I've been slow with the blog posting for the last month or so. This is partly because I've been busy with moving-related stuff, but also because I was without internet for the first few weeks in my new place. While I think complaining is generally a poor use of a blog, this was very frustrating, so please permit me to rant for a moment:
I called Verizon (which is the local phone company in DC) to switch my DSL service from my prior address to my new place. Once I identified my new address, the call went something like this:
Verizon: Sir, I'm afraid service is not available at that address.
Teague: Really? Can you double-check the address? I know it's available there, other people in the building have Verizon DSL.
V: There may be wiring in the building, but there is no more service available.
T: No more available?
V: That's right, I'm sorry. No more capacity. But I can email one of our engineers and see if they can do something. They can't always, but sometimes they can free something up.
T: Uh, okay. Sure.
V: It might take them a couple hours to get back to me.
I then checked the other regional DSL provider; they don't serve my neighborhood. And I confirmed that because my building is wired for satellite TV, Comcast is not an option. So it was Verizon or nothing. After not hearing back from them all day, I called again:
Different Verizon rep: I don't see any record of your previous call in the system. But yes, service is not available at your address.
T: But the rep I talked to earlier said she was going to check with the engineers. Can you check on that?
V: Sir, there aren't any engineers we can talk to.
T: Well, she said she was going to check with the engineers. I'd definitely like to see if there's a workaround, because I really want to have internet at home.
V: Sir, I hate to say somebody was lying to you, but there aren't any engineers. We don't have any way to talk to any engineers, they're a separate unit. Maybe that person was just telling you that to finish up the call.
T: Uh, okay. I don't have access to RCN or Comcast, so Verizon is my only option. You're telling me there's no way I can get internet?
V: Sir, it's like a parking lot -- all the spaces are full. There's nothing I can do. You could check back in a few months to see if a space has opened up. But to be honest, Verizon is putting most of its resources into expanding its FiOS network, so you'd be more likely to get FiOS than have a regular DSL spot open up.
T: When might we get FiOS?
V: Oh, well, I can't really provide any predictions about that. If you want internet access now, you could sign up for a home phone line with dial-up or Verizon's 3G mobile internet.
T: Neither of those sound very good to me.
V: Well, is there anything else I can help you with today?
T: I'd like to get internet.
V: Well, I'm sorry sir, there's not anything I can do. Have a good day, and thanks for choosing Verizon.
Anyway, I've now worked out a WiFi sharing arrangement with a neighbor. But it seems ridiculous that Verizon would be unable to offer DSL service in a well-established neighborhood in the heart of Washington.