By eweek  |  Posted 2001-05-21

For the past six months, Interactive Weeks Middle Coast crew has been casting about for a decent small office/home office high-speed Internet connection that doesnt necessarily involve the local telephone company.

Our reasons are varied — were getting a new small office where the usually teleworking team will meet, some of our home offices are connected to the outside world only by a split copper line and the work of one of our spouses includes development of a Web radio station.

The mission has grown increasingly frustrating as more and more once-promising competitive carriers teeter at the edge of disaster.

Over-cable service seemed promising, but most of us live on the periphery of AT&T Broadbands vaunted digital cable system, and though the basic demographics of our neighborhoods suggest more than a few would sign up for cable modems, we see no bundled services in our future.

Rave reviews by another writer sent me in search of Sprint Broadband Direct. Fixed wireless seemed like a good idea — until the triangulation guy showed up and determined wed need a 15-foot tower on the top of our already 37-foot-tall house to get the necessary line of sight. Metricom has its mobile Ricochet service up and running here — it works, and works well — but who knows if it will be around in three months?

Most of us live within 22,000 feet of Qwest Communications International central offices crammed with DSL gear. But most of it belongs to Rhythms NetConnections and Covad Communications. Our original DSL provider — Jato Communications — has gone dark, and who knows how long it will take to have service provisioned from elsewhere.

A SOHO white knight anyone? Anyone?

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