Posted by: Rob Hof on December 15, 2006
I’ve been a pretty happy DSL customer through Earthlink (which resells AT&T DSL service) for years now in my home in Palo Alto, Calif. Now I’m moving literally about two miles away—and everybody tells me I can’t get DSL anymore. AT&T offered me DSL when I called to move my service to the new address—then said I can’t get it. I couldn’t believe it, but then the former resident of my new house said it’s true—the closest central office is more than 20,000 feet away and therefore not DSL-capable. Unbelievable. In case you don’t know Palo Alto, it has to sport about the highest combination of income and desire to be wired of any city in the country. I, and no doubt hundreds or even thousands of other people, want to pay them up to $35 a month, and they can’t bother to install enough gear to accept my money?
This is all the more ironic, because the city of Palo Alto decided not to offer its own high-speed Internet service partly when SBC (now AT&T) think it’s unfair threatened to sue if Palo Alto went ahead with the service. Here’s what an SBC spokesman had to say in the 2005 article in Light Reading: “We don’t think cities should be competing with private enterprise and putting the taxpayers’ money at risk, particularly if you are just duplicating the services already being offered.”
And what duplication would that be? Oh yeah, I guess that would be Comcast. (Hey, don’t they offer phone service too?)