint.

    You may, or may not be aware, that Northpoint declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in mid-January with the plan to find a buyer who would purchase the company and keep the system active. There is a court hearing today that will determine if this will be the case of if the company's assets will be liquidated and the network taken down.

    Until early this week, all indications were that there was a buyer that would buy Northpoint and keep the company alive. We have since learned, (from a source deemed reliable but we cannot be sure) that at least one leading bidder plans to purchase the hard assets and shutter the network. The effect of the latter possibility is that EV1 could no longer provide you with DSL.

    Let me remind everyone that, as of this moment, EV1 is still under contract with Northpoint for your lines and you are still under contract with EV1 for your line.

    Later this morning in California, there will be a court hearing regarding this matter. We will provide an additional update once this hearing has ended.

    I would like to assure you that we are participating in the Northpoint bankruptcy process, have filed a number of motions, and are seeking to protect the interests of our company and our subscribers.

    EV1 is committed to assisting our subscribers through this process. We have assembled a team which began work this morning. We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

    In the event of a shutdown of the Northpoint Network, we will provide each DSL subscriber with a temporary dial-up account at no cost to ensure you have some form of Internet service during the transition. We are also negotiating with several companies who offer competing broadband technology to offer you reduced or eliminated installation costs, expedited installation, and a simplified ordering process.

    The above is all of the information that we have at the present time. After the court hearing, we will provide you with an additional update.

    For up-to-the-minute status updates, you may check www.ev1dsl.net . We will post the information here as well as send it in email form. In the event that the Northpoint network will be shuttered, we will provide you with a telephone number to reach our DSL Response Team direct who will be able to assist you.

    Hoping for the best,

    Robert Marsh
    Head Surfer

  • by steak ( 145650 )
    i used to work at a isp that has dsl partnership with northpoint, im glad i dont work there now
  • Speakeasy is my ISP and I have nothing but good things to say about them, too... including their liberal policies about customers running servers over their lines (a rarity for broadband providers).

    Speakeasy is awesome! I have 2 static IPs with them, and I run a small webserver (mostly to serve IRC and mailing list stats) and a bot off of one of the IPs. The other IP is for my normal everyday internet surfing :)
    The reverse dns policy of theirs is great too - makes having a custom hostmask on IRC *much* simpler and more reliable than going through BNC, or something similar. Having the occasional luser ask me, "how did you hide your address?" is always interesting, especially when I tell them I didn't :-)

  • Companies that foolishly believed in huge dollar-per-user, hype-driven business models are dying like fleas in a dip tank.

    In the past two weeks, I lost not one but two ISPs. Both had been bought and sold multiple times, and in the end the companies that bet on them last were left with an investment they did not understand. One of them was then folded under another subsidiary ISP, and both were bankrupted by the parent company. If the investors don't get them, the SEC and IRS will.

    The other just sold all the human beings to EarthLink, land of the Clams. We were given an opportunity to cancel our accounts before they send the customer list to Clamlink, but an incompetent ISP is an incompetent ISP, so I have no doubt that the scn suckers now know enough about my credit card to cause me a great deal of irritating correspondence.

  • Check out DSLreports.com [dslreports.com] before you pick your next provider. They have community reviews of DSL and other broadband providers, including user-contributed bandwidth and packet loss reports. Very cool!

    (And before someone accuses me like on my last post, no, I don't work for them... 8-) )

    - Todd
  • I have 416K SDSL service through Best/Verio. Northpoint is the actual DSL provider, and they've done nothing to annoy me. Actual transfer rates are typically in the 480K bit range. Occasionally, the entire net will vanish, killing my Quake/HalfLife games, but that's more down to Best/Verio's routers going apesh*t than Northpoint's equipment. In fact, I can't ever recall a ping failing to get through to Best's nameserver, which tells me Northpoint had their act together.

    I really can't understand why two of the biggest DSL providers are on the ropes. I can't use cable modem service (I want to run servers), and I really don't want PacificSmell's ADSL offering (I want to run servers, which needs more than 128K upstream). I don't know of any other DSL network providers in my area (SF Peninsula). I'm not rich enough to afford a full T1, and PacificSmell would probably fsck it up, anyway.

    Even if it means I have to change out my DSL modem, I'd prefer to be switched over to Covad. Maybe the influx of new customers will help keep them going.


  • Working for a cable company that does sell @Home I can tell you that we are not loosing customers no matter how crappy our service gets. Last week we installed 10,962 disconected 2,876 making a gain of 8,086. Not bad for the failing e-conomey. Anyone who uses a broadband connection knows that you cant go back to dial-up its worse than crack.

  • At least you have options, and an alternative if your current provider goes away. Here, we just recently got cablemodem service in town, so if someone doesn't like Qwest (local telco), they at least have a second option for highspeed. As for ISP's, don't get me started. I'm on my second, and _very_ happy with this one, but there's very few to choose from. Guess that's what I get for living somewhere with trees, open spaces, and no traffic problems.

  • the press release on the NPC website says that AT&T acquired "... customer contracts.."

    I assume that means the customers folow the contract.

