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· New Texan
11,467 Posts
All that I can offer is my viewpoint, but I have no numbers to back me up. (Sorry)

I had been considering Dish for a while already partially due to the superstations and the fee-free PVR unit. Around June of last year, the turn-around time from order to install was three days. Then, the local cable company switched from Comcast to AT&T Broadband. When they screwed up everyone's billing by issuing one bill late (and I promptly sent in payment), then secondig a second bill only 10 day later saying my account was delinquent. When I talked with a CSR and got a shoddy response that would be unacceptable at the company I work for, I yanked the cable boxes (to my mother's dismay), and got Dish. However, the turnaround time went from 2-3 days to 3-4 WEEKS. That's one indicator that something was up.

Since then, I've been driving around several neighborhoods, and it seems that the number of small DBS dishes have increased in my neighborhood, despite having east coast feeds. (The dishes look like E* dishes, but I think D* also uses a similar design).

Of course, last December, there was the conversion from @Home to AT&T internet. Since then, the speeds have slowed down overall, with caps on actual download/upload speeds. One major news organization even reported that one customer whose father and daughter played a lot of Everquest noticed a slowdown in speed over a period of time, then an offer came in to upgrade to a business-speed cable circuit. Uh-huh.

To make matters worse, I have only two choices for high-speed Internet: the phone company or the cable company. The phone company residential DSL is $49.95 for 384k down/128k up capped. There is no DSL competition because the phone company, under the laws, qualifies as a "small phone company", and can lock out competition. So, even though I can get DSL "at cost" through work, it is simply not available.

Just to close my venting session, AT&T Broadband had sent me a bill for one week of service. I politely yet firmly refused the amount, explained the reasons why, and sent it to the billing address, the GM of the local cable franchise, and the local television commission. I also stated in no uncertain terms that if they elected to take collections action against me, that I would take legal action. (I don't reward incompetence.) A member of the local cable company called, reversed the charges, and offerred to hook me back up for free with a free month of service. By then, it was too late: I was in my one year commitment. So far, no bounty offers from the cable company.

It has since been almost 11 months since I had Dish installed. My biggest complaints about Dish was the east coast feeds (which I knew about before obtaining) and the lack of disk space on the 501 PVR (a common complaint among PVR owners). While I experienced a few glitches along the way, there was nothing that made me regret going with Dish. In fact, in the past year, the 501 went from a 2 day guide to a 9 day guide, and search was added. The 301 now had local channel mapping.

No regrets.
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