Review by baptiste8
Good "Static IPs, SDSL, add'l IPs available"
- Location: Mebane,Alamance,NC
- Cost: $69 per month
- Install: about 4 days
- CLEC party: Mebtel
Bad "DSLAM seems to be sensitive to thunderstorms"
Overall "Awesome access for a town in the sticks!"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
Mebane, NC is a small town (around 6K residents) located inbetween Raleigh and Greensboro along I-85. It has been serviced by a Mom & Pop telco, MebTel (Mebane Home Telephone) for years, initially run by one of the local wealthy families. MebTel was sold to Madison River Communications in the late 90's - a company that specializes in buying small local telcos and adding services that only a larger company can.
I had DSL before many of my friends in Raleigh did - its been great. Initially Mebtel offered SDSL - a rarity. I've got 384kbps up and down. Now compared to todays offerings (where 1500/384 is common) that may seem slow - but back then it was great. And honestly, it is plenty fast for my needs. They give static IPs which is a major bonus. Today, they've reorged their offerings to ADSL - to compete with RoadRUnner, etc. You can get 1500/256 or similar up speed for $40/month. They also used to offer an option where you could opt out of their ISP if you had someone else to provide email/web hosting and it was cheaper.
They also offer business DSL. Though their website currently only offers ADSL similar to residential, they did at one time offer packages as fast as 1.1MBps SDSL for $450/month with a bunch of IPs and email boxes which was a GREAT deal for a business needing high speed upload bandwidth. That's almost T1 speeds for about 2/3s less than a T1 costs (around $1500 here)
All in all - Mebtel is a great ISP provider. While their helpdesk is centrally located to server their other small telcos (my calls go to South Carolina), trouble tickets generally get routed to the local telco and the same techs usually deal with things. My only beef - when the local techs call to setup a time to come out or get more info and you're out - they never leave a last name or phone number where you can reach them - its always 'We'll try back later' which is really annoying - I know its to avoid losers from calling them directly every time something goes wrong, but it still can extend your troubles as you play phoen tag one way.
But in terms of responsivness, I generally get a callback the same day I open a ticket.
Mebtel currently uses Ascend boxes and they do have DSLAMs in some remotes to give them a wide service area. They have a detailed map of their coverage on their website too. They seem to have scaled back their speed choices some - they used to have like 10 different packages and now its down to a couple - but I expect if you asked for it, they might be able to provide it. I know I'm looking to boost my SDSL speed to 512 or higher at some point and they used to offer that - hopefully they still will if I ask nice - thats the cool thing of having a local telco!
Bottom line is - if you live in Mebane - Mebtel is the way to go. RoadRunner is available here, but I hated our cable service when we used to have cable and wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole given how crappy the cable network was a few years ago (constantly went out) Been a happy satellite customer since!
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