  • Tips when looking for a DSL provider(from someone already hurt this northpoint thing about 2 months ago):

    -Go with a national carrier.
    -Go with someone that provides everything...most DSL providers provide a link between someone like Northpoint(the line and dsl equipment that makes the dsl signal go to you), and UUNet(or the like). Otherwise your ISP doesn't own the line, some company they contracted with does(this is what screwed my company).

    There's only a few companies that provide nationwide service and own the lines and the equipment also. Most are telco companies.

    I'm happily with MPower Communications [mpowercom.com]. They got us up in 2 weeks, and it's very cheap. 150/month for a 1Mbit SDSL line, and a static IP. They even do voice over ip, which is very cool, and cheap also.

  • "Merger" is such a euphamism. They probably
    asked too much for their stock price, and
    Verizon elected to NOT buy them. There's no
    way this was a "merger," anyway. Verizon is
    a 250,000 employee company.

  • SWBell is by far, the worst ISP, I have nothing but bad from them... Prices went up to $50 (new customers), 30 min lagged email servers, daily disconnections (I even PREPARE for them, as if its death), and the WORST tech support, WE knew more than them! It took 3 months to get here, I've heard people waiting up to a year arguing with them... The service is PPPOE, and they will NOT allow any kind of servers, those bastards port scan. The speeds, are pretty decent though, 250kbps/sec. But, that is when you can actually get on it. What would be the alternative to SWBell DSL? Cable access (from COX) soon to be, forbiding you from look at--pr0n! Yes, its true... Who knows what else they forbid, they are censoring free information. Anyone going to back my SWBell story up?

  • by Polo ( 30659 )
    First COVAD cut me off (I had IDSL service, which they don't support anymore). I thought I had a chance to change to northpoint, but now it looks like that's not an option either...

    I'm 22k feet from the CO and I don't think I have other DSL options...
  • That's nice. Of course, most of us don't have that option. The only option I have for broadband was Northpoint. Now that is going away so I'm either back to ISDN or going to have to buy a new analog modem for the first time in 6 years. If only this was happening next year.. at least then I could plan on moving into an area with cable modem access.
  • And don't these customers share some accountability, chosing an undercapitalized, poorly managed provider

    Depends on when you became a customer, now, doesn't it. I signed on in July, 1998, replacing a crochety, expensive, PITA ISDN line with a 416k SDSL line that cost 1/3 as much. At the time, Northpoint was:

    • Well-funded
    • Intelligently managed
    • Had _really_ good techs and support staff.
    Unfortunately, they IPO'd. The result was that the Wall St. dickheads started running things with an eye to short-term profit, not long-term viability of the business. Service was the first thing to go, then support, as they hired hacks by the score to deal with all their new customers. Add 2 years of explosive growth, and you get what you see currently.

    Am I pissed? Yes. Am I _seriously_ pissed that I'm going to have to order a new Covad line (god help me, not one of those SBC disasters) tomorrow morning? Yes. Am I responsible for their taking a viable business plan, throwing it out the window, and trying to grab tons of market-share without worrying about profitability? NO.

  • According to this CNET [cnet.com] article they're not taking over the customer base:

    Ma Bell agreed to buy "substantially all" of NorthPoint's assets for $135 million, the companies said. The phone company will use NorthPoint's networks to offer both high-speed Net service and voice telephone service, a spokeswoman said. AT&T is not taking over NorthPoint's customers along with the network, the companies said.

    I REALLY hope this is wrong information. I can't take going back to dialup. I think I'm probably going to have to pick up a gun and go on a shooting spree if that happens.

  • In Europe the prices are much higher. Before you all start shouting that the telecom companies here are so inefficient or still ruled by old (fading) monopolies, there might be other factors (too):

    For example in Switzerland you can have an ADSL service @ 256/64 for about $60/month, and 512/128 at $90-$100 per month.

    That may seem very high by US standards, and maybe it is overpriced, but on the other hand:

    • They will provide the service to the whole country within one year, i.e. not only to the bigger cities but also to all rural areas. Companies do not only pick the most profitable areas and leave the rest in the cold.
    • They make profit very fast, thus the chances for good services and stability (no bankrupcies) is very good.
    It seems in the US many make immense investments, just to get market share first, in fact giving the service too cheap. Later people will find out that the service is bad, might even be discontinued and/or prices have to be raised.
  • I am not too sure about this but... the FCC has rules in place that make it mandatory that each DSL company have its own equipment installed at the C/O and if you decide to switch DSL providers, they come out to your house and do yet another line test - regardless of the fact that you already have DSL. These rules were put into place to ensure that the consumers have multiple choices - or - so that mergers of DSL telco's wouldn't end up making one large DSL provider. Since ATT is already a DSL provider, it may still be necessary under FCC regulations to shut your service off, test your line and finally reinstall the same DSL service that you had. great protections for the consumer eh?
  • The funding will come from the 'partners' that the customers will be migrating to. This is just another form of customer acquisition. If Acme Corp wants Northpoint's customers, then Acme Corp better give Northpoint enough money to stay afloat long enough to migrate the customers over.
  • by Whackass Vinyl ( 318080 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @12:12AM (#345795)
    Okay, so it's lame, I get my DSL through MSN. How else am I going to get 1.5M/128K for $40/month?

