From time to time, raving pays off. Got SBC Maintenance on the phone this morning and they activated service in under an hour — four days before scheduled activation. Set the service up tonight. Goal was not to have to use the installer CD and all the crap that comes along with it. The last thing I wanted was a corporate monolith sticking god knows what god knows where in the bowels of the OS.
Turns out that the key to sidestepping the installer CD is knowing in advance the initial PPPoE user/pass, so you can pre-feed your router. Obviously.com to the rescue. Once the initial connection is made, SBC does this weird thing where you have just enough DNS to access their online registration page, without being able to access any other sites. And the registration page — surprise — only works in Explorer. Of course they don’t tell you this. What you get in Safari or Firefox is a full-screen form with no Submit button. Nice work, jerk-brains. Only going by hunch did I think to launch IE and complete the signup. What this means for all new Tiger users with no legacy copy of Explorer sitting around is anybody’s guess.
And it’s fast. Ran a speed test at dslreports.com, and we’re getting 1.12 Mbps downstream — reasonably close to our 1.5Mbps cap. Not lightning by today’s standards, but almost 100% faster than we were getting with Speakeasy, and at 1/3 the cost.
Short story: As much as yesterday’s experience put a bad taste in my mouth, as much I was prepared to regret our decision to switch, you just can’t touch the speed and price anywhere else in the broadband market. I’ll really miss Speakeasy, but for a measly $11/month extra, we just got cable TV and doubled our DSL speed. I’ll stop complaining now.