Got DSL?

Can you get a DSL connection at your place? I wanted a DSL Internet connection for the longest time. But, I still can’t get DSL service run to Ranchero Indebto. At the time I installed my satellite Internet connection, DSL wasn’t an option in my town … all we had was a one-way cable system that used a conventional modem and phoneline for the upstream traffic. I wasn’t keen on that idea, so I went with the two-way satellite.

Over time, our local phone company began to roll out DSL. Unfortunately, the old ranch happened to be just a bit too far from the phone company’s CO. With DSL, the distance you are from the central office can determine what type of DSL you can get, and most important, whether you can get DSL at all …

Now I’ve been working on the Web for long enough that I can remember actually wanting an ISDN line, scary thought that it is. Back in the heydays of the late ’90s, it always seemed like DSL service was going to be just a few months away. At one point, a DSL provider had even signed me up to install service here, but they failed to do their research before sending the contract.

While DSL is available in our municipality, our local phone company has dragged its feet about bringing the service to this end of town. Their glacial movement has been chilled, no doubt, by the improvements to our local cable company’s system. Now that our local cable provider offers 3MBs standard and 5MBs as an option, DSL is less and less attractive. On the other hand, the lower price of DSL service is still compelling.

DSL comes in different flavors:

  • Symmetrical – where the upload speed matches the download
    speed – say, 384K in both directions.
  • Asymmetrical (ASDL) – where the download speed exceeds
    the upload speed – say, 1.5MB down and 128K up.
  • ISDL – which offers 144K transfers in both directions.
    While the transfer rate is low, it can be installed in situations where the
    distance from the CO makes it the only option.

I’ve seen offers for DSL service as low as $29.95 per month, and sometimes lower. Of course, the faster you want to go, the more you’ll have to pay. As with so many things, DSL service plans are not created equal. You’ll want to compare providers and make sure you’re getting exactly what you need.