    Dear MSN HighSpeed DSL customer:

    I regret to inform you that MSN is temporarily unable to provide you with MSN HighSpeed DSL service. We apologize for this situation and any inconvenience you may experience. We are temporarily suspending our DSL service because our DSL wholesale provider, NorthPoint Communications, is unable to provide wholesale access to MSN. Due to this unfortunate circumstance, your DSL service will be discontinued within the next week. You may have read or heard recently in the news about the rapid changes in the DSL market, the turmoil in the capital markets, and the difficulties this has caused for wholesale DSL providers. As a result of these unfavorable conditions, today NorthPoint announced that it will no longer be able to provide DSL access.

    We still are in the early stages of the broadband revolution. MSN remains committed to DSL as a viable broadband solution and delivering the best broadband access experience for our customers. Moving forward, we will focus on working with leading broadband providers who are less vulnerable to fluctuations in the market. We also will continue to deploy other broadband solutions to meet our customers' growing needs. We are committed to our current DSL retail distribution channels, like RadioShack and Best Buy, and will continue to work with them in the future to provide these broadband solutions as they become available.

    In the interim, so as not to interrupt your Internet access, we are offering you the following:
    * You will receive 6 months of monthly dial-up MSN Internet Access free of charge. *
    * Your e-mail address will remain the same.
    * If you have been charged for this month's DSL service, we will process a credit to your credit card.
    * You will receive a $25 gift certificate, within 2 weeks, to use with any MSN eShop merchant.
    * If you signed up for the MSN HighSpeed Standard Plan and paid $149.99 for the modem, then we will credit the modem price to your credit card.

    To assist you in setting up your dial-up MSN Internet Access account, we will be sending you a copy of this letter via postal mail along with instructions for setting up your dial-up account.

    While we hope that you remain an MSN customer, we understand you may want to choose another DSL provider. To make this easier for you, we are waiving all termination fees applicable to your DSL plan. Go to the following Web site http://supportservices.msn.com/us/qanda.asp#hspeed for a list of other DSL providers and answers to other questions you might have.

    If you are using Web-based e-mail with MSN Explorer or MSN Hotmail, your e-mail account will be available as long as you are using those services.

    In the event that you experience any difficulties, or if you have any questions or concerns regarding your MSN service we have a team of support professionals ready to assist you. To speak to an MSN Support representative, please contact our MSN DSL Customer Support Center at: 1-877-229-2295 or e-mail dslfeedback@msn.com. The Support Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please print or save this e-mail so that you may have access to this number for future reference.

    Again, I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. As soon as our new MSN HighSpeed DSL service is available, we will contact you with a special offer. We appreciate your understanding of this difficult situation and look forward to providing you with the best broadband solution in the near future.


    Ted Kummert
    Vice President
    MSN Internet Access and Customer Support

    * Additional phone and/or long distance toll charges may apply. It is the customer's responsibility to check with their phone company to determine if additional phone charges may apply. Local market network activity and capacity may affect access availability.

    Time to look at Covad... I'd better not have to pay $300 for another DSL modem (although they do make nice, warm kitty beds).
  • Since cable has yet to be set up in most of Sonoma county DSL was the only way for private residences to get high speed access. Now there is no northpoint guess I can no longer have high speed. Well I will look on the bright side (no termination fee) instead of the dark one ($150 for a bridge + $500 for a year of prepaid access). If anyone has any suggestions for $50 and under I am wideopen.
  • I would prefer not getting DSL from the telecos just out of principle. Get your DSL from speakeasy. Most of the failed ones (Bazillion comes to mind) have sent their people over to speakeasy anyway. If you don't know the status or don't trust the DSL provider you're with, give them a call.

    Not paid by and don't work for them, I'm just a happy customer.

    Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]
  • Hello:

    My DSL provider KICKS ASS - panix.com in NYC. On DSLReports it averages 4+ starts IN ALL CATEGORIES.

    Panix, like any other non-humongous ISP had to make hard choices in order to offer DSL, and theirs was Northpoint.

    BONG, wrong choice obviously, but don't think DSLReports would have prepared them (or me) for this.

  • I agree. My old (and now defunct) ISP Internet Express was probably the worst company I have ever dealt with. Speakeasy I have to say is one of the best. I'm not trying to be a whore, but I must say nothing but a postive experience in spite of Covad/Verizon.
  • I am disappointed that my service will now probably die.


    I signed up with Phoenix Networks [phoenixdsl.com] in April of 2000. They are/were a St. Louis-based ISP contracting with Northpoint for SDSL circuits with a static IP for reasonable prices. I received 768/384 for $40/mo., and the throughput on my circuit was always satisfactory.

    Delivery of the circuit required USWest (now QWest [slashdot.org]) to do their part and bring me a new pair to my house and they did dawdle, but after that, the install was seamless and my circuit met my expectations.

