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From Bay Area to Barcelona

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Jazztel not so jazzy [ Thursday, 16 Feb 06 | 15:52 ]
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[My Mood |geekyand relieved]

Last October I had a door-to-door salesman come by and sell me on switching from Ya.com, a division of Deutsche Telekom to Jazztel for my ISP. Interestingly Ya.com was started by Jazztel several years ago and then sold to Deutsche Telekom. I don't know who owns Jazztel, but they operate in several European countries.

Anyway, Jazztel offers up to 20Mbps/1Mbps service using ADSL2+ technology. Remember that’s the theoretical rate. As part of the offering, they provide free local and national calling plus fairly low rates to the US (0,05 € per minute). Calling a mobile phone is 0,15 € a minute. Ya.com had a somewhat similar arrangement. 

The difference in this case is that Jazztel includes the maintenance for the telephone line which was separately billed by Telefónica. The cost for all this is 29,95 € a month plus 13 € a month for line maintenance, which is about what I pay now. Oh, and they provide me with a router and cordless phone for free too.

Several months passed and finally in mid-January I received notices that the router and phone were to be delivered and that my service would start on 26 January. The equipment arrived as expected, but the phone line didn’t. My existing service was cut on the 26th, but then everything was dead. Every few days I would call customer service and complain. I had to go to a local park up the street and “borrow” a WiFi connection for Internet access, a hit-or-miss proposition.

Finally, on Valentine’s Day I spent a little over two hours on-line before my laptop battery automatically put my computer to sleep. I went back to my piso and looked at the router and noticed that the ADSL light was solid and not blinking. I picked up the phone and heard dial tone so I tied calling my móvil and that worked. I tested in the opposite direction and it was successful as well.

Next I tried to use the Internet and found that although the router was OK, my “log-in” was rejected. After some fiddling, I noticed that a page from Jazztel appeared in Safari that said I needed to append some characters to my username. That did the trick.

I spent some time setting up the router for “virtual servers” and that seemed OK. Next I tried to set up the NAT “port triggers” for iChat and found that when I started iChat it would “hang” the router and I had to reboot it. So I removed the set up. Everything seems to work OK, although I haven’t tried conferencing in iChat.

I was wondering if ADSL2+ is available in the Bay Area and what the costs might be. I checked Comcast, and they offer 6 or 8 Mbps for $42.99 month-to-month, and no phone service. And SBC offers 1.5 to 6.0 Mbps for $69.99 month-to-month, again without phone service.

It gets me excited to think that I might have downloads of 2MB a second! On a good day that's what I would get when I was working and using Sun's internal network. As it turns out, I tried downloading a 124MB file from a server here in Spain and Safari reported it as being 1.3MBps.

From: winstonthriller
Thursday, 16 Feb 06 | 17:35 (UTC)
As a rule, you'll find that broadband internet conenctions (Cable, DSL) in the States are way more expensive and don't offer as much bandwidth as available in other countries.

The costs you cite above for Comcast and SBC are in line with costs around the country (ballpark figures).
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Thursday, 16 Feb 06 | 18:01 (UTC)

My dear

My dear - I don't believe this is better than what you can get in, let's say, Germany or France.

I don't know about ADLS 2+ in the UK but I do have a friend who works for Jazztel in Madrid who switched to Telefonica because he said that their network was crap.

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