How About a Tin Can on a String

Our ISP filed bankruptcy on Sunday, so I’ve been trying to line up new connectivity.

For the last 3.5 years we’ve had a 384k frame relay link. I used to joke that we matched Dilbert’s mom, who had a “384k Frame Relay drop to the Linux box in the sewing room”. The bill has been painful, but there was nothing else available to the boondocks in 1999. The good news is that the circuit actually goes to our ISP’s upstream, and I’ve spoken to them and they won’t cut us off. The bad news is that the circuit itself belongs to Verizon, and has a whopping outstanding balance.

We’ve been pretty satisfied with the connection, up unti early December, when we started seeing packets constantly spilled on the floor. Verizon of course says it’s not its fault. Still after three and a half years, there ought to be more alternatives than there were in 1999.

So now we need to replace the link. So far the choices are:

1. Keep the same sevice, at the same cost, from another ISP. Verizon has bid ten bucks more a month to pick it up, another ISP bid the same price but for a three year contract rather than five.

2. Satellite. Of course we can’t just get vanilla consumer satellite. We need to go with the fancy Hughes commercial setup so we can get static IPs. We can get 13 usable IPs which will cover us. The downside is that the link is highly asymmetrical: 400k down, 40k (real average throughput) up. We’d have to host at least some higher traffic stuff elsewhere. We’d also have to buy two grand worth of hardware. Still, we should save about $600/month on the deal which would get that two grand back pretty quickly.

3. Get a T1 through Monadnock Connect. In theory this should get us a full T1 for thirty bucks less than we were paying for 384k. But, their contract is with Global Crossing, which is in bankruptcy itself and is trying to get out of the part of the contract that says local loops are $250/month anywhere in the Monadnock region. Even worse, it looks like we’re in the middle right now. Monadnock Connect is trying to negotiate a new flat rate local loop, Global Crossing is trying to apply their standard local loop charges. Me, I need an answer. Now, thank you.

The astute reader will note the absence of DSL and Cable modem from the list.

Ayway. what I want is to get the T1. My brain says get the satellite. The only justification for the T1 is to host, and the only reason to do that is if we can actually get some income to cover the bandwidth bill. We actually have hits, and could get more if we wrote more stuff, especially the garden, and book review sites. However, I have no idea whether you can still get banner ads for small time sites that actually pay. (especially CPM ones)

A googling I shall go.

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