[NCLUG] Broadband ISP options in Fort Collins

Frank Whiteley techzone at greeleynet.com
Tue Jan 18 09:19:19 MST 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Brian Weaver" <brian at fcu.com>
To: <nclug at nclug.org>
Sent: Monday, January 17, 2005 19:51
Subject: Re: [NCLUG] Broadband ISP options in Fort Collins

> Bob Proulx <bob at proulx.com> [2005-01-17 15:55:31 -0700]:
> >
> > Things that an ISP provide are the infrastructure to enable internet
> > operations.  You get a mail box on their system.  You get DHCP to your
> > computer with DNS name resolution.  PPP.  You get spam filtering on
> > email.  You get web pages upon which you can place content.  You get a
> > firewall to protect you from the hostile 'net.  Many things.  I am
> > probably missing a few and have added a few that some don't enable.
> >
> > If you only have an IP address then you get none of the above.  You
> > only get a cord to the Internet.  That by itself is insufficient for
> > the above.  But the long time Internet user can provide their own
> > infrastructure.  GNU/Linux and *BSD are both platforms of choice for
> > the small operator.  Run a DNS master.  Find someone on a different
> > network to be your DNS slave.  Register with the top level .com (or
> > other) nameservers.  Set up your own MX records for mail.  Set up your
> > own mail transfer agent to receive mail.  Set up your own spam and
> > virus filtering to process the mail.  Set up your own web server for
> > publishing web content.  Attach to public NTP servers for time.  Try
> > to save the world, one internet packet at a time.
> >
> > In effect, you are complete master for your domain.  However that also
> > means debugging all problems yourself.  No one to escalate the problem
> > to as you are the senior admin and tech support, chief cook and bottle
> > washer.  Note my DSL problems for an example.  But you learn much and
> > gain much experience.  You are only a good candidate for this if you
> > can't be talked out of it regardless of the problems.
> >
> Most people don't really need to do all of this. If your ISP provides
> you an IP address and cord to the Internet, you can go off and use
> Yahoo or Google mail for email, surf the serf the web, etc.
> When you pay for a "full service" account, you get an email box (which
> you can get for free else where), web space (which you can get for
> free else where), and thats really about it..  It's not worth the
> extra $10 bucks to me. Also, it's a bad idea to use your ISPs email
> address because when you switch ISPs , you lose it. If you are on a
> free @yahoo.com address, you can change ISPs all you want and not have
> to change your email address.
> FYI, you do not need to do your own DNS resolution on the $10/month
> plan, they DHCP you valid DNS servers. USENET access is also included.
> I see their full service plan as like a tax for people that don't know
> any better.
USENET on the cheap Qwest, interesting.  There are also some other things
that a full access provider may service, like anonymous FTP, secure shell,
and clueful support.  Cheap and free may have their place, until you have no
choice.  When choice is gone, nothing will be cheap or free, but coverage
may be ubiquitous, just not what you wanted.  The Internet will be subject
to shifting paradigms for another decade or two.  These will result from
changing technologies, corporate pressures, and FCC (and other governmental)
rulings (which are all too frequently consistent with corporate, not
consumer, pressures under this administration).  In some published
governmental proceedings, having a choice between Qwest and Comcast is all
you need.  You are right that a lot of consumers don't know any better, as
many AOL and MSN users believe those portal content sites are the Internet.
I just talked with someone yesterday with exactly that range of
understanding and experience.

Then there are those who show up here for their modem support, which
unfortunately most ISPs consider non-standard, if it's on Linux.

On the up side, there are at least 12 wireless ISP startups serving pocket
areas north of Longmont.  One's gone already.  Some are available around
Fort Collins.  Who knows how many south of Denver, though there's been some
blood-letting already around Castle Rock.

Frank Whiteley

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