Review by dmk08809
Good "Stable, speed & latency is steady, good tech support"
- Location: Clinton,Hunterdon,NJ
- Cost: $40 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 2 days
Bad "Service has become 'long-in-the-tooth', no upgrades on the horizon, more expensive than alternatives"
Overall "Reliable, but not quite as price and functionality competitive as it once was."
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
September 2012 [final] l-o-n-g update: After being a Sprint/Embarq/CenturyLink DSL customer since service was introduced in 2001 and phone for decades before that, it is time to move on to something a little more current in terms of speed. The 5M/768k service here has been rock-solid albeit expensive but just simply isn't meeting our needs any longer. After checking when/if new capabilities will be made available, the discovery was that for where I live we should be content with these aging speeds. No bonded ADSL2+ or VDSL in our foreseeable future. 5M/768k isnt awful mind you but neither were 28.8k modems back in its day.
CL's implementation of 250GB caps wasn't exactly a thrilling service enhancement either nor the $60/mo+taxes&fees for standalone DSL once initial promo pricing ends.
My current CL 12-month commitment ends next week and I'll be cancelling in favor of Comcast's Blast 50M/10M service recently installed. Somehow I feel 'dirty' in making the switch having never been a big Comcast fanboi. But, the 50M downloads are exceptional and even more importantly the 10Meg upload is just, well, nothing short of amazing. Decent latency too, only a few ms higher than my minimally interleaved DSL. Blast service promo price of $30/mo for 1st 6 months, then $45 for 7-12, and $68 beyond which is still quite a deal considering I'd be paying in excess of $60+taxes&fees for dry DSL starting next month. Competition really can benefit those of us who have choices!
I'd have stuck around if there was actually something worth sticking around for speed & service-wise. I'll miss the excellent support that the TalkToUs team has provided over the years, especially Joey. He's the best and personally took care of several challenging problems that couldn't get resolved via normal phone support channels. The old-time cable plant techs still around dating back to UnitedTel days are top-notch and have an excellent service ethic -- they'll be missed, at least the few that haven't yet retired.
Farewell CL & thanks for the reliable service over the years. I sincerely hope that CL at some point sees the value and opportunity in upgrading to fiber and/or updating this ancient copper plant in the Hunterdon County NJ locale. The lead-sheathed, pulp-insulated cable still in service down the road doesn't owe anyone much after being in service likely ~70+ years. Folks around here have fled in droves over the years, I'm one of the few around who still used DSL...until now.
June 2011 update: Its been almost 2 years since this review was last updated. No changes to report, just a generally stable 5M/768k service. Sadly, its become a bit long-in-the-tooth and these speeds are not quite as impressive as they were ~5 years ago. Pricing of $40/mo for DSL *plus* phone (which I rarely if ever use) takes the total bill up to almost $70. I'm being aggressively poached by Comcast to switch to their triple play for $90/mo for 1st yr, the $110/mo second year, including unlimited phone, HD-DVR, AND Blast 25M/4M internet. Oh! And a $200 credit to boot from Comcast... Its nice to have choice...but would prefer to stay with CLink however its a v-e-r-y tempting proposition. Tis a shame CLink's cable plant here is so dilapidated and distance prevents anything better than what I've currently got. *SIGH* I'll decide by week's end if I'm defecting to cable... A 25M/4M service is awfully tempting. *salivates despite the 250G cap* Its also very enticing to stare at a remarkable ~$50/mo savings by dropping both Clink AND DirecTV by moving it all over.
August 2009 update: Nothing new to report -- still performing excellently and only had one short outage a month or two ago which was related to their upstream carrier Level 3.
February 2009 update: Still running smooth and am very happy. Had first outage in years last month which lasted only around 5 hours. Thought it was quickly addressed and resolved. No complaints here - speeds and stability are excellent. Just wish I could get the 10Meg package (still not available to me since due to distance and equipment from the CO).
June 2008 update: Still rock-solid and performing perfectly. Took advantage of the $5 cost reduction a few months ago with no issues whatsoever. Between the Embarq-staffed/sanctioned support in the DSLR forums and the overall service package this is by far the best ISP I've ever had to deal with. Kudos to Embarq for delivering and maintaining a top-notch service. I do however miss dial backup and Netnews which were eliminated as part of the Earthlink migration. Also it appears I'm just a little too far to get the 10Mbps service, but the 5/768 is a champ nonetheless.
January 2008 update: I wish all telecom services were this trouble-free and cannot remember the last time there was a significant service-impacting hiccup. Speeds are dead-on (5Meg down), first hop-latency ~7ms w/ Fastpath, and tech support is among the best I've seen anywhere. These guys know how to run network, keep their customers satisfied, and deliver a service! I do miss some of the freebie features such as netnews and dial backup that the Earthlink service offered before the emabarqmail migration, but that's small stuff in the bigger picture. I just hope they stay ahead of the capacity curve with the introduction of 10M service (not yet available in my CO apparently).