    Northpoint [northpoint.net] offered a rebate program at the time of sign-up. I never received that rebate, though I am not too concerned about that. What bothered me was a few months after becoming a PhoenixDSL/Northpoint customer, I found out that Phoneix went under. Their service was maintained/acquired by Megapath [megapath.com], who retained the business clients and spun the residential customers to Telocity [telocity.com]. Several months later, Telocity has yet to send me the hardware they say I "need" to use to access their service, and billing seems to be up in the air. I thought about leaving their stable for Megapath or QWest but decided to wait things out since Telocity has recently been made a subsidiary of Hughes Corporation [hughes.com], the muscle behind DirecTV [directv.com]/PC and I am intrigued by potential bundled packages. [directpc.com]

    Through all this, my service has been reliable. I marvel that any industry can maintain viability with such turmoil, let alone leave my connection solid and intact. I am happy my service still works (knock^2), yet realize what has been a good ride shall now come to its close and I must begin shopping.
  • Those who put their money in the stock market are gambling, and they know it. If they have to lose a little money so that people aren't left high and dry, then waaaahhhh waaaahhh.

    What, are you insane? Just because they're knowingly taking a risk doesn't mean they're going to intentionally flush their money down the toilet.

  • I'll miss my 9ms ping to Palo Alto, and 15ms ping to skool. :(
    Verio seems to be giving up on my service, but NorthPoint says it will try to funding from other ISP's to keep it going [northpoint.net]
    Why don't the ISPs buy them out and make a cooperative, similar to thing planned for Iridium satellites?

    Here's my 2 cents. 1, 2.
  • I will second that. I had nothing but pleasant experience with Covad.

    I will third that. Have lots of Covad lines in various business sites; the installers are always friendly and competent, the service always works. For what it is, it can't be beat. Covad is my daddy.

    I compare it to the Verizon DSL I have at home (they were the only game in town a few years ago when I signed up; now I'm too lazy to change, and I'm used to my static IP), and it's not even close. Verizon has frequent slowdowns and outages - frequent enough to annoy me but just shy of enough to push me to leaving. I would never again order Verizon if I had a choice, though: They simply don't know how to do data, or to provide decent customer service.

    Every time I read one of these stories, I shudder at what would happen if Covad went away; there doesn't really seem to be a credible alternative. I'm guessing it'd be back to fractional T1 for many times the price.

  • My dad lives in South San Jose, CA and can't get xDSL or cable-modem service! So, he just got signed up w/ Sprint's wireless thing [sprintbroadband.com]. It uses a small, diamond-shaped antenna for a line-of-sight, two-way comm. Also, it's supposedly 2Mb or so both ways, under low network load; and 500k/s both ways most of the time. I wonder if this is the service that works at the high GHz range and performs poorer during rain? Oh well, too bad it's not offered here near Davis.

    Time to look at dslreports.com [dslreports.com] to find another ISP...
  • Great. It's getting harder to get DSL in the USA instead of easier while China just signed a deal with Alcatel to get 130 million DSL lines.

    In the meantime those of us stuck with dialup are members of the ISP of the month club.

  • but you are forgetting one very important fact: if the useres were not in a capitalistic society, they wouldn't have had a choice in the first place so your argument is flawed/wrong
  • This would definitely make sense, if AT&T thought that they could charge more for their DSL connections. If they took the old contract, they'd have to keep the old pricing.. If they 'have to' renegotiate a new contract with the old NorthPoint customers, they can renegotiate the whole contract -- including pricing and conditions

    You would become a new AT&T customer, using old NorthPoint equipment, as opposed to a grandfathered-in NorthPoint customer.

  • you have no alternative, and, therefore, the concept of consumer choice is nonexistant.

    Yes, you do have a choice.
    You have the choice not to use their service. You have the choice to go without cheap broadband access at home. It's not like broadband is a necessity.

  • Same here. Speakeasy/Covad has done a great job for me.

  • I (still) have IDSL from Covad.

    I wonder why they would stop supporting it? It seems like a great deal for the DSL company - they charge a lot more than ADSL, yet deliver much less bandwidth, and their customers (including me) happily go along with it because that's all there is at 20K+ feet, and the alternative is dialup.
  • Ooops! Your ignorance is showing again, coward.
  • by benenglish ( 107150 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @05:28AM (#345812)
    I'm one of the affected subscribers.

    What I'm most interested in is the way the ISPs handle this. My service provider, ev1.net, has a good rep for customer service. Here's what they've done:

    1. Sent out an immediate email to customers telling them what was happening.
    2. Set up a web page with *very* frequent updates on how they're going to handle this.
    3. Revoked all early termination penalties freeing subscribers to seek alternate providers without the penalties required by our contracts. (They didn't have to do this. Per the contract with subscribers, they could have required that we continue to pay for service we weren't receiving and still be subject to early termination penalties.)
    4. Set up dial up accounts for all DSL customers. Those accounts are free until customers can find another provider, although I assume they won't remain free forever.
    5. DSL customers without modems can drop by the office for a free (generic, I'm sure) 56K modem. Or they'll ship it to you overnight for $8 or so. (The details aren't completely settled.)
    6. Established a special telephone number for limited DSL tech support. (They lost their DSL support structure in this mess.)
    7. Put together a customer service team to answer questions about all this, along with a special number to reach that team.

