This morning, the servers had some downtime. I was getting Cox Telephone installed, and leaving the Verizon landline behind.
The reasons for the change are complex and not really technical. We've had run-ins with Verizon on several occasions. First, they come in to my back yard one day and dug a trench through the middle of the back yard and installed their FIOS cable to our neighbour. Not for us, for our neighbour, right through our damned lawn. Ruined the lawn, and it was right down the middle, right where we are going to put a big slab of concrete. There was no consultation, just a wrecked lawn one day. So we complained and they came in a second time and dug a second trench down the edges of the fence and relocated that cable to our neighbour. Okay, this is the USA where ordinary folk have little or no rights even in their own back yard, so we have to live with it.
As I said, we are going to lay a big slab of concrete soon, the precursor to installing a patio out back. We checked with Miss Utility and there's only one cable in our way that needs to be moved. Yep, Verizon. The landline cable. Sigh. So we called them to move the cable and eventually someone came out. The arrangement we were told was "he'll be there between 8am and 5pm". What the fuck? Someone has to stay home all day? You can't give finer granularity than that? The answer is no. So the obvious happened. Anne stayed home between 8am and 5pm and then at 5:15pm phoned them to ask "Where is he?" The woman who took the call was rude "You're next.". No time of arrival or anything, just "You're next". Is that tomorrow, next week, next year? He arrived about 6pm and examined the situation and gave his verdict. He can't move the cable. The line is good, there is no problem, so he can't move the cable. Our only recourse, so he said, is to dig the ground for the slab of concrete, cut the Verizon cable and then there is a problem with the line and he, and the techs to follow, are allowed to move the cable. And he left.
By the time he left, I had checked out Cox Telephone, priced it, found that it's $20 a month cheaper, and we don't care about the alleged "drawbacks", and ordered, it and scheduled the installation. So the appointment was for 8am this morning. I got a phone call from the guy, bright and early, to say he was on his way. He arrived on time and he was bright and happy and a Science Fiction fan and we had stuff in common. I learnt a lot about the problems with cable telephone, TV and internet.
We have one cable into the house. It gets split in two, one for the Internet, and one for cable TV. If we split the TV side again for telephone, both signals are too weak. If we split the Internet for telephone, both are deteriorated but are within specs. So that's what we did. I also learnt that the coax cable can be a real bugger to work with. I also learnt that the Cox installer was patient, experienced, tolerant, and an all round nice guy. And he phoned to let us know he was coming, and he arrived on time, and he went out of his way to make sure we had good signals everywhere before he left. I was impressed.
Our Internet connection seems a little more solid since his visit.
And sometime real soon now, we will have the back yard dug up for the concreting, and it will cut the Verizon landline, and we just won't care.