where i live, i actually have a few choices for high-speed internet services. it's actually been great having that feeling of choice in a utility (yes, i consider high speed internet a utility -- municipalites should as well and start offering it), especially when you generally (or at least i don't) have one for electricity, water, etc.
i'd been a customer of cableamerica services for a while. they were a small provider servicing more rural areas [at the time] of phoenix-metro(and somewhere in missouri, which i found odd). their customer service is awesome, their services great. i was one of their first high-speed internet customers. it was sweet -- generally cable internet is shared with some of your neighbors or whomever is on the same pipe. being a first customer, there wasn't a ton of sharing ;-) -- i was getting amazing speeds. and had a static ip. and no blocked ports. and could host web services. i also was a normal cable customer of theirs. overall, their price, service and product was far superior in my eyes to cox (one of my alternatives and most comparable).
well, argh...capitalism strikes. a few months back it hit the news that cox bought cableamerica. shart! i knew what this meant for me. but alas, there still were no better options in my area (left one option of qwest dsl). well, the transition finally hit about 2 weeks ago while i was gone. they sent out a letter prior to that saying 'we'll be testing the network this weekend and if stuff doesn't work, just reboot' -- which as a geek i knew was lay-people speak for 'we're transitioning the network finally, and all your crap is about to break...we're really not sure the impact, but hope it works...if it doesn't, reboot.'
well i was gone for the transition but when i returned my internet was kinda funky (working, but funky). i rebooted my router (a snapgear, awesome little device and i recommend to everyone) and noticed the ip address changed. smirk on face i knew bump one had occurred...you see cox doesn't offer static ip addresses to residential customers. you *can* get one if you are a business customer (which by the way uses the same shared network, so essentially you are paying 3x for a static ip and no change in service). [note: my billing hadn't changed...i'm still being billed for a static ip -- this will be remedied this evening, but i had to call.]
today i hit bump 2 and 3. try to use my pop account (which i rarely do since i've converted to web mail interfaces) and couldn't send outgoing mail (i have my own mail server). argh. yep, cox doesn't support any outgoing mail server but their own. why? acorrding to them it will 'drastically reduce the number of spam and virus emails originating from our customers.' -- wtf?! just because of a different server name. hey cox: outbound mail is outbound mail! unless you are filtering at the relay level (which i confirmed they aren't).
bump 3: turn on tv. look what recorded programs are on the dvr. wtf is this ui? it's not the dvr ui i'm used to. hmm...and my hd stations aren't working (kinda). call cox. 'yes, there have been issues, we'll send a download to your box' -- that fixed it (except now i'm not getting some hd channels -- but i have a feeling that the cableamerica packages don't transition well and it will be an opportunity for me to be upsold on some channels).
throughout the process three services i depend on were not made aware to me (although having friends with cox service i kinda knew they were coming). that is poo poo customer service -- you'll send me a letter about 'testing' the network, but not about how other things may change in areas of my service.
needless to say i've began the process with qwest dsl now that they have better speeds to my area...we'll see where that leads me.