According to webopedia.com an ISP is an internet service provider. Sometimes ISPs are called internet access providers. I think access provider more accurately describes the job of the ISP. The ISP charges a fee for providing you with the necessary software and modem that allows you to pay more fees for other service and equipment. The ISP gives you access to the world wide web by logging on with your club user name and password.
My internet service provider is Qwest.net which supports the DSL line I have from Qwest. There are about 15 ISPs in Montana that support the high speed internet connection, DSL. I live in a trial location so I have had the DSL service for six years. Like the little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very, very good and when she was not. She was horrid. That sums up Qwest.
The initial sign up was a trying experience. The package price included the Cisco 675 Modem and configuration setting for operating it as a router to accommodate MSN. There were glitches in the modem and it took hiring a technician to set up the modem and configure everything correctly. At that time the DSL line was a new product here in Montana.
Customer service was horrible and the line periodically simply went down. Reasons were given for the down time. These reasons ranged from too hot or too cold. Other reasons were construction interference in the area that interfered with the line. It came to a point I just didn’t worry about it or call and talk to the aggravating customer service people in Utah or elsewhere. I figured it would come up eventually. Nine times out of ten, that is exactly what would happen.
For major power outages and that happens routinely in this area due to lightening or other events I learned you have to reconfigure the modem. For what ever reason the modem goes off track in major power shut down.. This is quite a trick the first time it happens. I strongly suggest for new users to copy down the instructions on the Qwest.net page on how to configure your modem. The Cisco 675 has some issues that have been explained to me various times by the technicians, so I would suggest another model.
Recently, in a power outage situation, the customer service aspect of Qwest has decided to make it challenging for users. Instead of bad customer service, it now provides very nice customer service from India. The only thing that is different is the customer service people are very respectful and gracious when they tell you they do not know why you lost your internet connection.
After spending a good hour on the phone with the customer service expert in India, we both agreed the internet sure was funny in America. The problem was not fixed and again waiting some 24 hours and letting the computer rest seemed to do something. The problem with customer service is that it is very difficult to explain in terms universally understood the simple fact, “I’ve lost my connection.”
If you start with this broad query, I can guarantee you a minimum of one hour on the phone. After many of these never ending help lines over the years, I can say with some certainty it is usually a whacked out modem that needs to be re configured or a bad modem or a temporary power problem that some times fixes itself in time.
You will have people telling you, buy a new virus protection, fire wall, security this and that for $150 and it seems like it may help at the time. But, I am beginning to think this security gig obsession may be the panacea all techs come up with when nobody knows what in the heck is the reason you lost your connection. It is similar to air condition experts who always say, “you gotta flush out the ___” which always costs $150 in addition to time and screws. It may help, but it is not the reason you lost your connection.
So, for what it is worth I like my DSL connection, I am not particularly thrilled with Qwest, but I think they are about the same as all the others in offering internet services. The ISP works better as the years go on. This year has been particularly easy and the down times are minimal. It could be the company and services are getting better or my reaction to the technical issues has just gotten more accepting.