ISP questions

Mark Hartkemeyer hartkemd at
Thu Jun 4 16:48:31 UTC 2009

I'm pretty new to FreeBSD and was reading part of Greg Lehey's The
Complete FreeBSD 4th Edition.  I found the section on ISPs in chapter
18 really interesting.  I put some of his recommended questions to my
ISP, Cincinnati Bell's Zoomtown.  I think I talked to three or four
people before I even got some of them answered.

Here are some of the questions and answers:

1. What speed connections do you offer?
    5MBps upload/5MBps download (she said bytes, but should it be bits?)

2. Can you supply a static IP address? At what cost?
    Yes, $49.95/month for the whole Internet package

3. How many hops are there to the backbone?
    "It depends on the site you're trying to reach." (I think they
misunderstood what I meant by "backbone"?)

4. What kind of hardware and software are you running?
    "Can't provide this, due to security reasons."

5. Can you supply primary or secondary DNS for me?
    "You need a static IP."

6. Can you provide name registration? At what cost?
    "Talk to residential services."

7. Do you give complete access to the Internet, or do you block some ports?
    "Cannot provide this info, due to security reasons."  After
asking, I was told that I would be able to run a mail server and http
server on my connection.

8. Do you have complete reverse DNS?
    (They didn't know.)

I assume this is a pretty typical response from ISPs.  Has anyone
asked their ISP questions like these?  If so, what kind of response
did you get?  Does anyone know of a really good ISP, or a good
resource for finding a good ISP around Cincinnati, OH?

Mark Hartkemeyer

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