SDSL FAQ

(High Speed Home/Business network network connection)

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I just ordered a SDSL line in June so this FAQ is just starting out.  This is sort of a diary of how things are going.

1. What is SDSL?
    There are two major types of DSL (Digital Subscriber Line).  ADSL (asynchronous) and SDSL (synchronous).  They are the follow on to ISDN (Integrated Services Dial Network).  xDSL lines provide huge bandwidth over standard copper phone lines.  As of now (7/23/99) there still are no standards for DSL so I can't provide exact numbers on speed.  Each vendor is providing their own "flavor" of DSL.  This FAQ will deal with Digital Select in the Washington D.C. area since they are the people that I am dealing with.
    ADSL provides a faster down stream speed than it' up stream speed.  It is specifically geared for home users because it can download much faster than it can upload.  Examples of Bell Atlantic's speeds are 640K down/64K up, 1.6M down/64K up, etc.  You will also have to get an ISP that can handle Bell Atlantic's flavor of DSL and pay extra ISP charges.  (Also, BA will NOT provide static IP addresses so forget about running a web server from home).
    SDSL provides the same speed down and up stream.  It is geared for businesses that want to run their own mail server, web server, etc.  Digital Select provides speeds of 144K, 192K, 384K, and 768K in their home user/small business packages.  They will also provide static IP addresses at no extra charge (up to 16 without a network topology map) and you become your own ISP (no extra ISP charges :)
    All xDSL lines require a special modem or router.  They range in price from around $300 for a simple modem to $600 for a full blown router.

2. What did you order (give me the details).
    I ordered a 192K SDSL line with 16 static addresses and a router with the firewall option.  The prices are:  $250 for installation, $600 for the router, $200 for the firewall option, and $135 per month for unlimited (always on) access.  (Unfortunately, since DSL lines are not standard, I couldn't use my Cisco router (not supported)).  I will become my own ISP so there are no additional ISP charges and because of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, there will be no Bell Atlantic local loop charges (BA can kiss my a-- :) (Or, at least, BA won't bill *me*. I'm not sure what Digital Select has to pay)

3.  How long does it take to get a xDSL line.
    Digital Select (A Covad Communications reseller) said 30 to 45 days for installation.  THIS DID NOT HAPPEN.  This is the time line for me:

Well, at this point I think that I have everything that I ordered back on June 2, 1999! I now have the Firewall option and my credits are now correct (I think). It only took 8 months for everything to finally be done right!!!

My current 1 year contract ends in 4 months, I don't think that Primus will be my first choice for my next DSL contract....


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