    And there are probably some other things I've forgotten. In all, the thing that impresses me the most is that they are trying to answer questions as they come up and aren't simply ducking for cover, sticking their fingers in their ears, and hoping this goes away. My initial impression is that they're dealing with it reasonably well.

    I've heard that some other ISPs caught in similar situations have been far less helpful.

    I'd love to hear of the experiences of other folks with other providers so that I can gauge whether or not the level of service I'm getting during this screw-up is good, bad, or somewhere in between.
  • a member of Globalcrossing.

    They're in Rochester, NY, I don't know if they are anywhere else.

    After all costs are totalled, it costs me $25 for DSL and 5 Ip's.

    Installation kit was free (including a Cisco 677 DSL modem/router, and USB NIC), and I did the installation myself.

    I'm pretty happy with it.
  • I was just transferred from Phoenix to Telocity a couple weeks back. My Telocity gateway arrived one day, and that night, my phoenixDSL connection no longer worked. Great timing. Fortunately the old 3com SDSL gateway works just fine with telocity, instead of using telocity's big ugly box-- all I had to do was set my linksys router for DHCP client and restart it. I'm having more connection hiccups than I had with Phoenix unfortunately, but when it works, the connection is actually better. Lower pings to more Q3 servers, and more consistent download rates. I'm on 416/416 SDSL.

    Sigh... now Northpoint is going under. That means I either have to go with Covad or Bellsouth now and if NP pulls the plug beforehand, I'll be without DSL service in the meantime. If I have to fall back on my Mindspring/Earthlink dialup I'll be severely depressed.
  • CNET [cnet.com] is claiming ATT is buying NorthPoint's assets.
  • Yes, and at a fire sale price, well below the value of the installed base of equipment. I think this is a good thing, as AT&T certainly has the resources to stay in the game for the long haul.
  • I just got off the phone with Telocity.com [telocity.com], my DSL ISP. They stated to me that they will be handling are already working to find a vendor for their Northpoint customers.

    DSL has been one wild ride for me, I finally found an apartment which was close enough to a CO to get DSL, so I contracted with PhoenixDSL.com as my ISP, within two months of installation PhoenixDSL was bought by Megapath, who in turn sold off all of PhoenixDSL's residential customers to Telocity, my service was just cut over to Telocity last week, and now my Northpoint DSL line may be disconnected with in the next 60 days.

    What a bummer.
  • Well...This sucks...I am stuck in limbo because of this. I had DSL through NP at my old place. I cancelled it and had a new order in place for the new apartment placed just a few days ago. NorthPoint is the ONLY broadband I have (had) in the area. No cable, no wireless, no DSL, even dialup is pretty crappy. This must not be my day :/ I just went from 1.5M to 28.8k in less than a week.
  • For better or worse, AT&T is picking up Northpoint's national DSL network and hard assets. Telocity customers are going to go to Hughes. Still DSL has been a dog and 1/2. Too much promise, too little fufillment.

  • Spelling counts... try mirreEntry [mirreentry.com]
  • What about when freaking everybody has cable and is sharing your bandwidth? A friend has that and IT SUCKS!!

    I am very happy with my SDSL line (of course I work for an ISP, it goes directly into a priority pipe, yadda yadda yadda).

    Oh BTW, it is Northpoint, so I guess I am kinda F*CKED!!!!
  • Nope, that information is correct. I work for an ISP that sold northpoint lines. All the northpoint lines will be dropped, disconected, axed, etc etc

    Sucks to be me
  • I ordered DSL from Flashcom and these bozos the minute they said it was availible in my area. Five months later, I still had no service. These guys have only themselves to blame for this. Now i'm happy with my Cablevision cable modem! -ted
  • If Acme Corp wants Northpoint's customers, then Acme Corp better give Northpoint enough money to stay afloat long enough to migrate the customers over.

    Good point, except when you're dealing with LECs. In the Midwest, the LECs I've been dealing with have been salivating over the DSL market. While they feigned difficulties in provisioning the CLEC orders, amazingly "ran out of room" in empty 14 story centers (Qwest, formerly US West, moved a bunch of junk desks into them and assigned temporary employees there in one city so they could claim they had no more colo space to offer CLECs), etc. they had more than a hunch that if the CLECs didn't get sufficient marketshare and subscriber base, they'd go belly up. (Good guess)

    And LECs don't have to pay for the purchase of the CLEC customers. They let them crawl back to the LEC, occasionally sending out reminders like the ones US West sent out when Cox started offering phone service. Three months after switching, I got a postcard that said:

    "We know you want to come back because the service you're getting isn't up to US West quality. Making poor choices in your phone service can be costly to you. Right now, we'll waive the install fee if you return during this special period."

