ISP questions

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Fri Jun 5 06:04:42 UTC 2009

Reid Linnemann wrote:
> Written by Mark Hartkemeyer on 06/04/09 11:23>>
>> 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?)
>>     768kBps
>> 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?
>> Thanks,
>> Mark Hartkemeyer
> These responses don't surprise me. I'm actually impressed your rep knew
> the numbers for the up/down bandwidth, even though their metric was
> wrong. There was a point in time when a technical support representative
> for an ISP was knowledgeable and courteous, but those days are forever
> gone and those reps have been replaced with poorly trained monkeys that
> are forbidden to divert from The Script. You could not get any
> intelligible information about the ISP's services any more than you
> could expect to get intelligible information about a Dell computer's
> north bridge controller from a Walmart Associate. This is attributable
> to the explosion in popularity of personal internet access, resulting in
> a greater need for servicing a high volume of low complexity technical
> support requests (e.g., "my internet don't work"). The reps are paid far
> to little to be technically competent and the ISP doesn't get a return
> for training them to be proficient when they can just ist them in front
> of a knowledge database they've already invested cash into and tell them
> to read what it says. You have to meander your way at least up to tier
> II or III support to get to anyone who might possibly be invested enough
> in the service to know the meaning of your questions and the answers.

Man, you're with the wrong ISP.  The one I use would have no problems at
all answering all of the above, and they'd do it on the phone, by e-mail,
usenet, IRC and probably by generating smoke-signals from the roof of the
datacenter if they thought it would help.  Brilliant approach to customer
management; technical service levels damn good too, despite everything it
seems their NSPs do to foul things up.

Actually, the answers to virtually all of those questions are on their web
site already.

Oh, and they actually like you to run your own mail, web and DNS...  The only
slight flaw is that they are a bunch of penguinistas rather than embracing
the one true daemonic faith.  But I can forgive them for that.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP:     Ramsgate
                                                  Kent, CT11 9PW

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 259 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
Url :

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list