There are few things that strike fear into the heart of a small business owner than changing Internet or telephone service providers. These days those two are usually linked so the double fear factor looms when such a change is considered.
I have been a VERY satisfied QWEST customer for years. I don’t know when Qwest originally deployed DSL in my area but I was an early adopter (could it have been 10 years ago?). In any case, that move from 56k to 1.2mbps was fantastic. And, in those many years I have never experienced an unanticipated interruption in service. They have been as close to perfect and unchanging as is possible. But, there’s is the rub. No changes. DSL in the 21st century, especially as we begin a new decade, is the 56k of 90’s. It is just too slow to sustain a growing small business.
I have to also blame Qwest’s wonderful market machine that has dropped monthly “bingo” cards into my mailbox extolling the virtues of “high speed” broadband. YES. I *want* high speed Internet up to 7mbps!!! But, having developed the desire, they couldn’t produce. After patiently waiting two years, it was time to move, so I pulled the plug on Qwest and switched to Comcast.
Now I gotta admit, this was more stressful than waiting for the birth of my first child. I imagined all of the things that could possibly go wrong and each of them gave me buyers remorse on deciding to switch. The installation day came and went with a smooth install of the modem and over less than an hours time I switched over the modem, SBS 2003 and then my DNS entries to the new IP addresses and….nothing broke! Everything kept humming right along. The only suspicious wrinkle is that my VOIP traffic seems not to be working on the Comcast network so I need to do more sleuthing to determine the cause (admittedly it took a while to fine tune my Asterisk server even on Qwest). With a planned Asterisk upgrade in my future, I may wait until I upgrade and then do the troubleshooting.
But wait, there’s more! Last week I cut the phones over and….nothing broke again! The phones continued to ring, this time with the included Caller ID (which was extra and therefore not present with my Qwest account). I know this is all too good to be true and a few of my Facebook friends have warned me of the coming Armageddon but I just can’t get over how easy this was.
To do’s: I had XO handling my 800 lines and due to some arcane rules for Comcast, I need to have a bill with activity on all 3 800 lines before I can swap them over. But, sometime in July I should receive my very first consolidated Internet/Phone/Long Distance bill and it should be lower than the 3 bills I had before. That is actually wrinkle #2. I have gotten my first Comcast bill and I am having trouble reconciling the current bill against the promised costs. It is about $30 more than I think I was promised. Oh, and a $99 Comcast special arrived in the mail today. I have a little bit more than a $99 bill in front of me….
So, it may all just be too good to be true. We’ll see. I have faster Internet and free outbound long distance. Oh, and I also have cable TV, for the first time in my life, so things are looking up (maybe).
With Qwest being sold to CenturyTel (whoever they are) I may have gotten out just in time. In fact, time will tell…