    Anyway, it looks like DSL isn't profitable below $70 or more... *sigh*

  • Interesting. And, you are right. When the VC's come along, more often than not, they are allowed to make decisions on your behalf (or you don't get the money).

    Some of these decisions are aimed at bolstering other investments they have made. Some are based upon false information provided by the other companies. And, believe it or not, some are made with the intent of driving you into the ground so they can take a loss on their taxes.

    While the last option does, unfortunately,happen, most VCs are in the game to make money. You end up selling your soul to many VCs and they drive the ship. In the end, you hope you make enough money to spin off a new venture that doesn't require the assistance of VCs.

    Our economy is taking a downturn as most investors realize that the dot-coms were a shame and now are covering their losses. They are selling to extract their profits. Are we headed to a depression. I think not...but what the hell do I know. Soon the market will stabilize and we start the cycle all over again. All I know is that I can buy into the market right now at bargain prices. It's like 1984 all over again.

  • Hope they can get funding enough to allow their DSL customers to migrate to other providers.

    Can any slashdotter name where funding comes from? . . . Why would any halfway sane investor put money into something only to fund moving customers away?

    Northpoint is the subcontractor for many ISPs who when resell the DSL services to other customers. If these companies want time to find another service provider to service their customers, then they may be willing to pay NorthPoint to keep going for a couple of months so that the don't end up with some seriously pissed off customers.

    I worked for an ISP once which resold DSL services... At $75/months for up to 4MB down and 1MB up unmetered, they made it real clear that this was only for personal NON commercial uses. Nontheless -- when our sub-contractor decided to bring the service down for half a day for 'routine maintenance' at 9:00am and without any warning (twice!), one of our support people got a call from a guy who was absolutely livid . He ranted on about how this outage was costing him $6,000 a day (an hour? it was a while ago!). Reminders that the line was supposed to be for non-comercial uses didn't help.

    I doubt that this guy would be likely to wait a month for the switchover process from NorthPoint to AT&T to complete. If someone wanted to keep someone like him as a customer, they'd have to take the loss-leader to cover the running of his service while the switchover paperwork was done.

  • And in Canada, our (ex-) Telco monopolies have done much the same.

    First, back in the good old days, when they were tame monopolies, there was a consumer advocacy control board that absolutely ruled them: the Telcos couldn't fart without permission.

    As a result, we had telephone service in *every* community in Canada. I doubt many people quite comprehend what this means, because they don't quite comprehend how big Canada is and how remote its Northern communities are.

    And when equipment was upgraded, it was always upgraded with the latest technology, not hand-me-downs from a larger community. A mechanical switch in Podunk, north BC, might be replaced with the Northern Telecom whiz-bang 2001, long before the existing NT golly-gee 1995 in Vancouver got upgraded. [In the US, if the small community *ever* got the upgrade, they'd get the old 1995 model, while the bigger centre got the 2001 model.)

    Aaaaanyway, we had some of the lowest total ownership costs in the world, and all because we had a tame monopoly.

    Bringing us up to this century, the telcos are now largely unregulated. This has caused some issues with repair and customer services, and suchlike.

    But we still have kick-ass DSL. In BC, pretty much every community in the south half of the province has DSL service; and if they don't have DSL, they have access to cable.

    I'm about 50' past the DSL limits, but managed to finagle service anyway; I've got 1400/512kbps service, for $45 per month, including modem rental. The service has been excellent over the past year-and-a-bit, despite the demand for service increasing at least eight-fold in that period.

    Sure, it's basically a monopoly service: there are no real alternatives to DSL service. But it's cheap, reliable and *it isn't going to disappear.*

    If only we had kept the monopoly tame: we'd have service to every darn home in the province by now...

  • Being an employee at an ISP that partners with Northpoint, let me professionally say that this sucks!. There's going to be a lot of work to do in order to get these customers back with DSL. Most likely get them onto Ameritech services, which we do have in the area.

    Not only this, but comptetitors Covad and Rhythms are also in a load of financial turmoil!! Go search for that and you'll see, i'm not in the mood to look for links (sorry)

    Mike Roberto
    - GAIM: MicroBerto

  • I am not a Northpoint customer, my line is from Savvis but they use Northpoint lines... Therefore, indirectly I could really get screwed out of this deal if something goes wrong. Especially since I'm hosting sites.
  • I think there may be more going on here...

    My Northpoint account is going to be cancelled, and the only alternative I have is... Verizon. Is it truly a coincidence that Verizon decided to just let Northpoint wither on the vine?

    Before signing up for a Northpoint account, I had a very expensive Verizon account. The service was just awful -- customer service was bureaucratic, and the connection kept on going down. Now I have no choice but to go back to their higher fees and terrible service.

    This looks to me like a clear case of monopoly abuse. I believe in the power of the free market, but what are we going to do when we have companies like Verizon that are sitting on all of those last mile wires?

    There is an even deeper problem here. I firmly believe that a lot of the .com implosion is due to the fact that most people are still trapped with modem access. The masses have no idea of what using the internet is like when using something like DSL. Have you ever tried to shop online using a modem connection? I'm surprised that so many people still do -- it is not a pleasant experience.

