Sunday, October 22, 2006

DSL Still Elusive to Many in Mt Hood Corridor

While certain hotspots in Portland boast free wi-fi to everyone with a wi-fi card, the outskirts often suffer the snail-paced picture slide show we call "Dial-up". Remember it? Believe me, there are no fond nostalgic memories attached to the ultra-slow waiting game. About a year ago I saw a sign in the window of the sign shop in Rhododendron asking that local residents write in to Verizon declaring the need for DSL service in the area. Currently Verizon is the only telephone service to which the residents of the Mt Hood Corridor have access. However, it surprises me that they have DSL access in some areas of Welches, Government Camp, and Sandy - but areas of no service between.

I have spoken to Verizon several times about certain areas of the corridor, and each time get a different response. They have explained on one occasion that there are not enough residents in the area needing service, yet between just if you take just the second grade students in the area you would have over 800 students. There are over 400 new high school students in the area each year, and are in the planning stages for a new high school. This is just a glimpse of the total population in the area.

One of the other reasons that I was given for the lack of service in the area was the "quality" that would be provided in the area, and that if they cannot guarantee that their service was going to be of "great quality", they would not offer it in the area. Okay, so I've been had Verizon services in three states, large citites including Los Angeles, CA and Portland, OR - as well as smaller communities such as the desert areas of the Mojave in CA (in which we had DSL) and now am battling with DSL access in the outskirts of Sandy, OR. Allegedly, because I have Verizon in an area in which they cannot guarantee great quality, they are not able to provide service at this time. Yet, if I travel into the forest for another 10 miles, I would have DSL service available to me. Hmm...I'm not quite sure I understand this, because when I lived in the metro areas of LA and Portland, the service was awful, and they were constantly claiming that they could not guarantee that the service would be available due to weather issues and other "line" issues that a customer may experience, and that some issues are out of their ability to control.

So, if either way the service was not guaranteed, then why not allow current Verizon customers in the Mt Hood corridor to access DSL services, knowing that they are paying for a service that may have "weather" related issues or other problems that may be out of the control of Verizon. At least having the option for faster internet services sometimes would be welcomed over the sole option of the dial-up service we are all subjected to. For those of you who enjoy the ultra-fast downloads, the zippy page loads, and everything else that makes DSL the way to go, just to remind you - it's like going from digitally enhanced DVD movie to a manual slide projector run by my 6th grade history teacher. . . yeah, it's that bad.

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Blogging the local Mt Hood area of Oregon. With skiing, snowboarding, hiking, shopping, wind surfing, live bands, resorts, movies, and much more to do, you'll never be bored in the Mount Hood area.