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back to article Earthlink cuts half its workforce

Financially-challenged US ISP Earthlink said on Tuesday it will slash about half its workforce after failing to ride the broadband wave Stateside. The Atlanta-based firm will can 900 staff as part of a sweeping cost-cutting exercise. It also lowered its revenue predictions for the third time this year to between $1.19bn and $1. …

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Wow

My friend will be pleased. His Earthlink "broadband" runs at roughly 40-50k. So with the work force cuts, I expect a speed of around 25-35k for him. Maybe he should switch back to dialup since his modem keeps disconnecting him every 30 minutes.

Dear God, why does the internet in the US need to be at the speed of a third world country? I'm paying AT&T for 1.5MBps and all I get is 160k. What are you foreign bastards getting?

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USA Broadband

Funny, I've had High-Speed internet outside the Philadelphia Suburban area from different providers: Comcast (never less than 6 Mbit/sec), Verizon (never less than 3 Mbit/sec), and Verizon FiOS (never less than 5 Mbit/sec).

Maybe they had a little trouble with routing (the Level3/ATT issue in NYC) or weather related problems, but I've never experienced any person with DSL running at 160k...

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Cable speeds

I've had cable internet since it first became available in my area (around 1998). I've never had much less than the stated speed. First it was 1Mbps (I think), then it increased to 3Mbps, then 6Mbps, now it's at 8Mbps. I just connected up a couple clients to Comcast Workplace (business-class cable internet), and it's so much better speed-wise. It's supposed to be "up to" 6 or 8Mbps down and 768K/1Mbps up, but both clients are getting much higher than that. I downloaded a 68MB file from one of my clients last night averaging 250KB/sec until it hit 18MB then it slowed to around 100KB/sec. So it started at around 2.5Mbps and ended at around 1Mbps (taking overhead, etc into account).

Verizon DSL, on the other hand... It is, in a word, shit. One of my clients had it in their building, then they moved literally across the street, and their speed dropped by more than half. After a couple months back-and-forth between phone calls to Verizon, one VZ tech finally admitted that the phone line was 13,000 feet from the CO (how, when the building across the street was 4,000?). That, plus constant disconnects and IP changes (often times the IP address would change as frequently as every 5-10 minutes), drove them to Comcast.

So that's my personal experience with speed. Mark's issue (re: Wow) isn't entirely clear to me. To my knowledge, AT&T (actually, any U.S. ISP) has never claimed 1.5MBps, they claim 1.5Mbps (bits, not bytes). So the "160k" you get, is that 160 kilobytes per second or 160 kilobits per second? 160 kilobits per second would be accurate for a 1.5Mbps line.

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Earthlink jumped off a cliff recently

I had used Earthlink for business SDSL for almost 6 years. When I called tech support, at any hour of the day or night, I got a live person on their biz support number, not a phone tree, and that person was able to diagnose my problem and fix it from right there. Probably happened 4 or 5 times in the 6 years, and the service was worth the $300/month and then some. Early this month, my line went down, called the number, got a 2 hour queue. The guy on the other end of the phone was Indian talking on VOIP so we could barely understand each other. I'm all for outsourcing, but for some functions, it would be just as effective to eliminate the services as it does to outsource.

He had to call a tech for a site visit, which was scheduled for a Friday and didn't happen until the following Monday. That guy decided it was a telco line problem and had to start a ticket with the telco. I got a call confirming that the problem had been fixed the following Wednesday. Still not fixed. And the problem seemed to be (from my side) an authentication database on their end.

Earthlink is most definitely not the company it was 6 years ago, or even 1 year ago. In the wake of this emergency, we decided to stop hosting in our office and just use consumer quality cable for access, with hosting providers for e-mail and web. Cut our costs in half. And by the way, cable self installed in less than 2 hours after we had the idea.

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