Friday, January 9, 2009

Our House Goes Online

My original plan for our new house's Intenet connection is to go through the same PLDT postpaid landline that we applied for. To my horror, I was advised by PLDT back in December that they do not have any DSL port left in our subdivision. She placed us on the waiting list (around #15) but cautioned that they do not plan to expand their DSLAM until there is a couple of hundred requests because such an expansion supposedly costs more than a million Pesos.

I went to check with Globe because Marikina is also their service area and our store is using Globelines DSL. The lady at the Globelines center in Blue Wave told me that they only have facility in the main Marikina area. Since LGV is in the edge (pretty much at the Quezon City border), they can only serve us through their wireless landline facility -- which is pretty useless for DSL purposes. (In any subnote, our Globelines DSL at the store has been really, really slow as of late. Its almost unusable even for GMail.)

My next attempt was to plead my case at the Bayantel office also in Blue Wave. Nobody there seem knowledgeable about DSL because they only sell their wireless landline service through that office. They told me that I'm the only person who has been to their office asking for DSL since they do not have wired facilities in Marikina, not being part of their service area. Nonetheless, the male customer service representative there (Rudolph) was very helpful. Since we're at the border of QC and Marikina, they can possibly string a line over. I just have to furnish him with a reference Bayantel telephone number in our area so he can check which CO can service us.

I checked with Grandma if they have a Bayantel number. Luckily, they *HAD* one, but already had it discontinued a couple of years ago because Bayantel lines then were very hard to contact from other telcos. It took her a couple of days to recall that number, but once I had it, I brought it over to Rudolph who initiated the site survey request through their contractor. I made a PHP1,000 installation payment and promptly enough, after 3 to 5 working days (well, it felt very long because of the long holidays this year), their contractor arrived and installed our DSL today!

The speed is pretty decent. I was expecting the worst because we had a client (Gadgets Magazine) who was using Bayantel DSL facilities just along Katipunan and had a horrendous experience with their speed. They're not as cheap as PLDT which bundles their DSL with landline for something like PHP990. Bayantel's DSL is P895 (or is it P899) but does not include a landline. To get a landline with it, you have to pay extra. I think it totals to something like PHP1,300. Anyway, I opted to get a Bayantel wireless landline insteads so we just went with the unbundled DSL.

I'm not sure as to the exact rated speed of Bayantel's DSL. I think its supposed to be 728kbps or something like that (I think PLDT's entry level bundled PHP990 is 384kbps?). But a customer service lady called me a couple of days later and told me it has a "speed-on-demand" feature that lets you burst up to 1280kbps between 10pm to 6am. To avail of it, you just have to add the suffix "@sod" to your PPPoE login id. Not that I surf at night, but I guess it can come in handy if I start to do Bittorrent downloads overnight. hehehe...

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