AT&T can't restore our Speakeasy DSL before we move. As it turns out, the new house is also too far from the C.O. to get Speakeasy, or any other third-party DSL. (It's something like 36,000 feet away.) Thus, our options are AT&T DSL (they have some sort of suboffice they're not required to give Speakeasy access to), Cox cable (whose business packages are really too expensive, but I'm really pissed at AT&T right now), or Fucking Magic.
By Fucking Magic, I mean a local ISP called Riptide Wireless. They run a wireless mesh network you can use to access the Internet. This is sci-fi stuff here, people. (Literally—it's the technology behind the handles-absolutely-everything Internet in Wide Awake.) It's so cool I'd want it even if it wasn't the best choice.
Basically, each customer has a radio transceiver. When that customer wants to send data, the transceiver transmits it; when some data arrives for that customer, it receives it. It spends the rest of its time relaying other customers' data to get it to its destination. Since the transceiver can transmit faster than the customer's bandwidth cap, and since very few customers transmit at full capacity all the time, there's plenty of excess capacity to relay others' data.
Riptide itself owns, configures, and maintains the equipment and runs a few base stations with high-speed Internet connections; getting the traffic to those base stations is done by the transceivers at their customers' sites, instead of, say, wires in the ground (like the cell phone network). As a result, the network actually gets faster and more reliable as their customer base increases, and since there's little infrastructure to maintain Riptide can charge less than DSL and cable companies.
My dad's company uses it as a backup to their T-1 lines because they can just call Riptide and say "Hey, we need you to bump us up to 20Mbps" and it'll be done in five minutes. The other thing is that they can usually install the next day, which means I actually have a hope of getting the server connected to the Internet before any e-mail falls on the floor.
They have a business package with a static IP and 2Mbps/1Mbps for $55; for comparison, I'm currently paying about $80 for 1.5Mbps/384Kbps and five static IPs. With this thing and Vonage, we could get phone and really good broadband Internet for $80/month. ($55/month if you don't have a server.) Eat flaming death, telecommunications mongrels.
Unfortunately, it's a pretty small operation, and nobody seemed to be around to answer the phones today. Dammit.
In other news, I have now formulated Brent's Three Laws of Moving:
- Nothing is ever as easy as it seems. (This is basically just a restatement of Murphy's Law.)
- Everybody has an excuse not to do it. (Mom's sick, Dad needs to see a doctor about his shoulder, sister has prior plans with friends, brother is tired of having to do everything...)
- At some point or another in any task, you will have to take off your watch.