I apologize for not keeping this site up-to-date! Some of the information is still useful but please check with individual providers before making any decisions! —Jon
This site provides some information about high speed Internet access in town, with the focus on relatively low-cost access targeted at residential customers.
Verizon FiOS speeds have gotten faster: 5/2, 20/5, and 50/5.
It looks like RCN is considering selling itself. I think at this point nobody knows if a sale will happen, and if so whether it will be sold to investors, a cable company, or some other kind of company, and whether it will be sold as a unit or in pieces. I hope Lexington RCN doesn't get sold to Comcast, or we'd be down one carrier.
Today's Globe says that Verizon wants the state to impose deadlines on local governments in negotiations about cable TV franchise licenses. It has also lobbied for a national franchise, in which it wouldn't even have to negotiate with states, much less individual municipalities.
Last night I went to a Communications Advisory Committee meeting during which they discussed Lexington's negotiations with Verizon, and from the sound of it, Verizon was either incompetent or stalling or both. For example, many of their responses to our questions had nothing to do with those questions.
Putting the two together it's clear what is happening. Verizon is stalling in negotiations with municipalities to get ammunition for Beacon Hill, so it can whine that the municipalities are obstructing their benevolent goal of offering our citizens a cable TV alternative. Since lots of citizens want this alternative, they may even get some real grassroots growing amid the astroturf they are laying.
If you want to get really mad about this, visit TeleTruth.
Reversing a general trend of no-cost speed upgrades, it looks like RCN has quietly downgraded the bandwidth on its basic service (now called "Mach 5") to 5 Mbps/.384 Mbps. They've also started offering what they used to call "ValueModem" in the Boston area: .768 Mbps/.128 Mbps. Their "Mach 10" service is unchanged at 10 Mbps/.8 Mbps.
Within the next month or two, Comcast customers will get their download caps increased automatically by 2 Mb/s; upload caps will remain the same. The new standard tier will be 6/.384 and the new premium tier will be 8/.768. I'm still keeping score.
Verizon, in an attempt to forestall regulation, is in talks with ISPs about leasing their FiOS fiber to the ISPs. If these talks come to fruition, you would be able to buy Internet service over Verizon's FiOS fiber from an ISP like Earthlink rather than from Verizon, more or less like you can get DSL service today from other ISPs over Verizon's copper. But what would it cost, and who are the ISPs? I'll bet there are plenty of Speakeasy fans who would like to see this kind of deal.
If you find out anything that might be useful for this web site, please let me know.Jon Dreyer
$Date: 2005/07/13 20:09:47 $