[oclug] What is a DSL provider? (Was: Sympatico update)
dgerow at afflictions.org
Wed Dec 23 21:20:21 EST 2009
samper.d at gmail.com wrote:
: At the end of the day almost everyone on dsl is controlled by Bell Nexia, the broadband wholesaler for Bell.
: The difference is how the middleman treats you. Read ISP.
: When I was sympatico they sent out bell nexia (bn) techs.
: Now with ncf they send out BN techs but list tech savy as the isp.
: My understanding is that each line into a house goes through th DSLAM. Just a matter of if the isp has a service contract with BN to do the work.
: The bigger the reseller, eg sympatico or tech savy the better the support.
Legally and technically true but isn't always the case.
Bell Nexxia is the DSL provider. If you want DSL, they're the guys who hook
your lines up to the DSLAM/RSLAM/whatever. The ISP is the company that
provides Internet access -- usually PPPoE around these parts.
In other words: the ISP provides IP connectivity, and mans the support
lines. That's what you're buying from the ISP; the physical infrastructure
between your house and the ISP is identical, no matter the ISP. Support of
the infrastructure -- phone lines, xSLAMs, etc. -- is exactly the same,
regardless of the ISP. Which means...
Legally and technically speaking, Sympatico is no different from Teksavvy or
Sentex or Acanac or Freenet. They all sell DSL services. (The oft-touted
line "<regional ISP> is just a Sympatico reseller" is technically false,
but the sentiment behind the phrase is correct.) They all depend on Nexxia
to provide the DSL connectivity, and to perform the RADIUS handoff.
There was a CRTC ruling some time ago that Sympatico and Nexxia were
*required* to be operated as separate business units, to avoid monopolistic
practices. This is why they're both under the BCE umbrella, but considered
separate and distinct entities.
However, as everyone who's ever worked in the ISP business in these parts
can attest, Sympatico often gets preferred treatment:
- when Bell rolls out new speeds, Sympatico *always* gets the higher speeds
first, and Nexxia only offers the new speeds to regional ISPs after fielding
- it's not uncommon to have a customer be unable to obtain a DSL connection
on a regional ISP -- too far from CO, not enough room on the DSLAM, etc.
-- but be hooked up without issue on Sympatico
- customers on regional ISPs often have their DSL profile changed, and are
shifted to alternate DSLAMs without warning -- frequently resulting in a
significant increase in latency (profile change from fast to interleave),
and even a complete loss of service at times
I'm of the opinion that Bell is grossly violating the CRTC ruling, is
abusing their power as a monopoly, and is flagrantly breaking the law, when
it comes to provisioning customers. However, I've been unable to properly
file a CRTC complaint, as I haven't examined a sufficiently large number of
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