    But now that monopolistic companies like Verizon are sucessfully crushing startups like Northpoint,
    how are we going to get broadband out to the masses? Certainly not from Verizon -- if you don't believe me just try signing up for service from them. I believe you will be quite surprised by how difficult the process typically is. Verizon just does not know how to do good customer service, but they are good at making sure that they don't have to learn how.

    This is a big deal for all of us. I don't know what the solution is, but I'm afraid it might be political.
  • As of this posting this article was listed under "Hardware" which is wrong. "Internet" would fit better.
  • It happened in 1929; it can happen again.

    What happened in 1929 is unlikely to happen again. The worldwide economy broke down because of several factors, including stupid tarrifs in the US. Germany was forced to pay reparations to the allies after WWI which were crippling. To pay them off, they just printed more money (which of course triggers inflation). World trade was flowing pretty good during the 20s, so no one noticed the inflation at first. But when the protectionist Hawley-Smoot tarriff kicked in, world trade started to slow down, and bills started coming due.

    There were other things, too. Overspeculation on the stock market caused markets to crash (which is what we are seeing right now, but not nearly to the same extent). There was no FDIC insurance on bank accounts, so if the bank went under, you lost all your money. This led to lack of faith in banks, which is a bad thing, because it is banks lending money (and people paying back those loans) which makes an economy grow.

    Basically, everything broke down at once and the world economy melted down for about 10 years, followed by those 6 years of fun called WWII. After WWII, several worldwide institutions were set up to make sure that economic conditions couldn't get that bad again (such as the IMF).

    So far, they've worked. This isn't to say everything couldn't fall apart again, but since the end of WWII, the recessions have been easier and the depressions non-existant, which wasn't the case before the Great Depression. If you want to see a fun economic century, take a look at the boom-bust cycles in the US in the 1800s...


  • When Verizon reneged on the merger deal, Northpoints days were truly numbered.

    I remember reading about it in a newsletter [theneteconomy.com] from the Net Economy [theneteconomy.com] and just being amazed. First Verizon (an incumbent) sabotages a CLEC, and then big Mama Bell scavenges the remains. Competition may not be dead, but the major players are sure doing a good job to incapacitate it.

  • It's important to differentiate here - this is AT&T, which currently offers DSL using Covad's CLEC services, not the Regional Bell Operating Companies like PacBell and USWest and Ball Atlantic, most of which offer DSL service themselves.
  • I'll go ahead and add my comments on Telocity.
    Was the easiest install ever with a high speed isp. Only took 2 weeks for the circuit to be configed for us. (Bellsouth)

    Dedicated IP. Plays VERY nicely with Linux.
    I already run my mail off another page, so no experience with that.

    News feeds time out regularly, going to end up letting a linux box "suck" news down, so then, it comes in the middle of the night, I can read at leisure.

    Ditto on the average 80-90kbs. From Microsoft's download servers on west coast (I'm east coast) I managed over 150kbs in the middle of the day.

    Cant comment on customer service, since I havent really had any problems as of yet.

    Servers are permitted. Problem, AOL doesnt like mail coming from a telocity IP, but then, AOL is populated by...nm...that wouldnt be nice to say.

    Month to month commitment was a big plus in my book too.
  • I agree... A friend of mine's father owns a small oil company in Texas. He says that he currently has to ship oil to California under a federal law and cannot stop shipment even if he is not paid. Let's consider for a moment that there are other companies shipping to California during the energy crisis and not getting paid... they go bankrupt... supply of fuel goes down.. price goes up.. California is in a worse spot. Now outside of California, people who worked for that oil company or whatever are now out of a job. They have much less discressionary income thus causing more of an economic slowdown throughout the nation. Yes it's a long shot, but I believe it's more possible than one might think. There are other indicators of problems on the horizon too, CCI (consumer confidence index) and many others are not looking very good.

    Also about this whole Northpoint thing... all I have to say is this makes my life more dificult. UUNet is our internet provider and they use Northpoint as their DSL provider in our area. Oh joy!
  • I am a northpoint customer, and prior to obtaining the service I had spoken to sales reps at UUNet, and they assured me that it was not possible to receive dsl at the price these northpoint ISP partners were quoting me. (SDSL) Well I thought, idiots.. I have sdsl and you were wrong. Now that this has all happend, I starting to think that guy from UUNet knew what he was talking about, and that this pricing model was destined to fail. Fun while it lasted I guess. 784k/784k for $39 per month, what a deal.
  • So, I have Northpoint DSL with Verio as my ISP no less. What do you recommend I do?

    Covad DSL and Quest(uswest) RADSL are the only two options I know of left to me. And don't think I'm going to pay the $89/mo for a 144kbps line.

    If Quest(USWest) can offer me a reasonable price ($50/mo or less) and a reasonable speed (around 200kbps or more) I'm going to jump on it.

    If Verio (who I've been very happy with so far) wants to keep my business, they better be looking hard for alternative providers for me. But, after talking with one of their reps on the phone today, I get the feeling they aren't really looking.

