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Six Month Rating

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Review by Kambriel See Profile

  • Location: North Arlington,Bergen,NJ
  • Cost: $85 per month
  • Install: about 27 days
  • Telco party Verizon
Good "Not Verizon. This is a real ISP. Decent value, depending on your needs."
Bad "Bandwidth caps on the newsgroups. Unacceptable hold times for techs during normal business hours and evenings.."
Overall "It's far better than Verizon"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

What started out like a racehorse is now running like a snail during peak hours. I am just at 10000 feet from the main office and was getting above my 1500/384 performance for the first week or two in January 2001. Speakeasy has been reporting congestion issues on the NY POP, but have blamed "a few users" who are using full bandwidth 24x7 for the slow down in the area. If a few users can take down an entire region, what does that say about that ISPs ability to manage and cover that region?

In all fairness, I am waiting to see the results of the upcoming upgrade proposed by Speakeasy to the NY POP before I start calling to complain like a madman. I'm paying for the speed I want and I'm not near the max I was told I can get in my area. They would happily get my monthly fee if they provided what I was paying for in the first place. To never interface with anyone other than the billing department after an install is my idea of a perfect ISP.

My interaction with the billing department has been horrific. My original order was for 2 IP addresses and 3 e-mail accounts (including the 2 offered in my speed package). I followed the FAQ on their site for my request to have the additional e-mail addresses created and sent an e-mail to them with the two names I wanted along with alternates. I was lucky to get the two additional e-mail addresses I wanted, but they created 5 accounts... using a couple of the alternates as well as my first choices. I spoke to tech twice about this and billing once (a second time via e-mail). They were billing me for the extra e-mail accounts even after tech claimed they removed them. I have still yet to get a credit on my account for the charges they imposed for those extra e-mail addresses.

However, my insult to injury story is when I finally managed to get through to a tech to report the speed drop. I told the tech that my download speeds were great a few days before on the newsgroups and on the web/ftp. As soon as he heard "newsgroups" I started getting a lecture about how newsgroups are a haven for pornographers and warez distributors and were not designed to transfer files. Okay... I didn't need to hear your personal politics but what about the speed drop? He went on to say that they cap the bandwidth to 20kbps to their newsgroup servers. Hello? Where the hell was this in the TOS? I was told that I was lucky that I was getting between 10kbps and 17kbps from the newsgroups. Newsgroups weren't designed to transfer files? That tech better talk to all those alt.binaries moderator/admins.

Getting back to the performance issue, while I'm getting near 56k modem speed on the download during peak hours (ie. all evening), my upload speed has never dropped below 324. The upload speed is the only part of my service that has been consistently in the realm of acceptability.

Right now they are in the middle of the road since I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt until the upgrade to the NY area is complete.


Update: May 03, 2001.

A lazy Verizon installer stole my second pair that is tagged as a Covad circuit to give a person living in the basement a normal phone. I was out of service for nine days! It took Covad 6 days to get out here to find out what the problem was and then another day before Verizon showed up to correct it. The Covad rep was the same rep who did my install and he was a great guy. He explained what was wrong and why he couldn't do anything about it, but said that Verizon had to fix it. Verizon people are hit and miss - there is no middle ground with their staff. Luckily, the Verizon tech who came out was one of the good ones and within two hours fixed the lines. My speed is back up to the low end of acceptable. However, after I called Speakeasy to report that this problem was corrected but that the speed was off... I then find out another revelation: RADSL speeds have to drop below 128/64 before Covad (the CLEC) will do anything about a problem REGARDLESS of what your speed package is. I'm paying for 1500/384 and my download speeds have fluctuated greatly since my install, though the upload speed remains consistent.

In Speakeasy's defense, I will say that since the Boston POP went live about a month ago things have been better and now they are almost ready to bring the Washington, DC POP into service. This should address the remainder of my speed issues. However, I'm still waiting to hear about the installation of those DS-3 lines their CEO mentioned in his monthly e-mail to the users back in February/March. Also, I was able to get through to their billing and tech support departments within 30 minutes each. In fact, I spent a record 60 seconds getting through to level 1 support to report my problem closed (however, the level 1 tech had to put me through to level 2 support and that took 20 minutes).

I'm waiting to see what kind of credit I get for an outage that spanned nine days. Things are improving with Speakeasy, but I'm not going to be a fully satisfied customer until they go a bit further. Look for an update to this review within the next two months.


Update several years later....

As I'm writing this, Speakeasy is essentially a memory as they were bought by MegaPath. If you are reading this, believe the other reviews and comments in the Speakeasy forum here on DSLReports.com. I've only had mail and news services with Speakeasy for the past 8 years and that was only because I couldn't get their service in Florida, but now I'm glad I don't have their service. As soon as I can figure out how many accounts were tied to my Speakeasy address and change them (and my son and wife will need to do the same), I will be dropping them.

member for 13.8 years, 1405 visits, last login: 1 year ago
updated 3.2 years ago