Thursday, December 16, 2010

We Got Ours!

It was Thanksgiving week, appropriately enough, when some anonymous staffer at FairPoint changed the DSL availability widget on the company website to signify that one could sign up for wired broadband in Northport.  I put in my order bright and early Monday, Nov 30.  I was up and running a week later, happy as a clam sifting sand at 7 Mpbs.  Finally!  For $39.95/mo compared to the $60.00/mo I had been paying for Verizon Mobile Broadband, sub-megabit download speed, and the 5 GB/month download cap.  (I could have gotten 15 Mbps for $49.95.  Given the rapidity of big downloads and the smooth performance of streaming audio and video work at 7 Mbps, however, I have no need right now for the faster service. )

I was sent a self-install kit ahead of time, and a technician.  The kit consisted of a Westell-branded black box encompassing the functions of DSL modem, router, four-port 100 Mbps switch, wireless access point.  Impressive.

Usually, DSL devices are a "plug and play" exercise for the homeowner.  Just plug the box into a phone jack, put the supplied filters on the jacks used by voice phones and you're done.  This time, however, the technician was needed.  When the box failed to sync up with the network he tweaked the local RT.  While apparently necessary, this was not sufficient.  It turns out that the box is a new model that supports FP's new ADSL2 technology.  The sign-in process is different than for older DSL equipment.  My guess is that the process will be smoother for subsequent users.

Interestingly, the kit was supplied by a Pennsylvania-based corporate unit of Verizon. 

Unfortunately for others in Northport, the rest of the town that is outside the area served by our neighborhood remote terminal cannot yet get the service.  When I checked recently, the FP website had been updated to reflect that.  Apparently the work done so far on the other RT's in town was not by itself sufficient to make them fully operational.  We were lucky that our RT is just down the road from the Edna Drinkwater School, a Maine School and Library Network site to which FP had already deployed optical fiber.  We needed just a couple hundred yards of line for the RT link.  The RT's, if not already connected, will likely need several miles of new optical cable.  Still, the work already done indicates that the process of connecting the rest of the town is at least underway.

So, enough about my needs... 


  1. Woot congrats man, I got it here in Chesterville to =D

    Finally no more dial up.

    I signed up today and my install date is in 3 days

  2. A belated congratulations.
    Came back to check in on some Maine broadband news. Our provider, GWI, is upgrading its users to 7Mbps ... but based on our location it is doubtful we'll go beyond the 2Mbps we have now.


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