    So far, it looks like I'll be going back to 56kbps at $12/mo...

    BTW, I have no love for Quest, you want to come up with a plan for showing them the error of their ways, I'm happy to join in(I remember a notion of buying stock and attending meetings etc once upon a time, ala "hack" corporate america). But not when it hurts my bottom line this much.

  • thanks...
  • I wonder how much this is due to lack of cooperation by the local phone company. I had Northpoint DSL installed. Their installers were pretty prompt, but PacBell screwed up left and right. Given that PacBell wants this market for itself, why should they help Northpoint? Even if they don't want to serve a particular area now, they probably would much rather get the customers later than have them sign up with another company.
  • So let me get this straight, the President puts a stop to a potential strike at an airline, california's government, along with help from the feds, finances the power companies to stay afloat, and data communications get nothing. This is just as important as electricity today. This is really going to suck. As a flashcom/northpoint customer, I am getting hit with a double whammy.

    I would hope that some authority would step in an give a grace period until this is wound down and people's accounts are resolved and transferred. You can't cut people off cold like this. What a freakin' mess..... I can't believe this. How could a snafu happen like this? Nice of all of my providers letting me know. I have a serious amount of egg on my face.

  • Since I yet to have a call returned I thought I would fill out thier e-mail form. Here is what I got as a responce:

    Your question has been sent to our Customer Care Department. A service representative will immediately process your inquiry and contact you within a few days. In the meantime we like to thank you for your patience and hope you enjoy the services we offer.

  • The rumor I heard (originating from NorthPoint employee) was that all circuits would be cut in 3 days. I didn't hear if it was business days or days days.

  • As one of the NorthPoint customers, I can say that this genuinely sucks ass. I live in Mclean, and I have 416K SDSL service from NorthPoint. First, I get consistant 48K downloads, at all times of the day. Second, I have a 100ms ping to almost every (fast) server you'd care to name (/., of course, times out on every ping test ;) Lastly, its SDSL service, so its like having a miniature T1 in your house. All this for $50 a month (DSL is *damn* expensive around here!) If NorthPoint is going out of business, I'm screwed. I either have to deal with Covad (sucks ass) or Verizon (sucks even more ass). The good companys never do make it, do they?
  • Actually, you got to give MSN their due. Their termination plan was pretty high-class.
  • Tell that to the mail server I had to set up.

    I'm currently using Megapath, and they've provided excellent service. Top-notch, really. However, it's over a Northpoint line. I may lose my connection because I picked a service that was the best at the time (and is still up there), and that's only because of one bad decision on their part.

    I don't need broadband at home for my own workstation, although it's been nice. I do need it for email and so on. It's fairly tough to run a domain from a dialup, especially if you can't get a static IP.

    Northpoint going away affects a lot more than you think. In addition to ADSL users, it affects SDSL customers of their clients, and even some small businesses that just couldn't afford a fractional T1.

    It's not as cut and dry as you'd like to believe.

  • But don't you also need an ISP to provide mail hosting, an NNTP source and stuff? Or will Covad do that?

    I don't have my own domain yet. I have a box I bought that is intended to function as the Web and mail server, with FreeBSD 4.0 installed. But I don't want to go live until I've learned how to properly secure the box. Otherwise, I risk becoming another nuisance to the community.


  • Too bad there isn't a Fucked [fuckedcompany.com] category...
  • Who cares if it helped NT? It means that our podunk communities aren't connected to fifty-year-old mechanical switches... something that you can't say for the USA.

    Let me repeat: our podunk communities have DSL service, because our telco monopoly was forced into maintaining a high level of service and upgrades for those communities.

    Left to the wonders of American-style pseudo-capitalism, they'd have been up shit creek for the next ten years, because there's no money in servicing them.

  • XO Communications, formerly concentric, is an example of how an ISP should NOT handle this type of situation. In contrast to other reports in this discussion with respect to other, more responsible ISPs, XO kept the situation completely under wraps, sending out no notifications by email or otherwise.

    Indeed, when our internet service was down this morning we placed a service call and were told that "XO is unaware of any major outages." Meanwhile, for at least the last six weeks they were, apparently, sereptitiously moving their some of their customers to alternative DSL services (a friend of mine owns a consulting company whose customers were serreptitiously switched ... the fact that these customers were legal firms probably had something to do with their good fortune. XO did not tell their customers what they were doing ... their DSL service simply got interrupted for a couple of hours mid-day for "unspecified upgrades").

    After dialing in to a personal account from a laptop and finding the story here on slashdot we called XO's customer service back and finally got them to admit that our DSL link would never be coming back up. When asked if they could swing us to another DSL providor over the weekend we were told to contact Sales regarding new service. Of course, we will be contacting Sales, but not with XO.

    I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

    We are fortunate, in that there happens to be a tier one providor with a DSLAM in our building, through whom we will be able to get reconnected on an emergency basis sometime Monday. Hundreds of other XO customers were equally blindsided, and not nearly so lucky.

    Here's hoping someone more litigous than I sues their socks off (and here's being glad my home service is through 21st Century broadband rather than DSL).

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright