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DIRECTV Broadband Shuts Down 464

Phroggy writes "Effective today (Friday the 13th), DIRECTV Broadband is officially out of business. The company will remain partially operational for the next 60 to 90 days, and we will work to transition our roughly 160,000 customers to another provider. Details are still sketchy. So, anybody gonna be hiring in the Portland area in a couple months?" There's a press release about the shutdown.
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DIRECTV Broadband Shuts Down

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:32PM (#4883901)
    I guess it's "last post" for them!
    • by m_chan ( 95943 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:25PM (#4884278) Homepage
      I guess it may be their last post, but this operation has always been kind of a "phoenix", rising from the ashes. (Or perhaps soiling themselves with said same.)

      Here's why:
      DirecTV DSL, a subsidiary of Hughes, which is in turn owned by General Motors, was formerly known as Telocity until Hughes purchased them [] in July 2001.

      In my part of the country, the switch to the corporate entity Telocity occurred at about the same time as Northpoint bankruptcy forced a CLEC switch from Northpoint to Covad for some customers of Megapath. In October 2000, Megapath had purchased the assets and customer base of an ISP. Megapath kept the business customers of that ISP and spun off [] their residential customers to Chicago-based Telocity.

      And the name of that ISP? Formerly-St. Louis-based Phoenix Networks, founded by a guy named Peter Roberts, who evolved a one-man network integration business into a rapid-growth internet service. Of course that Phoenix should not to be confused with Phoenix [] the BIOS that has the legal team that is making Phoenix [] the superlative web browser change it's name, none of which is happening in Phoenix [].

      Dizzy yet? I know I am. Hope I got at least the broad strokes right. Anyway, I'm glad I got off that Merry-Go-Round during what seemed to be a weekend-stay at MegaPath, though I supported a few friends throught the multiple changes that followed. Maybe the ride finally is coming to a stop.
  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by craenor ( 623901 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:32PM (#4883905) Homepage
    For those of us who do tech support and sometimes run into DirecTV broadband issues, can I just say, yippee!
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Phroggy ( 441 ) <slashdot3@[ ] ['phr' in gap]> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:50PM (#4884054) Homepage
      For those of us who do tech support and sometimes run into DirecTV broadband issues, can I just say, yippee!

      What issues? In general, the service rocked - static IP, standard Ethernet with DHCP (with USB also available, bleh), easy setup (if you don't like the installer or don't run Windows, just point your browser to and enter your phone number, and the gateway configures itself with all your settings).
      • Yes, I've got thier service too. Compared to Bell South it's been a dream.

        Kinda creepy, I had no idea this was happening =(. I just wanted to log in to Slashdot to read some this. For those of us who run a home business on broadband services like DSL, this is scary news indeed.

        I hope it works out =(.

        More pessimistic about the future every minute.

      • Forgot to spell check :(

        Should say...

        You work for them right? Concerning the Telocity modem/fake routers that we use currently, for the services, can you tell us how we can mod them in order to use its routing capabilities? I am going to assume, that directv will lets the consumers keep them. What are your thoughts on this?
        • Re:Well... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Phroggy ( 441 )
          You work for them right? Concerning the Telocity modem/fake routers that we use currently, for the services, can you tell us how we can mod them in order to use its routing capabilities? I am going to assume, that directv will lets the consumers keep them. What are your thoughts on this?

          I'd assume they'll let everyone keep them - they're basically worthless on any other network, and why pay for the return shipping? They're not fake routers, they're real routers - you'll notice you're on your own 4-IP subnet. It's the option to enable NAT that you're interested in, which I won't tell you how to enable. Not that it matters much, but I do still have a job.
      • Some wireless networking issues and a connectivity issue for gamers, mainly gamers in persistent world games, like the mmorpg's. DIRECTV was by no means the worst, but they were far removed from the best.
  • this is no good (Score:4, Informative)

    by Merlin_80000 ( 529027 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:33PM (#4883911) Homepage Journal
    DirecTV is the only residential provider in my area that provides static IP, hopefully i'll run across somewhere else. btw the support phone number has a message basically saying that they are shutting down within the next 30 days and to please not call them anymore.
    • Re:this is no good (Score:3, Informative)

      by SquadBoy ( 167263 )
      Just so you know I had to go with cable where I'm at (I really wanted speakeasy) so just a couple of suggestions. You might try speakeasy. They are *really* good from what I've been told. Also if cable is in your area they provide DHCP but I've had the same address for ~3 months now and the tech who installed told me that they basically have leases that last for so long that unless you are offline for a really long time you will almost never lose the address.
      • Re:this is no good (Score:3, Informative)

        by pyros ( 61399 )
        I'll attest to that. I had great service from them in Minnesota. Full DNS hosting fees were a little on the high side I thought, but hosting it myself on the connection they gave would not have been a problem. They're very *nix friendly. They used to have a few wisecracks on their website about people wanting to run NT Server. :) I got a pretty good vibe from MegaPath too, but I never actually had service from them.

        The CO servicing me is too outdated even though I'm in range, so I'm stuck with a crappy cable service (I actually find myself eager for Time Warner to buy out the community contract so I can get roadrunner).
    • Speakeasy [] is growing in area. Check them out. They have plans for 2 IP addresses right now.
      • They have plans for 2 IP addresses right now.

        I just spoke with them on the phone(I need to switch too because I'm with directv). They say that each static IP is $2.99 more to your monthtly cost. I run 3 machines so that means 3 statics. For me it comes to $49.99 + $2.99 + $2.99. $55.97 a month.

        Directv uses a router/hub so you can set up your network via NAT. This is what I've been doing, and it cost me an extra $10 for the NAT/firewall(they call it the connect/protect plan). Totalling at $59.99 a month.

        So actually Speakeay is a much better deal. It costs less, and you get 3 static IPs(rather than just 1). The only problem is that it's $49.99 for 608up/128down instead of 1.5Mup/128down that directv offered. So for the big file traders this might not be the way to go. But I think I can live with 608kbps.

        Also I have a suspicion that speakeasy has better latency/ping times. Can anyone confirm that?
    • Re:this is no good (Score:5, Informative)

      by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:02PM (#4884121) Homepage Journal
      Check out Earthlink. They seem to be everywhere where other broadband providers are, and they also do static IP (it's a small additional cost, but it's available.) They also have quite a good support policy - you're allowed to do your own networking, use non-Windows/Mac, etc, but if you do then they will not provide telephone support - you're assumed to know what you're doing.

      I will not say they're perfect, they're PPPoE, and the static IP I have seems to break every time I lose the connection (typically I can't get it back for 15 minutes), and then there's the Hubbardist connections, but there's nothing so bad about the service I'd not recommend them to others.

      • Speakeasy actually offered [reasonably] limited support for linux when I was a customer. I say reasonably limited because they would try and work through configuring your machine but made it clear not to expect them to be familiar with every distro's methodology.
  • More Info (Score:5, Informative)

    by Phroggy ( 441 ) <slashdot3@[ ] ['phr' in gap]> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:33PM (#4883912) Homepage
    I dunno why they posted this under "Ask Slashdot", but here's some more info:

    DSLReports [] (forum)
    DirecTV DSL [] (info for customers)
    Press Release [] from Hughes (parent company of DirecTV)
  • Horses Mouth (Score:5, Informative)

    by Apathy costs bills ( 629778 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:33PM (#4883915) Homepage Journal
    Well, here's their customer FAQ [] that explains a lot.
  • How sudden? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by benzapp ( 464105 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:33PM (#4883916)
    I swear I saw advertisements for DirecTV DSL just the other day. Is this sudden or what?
  • Fsck! And I just said how good their prices and service was in the previous story! DirecTV is really hurting, they needed to cut their losses to keep their DBS system going.

    What a shame! They might be missed. (formerly Telocity)
  • by wumarkus420 ( 548138 ) <wumarkus@hotm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:35PM (#4883931) Homepage
    Not too big of a surprise. You have no idea how many times people would ask me (sys admin) about internet connections and DirecTV-DSL came up. Of course the number one question - DOES IT WORK OVER THE SATELLITE!!!??? People could never get past the DirecTV name, and therefore seemed to shy away from the service because they were either confused or thought they had to subscribe to satellite service to get the service. The term "DSL" means nothing to anybody but people like us. To everyone else, they only look at the DirecTV part and make assumptions on that. I mean, their satellite service is named DIRECWAY - that's a hell of a lot more separation than DIRECTVDSL. Of course, they probably thought the name would be the selling point - but unfortunately, DSL and satellite service don't mix.
    • They started out as Telocity, which is not a bad name, but when Direct TV bought them out, accounts payable at my company had an issue with me trying to expense my Satellite TV bill.
    • by gregger ( 156275 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:50PM (#4884052) Journal
      Yeah, DirectWay or DirecPC (their other broadband services) are probably the only options I have (until Ricochet comes in).

      I too thought "hmmm... DirecTVDSL, maybe it goes through the satellite... naaaah."

      DirecPC is interesting because it does the download from a satellite (about 300 to 400 kbps) but the upload from a dial-up connection. So you have to use their software that splits your traffic for you. You get fairly good response since most users download a lot, but upload little. The drawback is that you still need a separate phone line.

      DirecWay is actual TWO-way satellite broadband. It was supposed to get the same 300 - 400kbps download speed and a 128kbps upload speed.

      Sounds great until you think of the actual time taken for clicks to be processed. Since your signal has to go from your roof to a satellite, to earth, do stuff, then take the same course back, response lag can range up to the .5 to 1 sec range! (So I've heard from users, but can't personally verify.)

      This makes certain applications fail (including a Web application we make). Once you get a response it is very fast, but the lag... wow...

      • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Friday December 13, 2002 @09:24PM (#4884837) Homepage Journal
        400kbps is not very fast anyway. You have to provide people at least 768k or they will be saying "man, my friends with DSL (and/or cable) can download more than TWICE as fast as I can." 300kbps is DEFINITELY not fast enough. 128kbps is enough upstream, almost everyone has to settle for that, except most attbi customers who (like me) get 256kbps up.

        Incidentally I don't see why you would have to use their software which splits traffic. Basic routing should take care of that, as long as your ISP is not blocking traffic from random routable IP addresses which come from your IP address. Since you are speaking TCP/IP over PPP (in almost every case) on a modem link to an ISP, as long as the machine with the outbound connection is forwarding packets between interfaces (IE, it is a router) you ought to have no problems sending out that traffic.

        However if they are blocking traffic from other IPs there is another solution, use a VPN to some asset of the satellite ISP who then relays your requests - this is slow and costs more, and I think doing bidirectional satellite is the only reasonable solution. Sure, you can't play games over it, but only a poorly designed web application will bitch about two seconds of seemingly random lag, which is a common occurence on every home internet link I've ever heard of. If your web app chokes because someone has a 2 second lag time on top of the usual lag one sees on the 'net, your web app is poorly designed.

    • > People could never get past the DirecTV name

      I have had people ask if DSL meant "Direct Satellite Link"

  • Why Portland? (Score:2, Informative)

    I don't see any mention of Portland in the press release. Is there a Portland office shutting down?
    Well, if that's the case then join the party... there are plenty of us here not working.
  • So, how large was their employee base?

    What does this bode for folks in nearby cities (like Seattle, for example) who are currently battling an already shitty tech market?

    -Unemployed in Seattle
  • by SteweyGriffin ( 634046 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:36PM (#4883938)
    I got to reading some other headlines about broadband companies. This got me to thinking -- is anyone doing well in this market right now?!

    This is really upsetting because broadband is so important to so many people these days. Geeks, eBay'ers, etc. need to be connected, and ISPs, telcos, etc. don't seem to be able to provide fairly cheap, reliable service.

    Hughes shutdown strands broadband users
    CNET - 8 minutes ago ... Satellites, digital subscriber lines and cable modems are the three
    major ways Web providers deliver broadband to homes and offices. ...

    Hughes to close terrestrial broadband operation - 1 hour ago ... DirecTV Broadband, based in Cupertino, was acquired by Hughes in April ... it's working
    toward transitioning existing customers to alternative service providers. ...
    Hughes Shuttering a Fast ISP Unit -

    Broadband prices to rise in early 2003, UK - 7 hours ago ... help ISPs stimulate the UK broadband market, which has already boomed over the last
    12 months. "Recent advertising campaigns from BT and its service providers ...
    BTw in new year ADSL promo - The Register

    AOL's Iffy Broadband Deals - 12 Dec 2002
    But the hefty carriage fees it faces from cable providers add up to iffy
    prospects for making money off broadband, consumer advocates say. ...
    The Layoffs That Stole Christmas - Washington Post
    AOL's Iffy Broadband Deals -
    AOL's Parsons: "This Isn't Terminal" - BusinessWeek

    Local cable TV, Internet choices debated
    Hampton Union, NH - 7 hours ago ... necessary because he has heard residents complain about the lack of options from
    AT&T Broadband and Comcast, the town's current Internet and cable providers. ...

    BT fails to make the connection, UK - 14 hours ago ... why doesn't BT act as a branded reseller for third-party cable service providers? ... Instead
    of waiting until the local level of demand for broadband justifies an ...
    • Indeed. I was a sprint high speed DSL subscriber until recently, when they decided to pull out of the high speed DSL market in my area.

      The word on the street I keep hearing is that's it's very difficult for companies to make profits off broadband. I really don't know why this is the case, broadband really isn't THAT unpopular. Are investors too impatient on a return on their investments? Do a lot of these companies just have a poor business model? Are these companies just badly managed? Or is this just a natural weeding of bad companies in an industry that's still fairly young?

      I'd be willing to bet on the latter. Seems like this same thing happened in the early commercial dialup ISP era, but no one heard about it because the companies affected were much smaller.
      • I think there are two reasons. First the current users of broadband use a lot of bandwidth. Companies were hoping that the eventual subscribers would be a cross section of narrowband customers, not high bandwidth users. This drives up the company's network costs, T1's and above are not cheap.
        Second, adoption rates have not been good at all, the companies were expecting much higher penetration rates by now, and most of them spent too much money on capital equipment. Now they aren't running at capacity, and are unprofitable. This compbined with the new investment focus on cost cutting, means that they are leaving quickly. Sprint probably took the DSLAM from your area, to an area that was already operating at capacity, so they didn't have to buy another one.
    • Sure, someone's doing well - the LEC's. Its their obscene fees that keep anyone but them from providing affordable broadband. DSL should be affordable - cable just has too high of a rollout cost, and too many points of failure. But since the FCC has pretty much decided to just ignore the laws mandating local competetion, there's little that can be done.

      Other than giving your location-mandated baby Bell even more money for shitty customer service and outdated equipment.

    • by dissy ( 172727 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:06PM (#4884151)
      I think your comment hits the problem on the head...

      > Geeks, eBay'ers, etc. need to be connected, and
      > ISPs, telcos, etc. don't seem to be able to provide
      > fairly cheap, reliable service.

      You cant have everything for nothing.
      You want expensive services for cheap? No one can do it.

      As long as T1's and T3's cost the price they do, _someone_ has to bear that. The customer complains it shouldnt be them it should be the ISP. But why is that exactly?

      The only reason in the past for an ISP to do this is to get a T1 and share it with say a number of dialup ports.

      Unless you want your DSL/Cable to be 64k or less each way, the numbers dont make finantual sence to the ISPs to not raise prices to charge accordingly.

      You want a megabit down? That costs an ISP $1500/month. You people want that for $40/month and not have it shared with 40 or more other people, yet there is no other way to break even, let alone make money.

      I would love to have that too, but I would also love free art, obtainable medicines for those that need it, not charged to use the airwaves around me, to be able to travel into space, and to be able to modify my own DNA at my whim, and a large number of other things.
      As of yet, none of this is happening even though it is all very possible and we are just as capable of doing right now.

      <bigger rant>
      As long as governments allow the raping of the people by providing one company with a monopoly, and outlawing all competition, all we can do is fight them to give us our USA back. But too many people dont care and are fine with it, so nothing will change except for the worse.

      That is the problem that needs fixing.

      Now on to phase two.. Ideas. Got any? I sure dont :(
      • Ideas? You got problems, I got ideas.

        I am a libertarian. I think government is supposed to be tiny, very small, almost indetectable. But one of the only reasons for Uncle Sam to get out of bed in the morning is to provide infrastructure.

        I could see government providing a completely new door-to-door, office-to-office fiber network, completely seperate of any commerical network. Maybe in areas with good networks they could make an offer to acquire the exisiting network. That'd be fine with me. There would be a few regional NOC's.

        The fiber would be opened up for non-discriminatory licensing to all kinds of companies: phone companies, ISP's, etc etc. Cable, Internet, Phone, and who knows what could be sent down it. With enough bandwidth built into the equation I'd expect the costs to be very low to consumers - plus over time traditional phone, cable and Internet would be migrated out of the picture, creating a single pipe. As a citizen, you'd get a bill for actual bandwidth used time rate, with discounts as consumption grows. No minimum fee or any of that. You'd also get bills from who ever you buy services from: phone, cable, Internet, etc.

        There are a lot of problems: massive costs, privacy issues, DRM-ish problems, etc. I think most could be overcome: we take the silly money we give to telecom's and direct that to a new fiber network. All traffic is encrypted from end-to-end with IPSEC so that the NOC's have no access to anything but useless routing information, etc.

        Its a long shot but an idea I think would work, be ultimately massively innovative, and even boost the US economy by a large amount.
      • Bullshit (Score:3, Informative)

        by cgleba ( 521624 )
        > As long as T1's and T3's cost the price they do,
        > _someone_ has to bear that. The customer
        > complains it shouldnt be them it should be the
        > ISP. But why is that exactly?

        All this hype that has is circling around about 10% of the users sucking up 80% of the bandwidth and thus killing broadband companies and causing the price to rise is complete and utter bullshit.

        I did an economic report on the broadband industry (I would gladly post if if I had more bandwidth) and the problem is *not* that too much bandwith is being consumed, but that *not enough people have signed up for braodband thus negating the economies of scale the broadband companies projected*!!!

        The marginal cost of extra bandwith is miniscule compared to the capital cost of the equipment deployed for broadband. ATT, Verizon, etc all own the backbone and have a *lot* of dark fiber they could utilize at any moment if the demand were there (the cost of a T-1 is *only* expensive to businesses because they have to pay *extra for a balanced line specifically for them* -- and their business is a much further away from the hubs then a broadband router). The problem is that *demand is not there* and the users that they do have have to offset the capital costs that they sank.

        Americans are not computer educated and have no need for broadband in general. Furthermore, there is no way to generate demand for broadband until broadband is widely used (for instance, to make high-quality video availible over the Internet the companies have to have a lot of users, but there won't be a lot of high-bandwith users until high-quality video is avaiable).

        Furthermore, due to the FCC deregulation causing media keiretsus, the broadband companies will not offer any service to boost demand due to conflicts of interest. For instance, Verizon could *easily* offer long-distance toll-free telephone over DSL, but this would cause the substitution effect against their own telephone service with very little income effect becuase there is little demand for broadband.

        Face it, this bullshit about 10% of the users costing broadband companies too much is just that -- bullshit. If it were really an issue they could implement token bucket weighted fair queueing and everything would be fixed. It is an attempt to convince their inelastic consumers that they are hurting and need more $$ from them. It is so they can suck up consumer surplus from their inelestic consumers by introducing a-la-carte pricing while avoiding backlash by spreading this myth.