June 2007 update: Upgraded to the 768k upstream service from 640k. Am reliably getting ~700k upstream with the full 5M down. My line is pretty much maxed out now, with very little margin left for further upgrades. Guess that can be expected for a 9K ft loop running on ~45 year old copper. Working well and very pleased.
January 2007 update: 6 months and counting of broadband bliss. The 5000/640 service here has been ROCK-SOLID, never yet an interruption or slowdown even during peak hours. Bravo Embarq! My only wish/dream is that an even higher tier of service approaching 10M/2M was available. Maybe someday?
July 2006 update: I'm back w/ Embarq (nee-Sprint) DSL after an almost 6-month stint with PatMedia's cable modem service. Embarq is now price & speed competitive. I couldnt be happier with Embarq's 5000/640 service and have no regrets of returning to the DSL service I reliably enjoyed since 2001 when it became first available in Clinton, NJ.
The Zxytel 660 modem was shipped overnight and service activated the following day with ease. Seems like they have the provisioning process well-oiled. Customer service and support has been responsive, friendly, and eager to please. Some line clean-up (bridge tap removal) was needed to make the 5.0 service stable, once done its been blazing fast at 7-8ms latency to first hop w/ fastpath. Tech support at both the 800 number and the field tech were simply OUTSTANDING. Way to go Embarq! I really like what I see so far.
January 2006 update: Dropped Sprint's DSL service in favor of Patriot Media's cable broadband. Sprint was no longer speed or price competitive. :-( See review and story at: »Review of Patriot Media by dmk08809
Late-December 2001 update: 3+ months and still going strong! Extremely reliable, quite good speed. I'm still very pleased and am happy with this purchase, even despite Earthlink's affiliation with it.
Original post circa September 2001:
Summary: A pleasant experience overall -- I was up and running within 5 business days after placing the order. It would appear that Sprint Local generally has their collective act together in providing DSL service.
Background: I'm one of the Rhythms' refugees who was expecting to be shut off on September 10, 2001. Remembering the hassle it took to get my first DSL line from FlashCom (remember them??) & Rhythms, I was expecting another 6-month long nightmare to get it installed and operational.
Story: Ordered service on 8/25 via Sprint Local's web site. Received a phone call from a Sprint rep the following Monday 8/27 afternoon to arrange service details. Costs were $50/mo w/ 1yr committment, $50 setup fee, and $200 for the DSL modem (-$150 call-in rebate) for a 128 / 512K PPPoE connection. Since I have several phone extensions, it was determined that a splitter would be preferable to using the self-install microfilters. Service was promised to live and ready on Tuesday, 9/4 and a technician would be out at 6PM that day to install a splitter.
DSL modem (Efficient SpeedStream 5260) arrived on Wednesday, 8/29 via UPS second day air. Paperwork w/ usernames and instructions arrived Thursday, 8/30. Plugged modem in on Tuesday 9/4 around 3PM and had service! Splitter had not yet been installed, so all phone lines in house had a high-pitched hiss on the line while connected. Technician failed to show up on 9/4 by 6PM, so I called Sprint at 7PM. Was told a tech was dispatched and he should be there that night. No show by 9:30, calls to Sprint were greeted with an "offices are now closed" message. Oh well.. Disconnected DSL modem for evening, but was at least relieved to know that it worked.
Sprint Local tech shows up next day 9/5 in the late morning to install splitter. The splitter was installed, integrated into the outside network demarc box and clearly labeled. Apparently, they do not actually need to come inside the house to do any work so such scheduling logistics (and needing to be home) were not necessary. Came home that night, rehomed my existing internal Rhythm's DSL wiring to the new service. Plugged in cables, powered on and Viola! It worked!
So far its been very stable, delivering speeds exactly as advertised. I can only hope that it stays that way and remains as reliable as the Rhythms DSL connection was for the past year. As a result of the rapid installation, I was never without continuous broadband service despite Rhythm's unfortunate demise.
I'm quite pleased overall and can't complain. The service appears to homed directly into SprintLink's POP in Pennsauken NJ, right on their national backbone network. Earthlink as the backend ISP wouldnt have been my first choice for email, netnews, etc, but its at least tolerable. If Sprint Local actually showed up on-time as scheduled, they would have earned an A! Instead, I'll give them an A-.
My Rhythms-based DSL with 408k up / 896k down speeds will still be missed at $39.99/mo, but this sure beats the alternative of going back to a dialup analog modem!
--dmk08809, Town of Clinton, NJ: 908-735 exchange, appx 9,100 wire-ft from the Embarq local central office on Center St.
member for 12.6 years, 2211 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 1.5 years ago