        The broadband companies are hurting very much, but it has *nothing* to do with people downloading too much -- it is completely due to the fact that the number of people that have signed up are *nowhere* near their projections thus they are trying to offset their capital costs by sucking $$ out of their faithful customers.

        If you need evidence of this bandwidth myth, just look at South Korea -- they have 20Mbit connections to their homes chepaer then we do and they don't have bandwidth issues. What they did as opposed to us is that the government boosted demand before broadband rollout by offering computer education virtually free to the entire country -- thus the demand was high enough to offset capital costs at the introduction and because everyone had broadband they could create apps for broadband causing more demand for broadband (and the self-feeding cycle continues).

        We never met that critical demand mass here.

        In summary, don't listen to the bandwidth crap. It is marketing hype to calm the masses before they start introducing by-the-megabyte pricing to suck up consumer surplus (the people who use the most bandwith are the least likely to completely drop broadband, afterall). All of this is worse then the stupid 'viral' GPL marketing crap that MS put out and now everyone seems to quote.

        If I upset you, mod me to hell. If you want to discuss make a good argument.
    • Profit margins for DSL are pretty low. A lot of the ISPs were forced to fit in a small market, so some of them were destined to buckle. I've heard mixed reviews of DirecTV, but if you were with them for the static IPs/power-user benefits, Speakeasy [] offers much of the same, and it's one of the only growing DSL ISPs in the nation. They're also running some damn nice promotions that make me a tad jealous of our customers (I am an employee).

      One of the problems with a lot of the providers is their failure to differentiate. Its hard to tell the difference between a lot of these ISPs because they don't provide any one thing better than other companies. Most of these companies shot for bill consolidation, which is nice, but hardly something you can sell yourself off of, since so many internet access companies provide it (direcTV dsl, any ILEC ISP, cable broadband, etc.). There's just too many competitors shooting for the bargain/cheap-goods approach.

      Having offered a plug for Speakeasy, I must warn you, they're not cheap, because you pay for what you get (or you get what you pay for, depends on how you want to approach it, I guess). That said, you get a lot of things most other ISPs wouldn't dream of offering.

      As always, if you want a good medium to get recommendations, DSL Reports [] is a good place to go. Don't take my word on Speakeasy, their reputation there will speak for itself.

      However, there is one thing to keep in mind - being in the DSL business, at the consumer level, is asking for a potentially complicated relationship. Installation can be quite a pain, and this has as much to do with any one of your phone lines, local phone company, and fate, as it does with the ISP itself. Some people aren't aware of this or don't realize it, and they get frustrated, and since the ISP is the front line of service, they're the ones who get the blame.
  • by da3dAlus ( 20553 ) <> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:39PM (#4883952) Homepage Journal
    ...but it looks like I was beat to the punch. Oh well.

    I JUST signed up with DTV DSL, and my gateway was in the mail as of yesterday. I'm really pissed, but at the same time I really feel for those hundreds of folks that came to work just to find out they didn't have jobs anymore.

    I am a bit pissed that not a single email has been sent out about this. Apparently people are just finding out via forums, and now /. has the news. If anyone has info, or is in the same boat as me, please post any news you get about returning your gateway and dropping service before it begins. I figure it'd just be easier to wipe my hands of the service before it even begins, and sign up with someone else.

    Thanks, and good luck to those who were laid off.
  • Although the consumer broadband landscape is hardly a profitable area in today's business environment, the DirecTV unit's death could not be chalked up to slim margins alone. Just as they have utterly failed [] to prevent the theft of their premium television channels, DirecTV had placed little or no access control on their broadband network. I know this for a fact because I know of no fewer than five people who are able to get internet service from DirecTV for free, with some slightly modified equipment. Obviously, hiring a bunch of half wits [] to secure your network does not help the matter.
  • Speakeasy! (Score:5, Informative)

    by sterno ( 16320 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:42PM (#4883990) Homepage
    I highly recommend speakeasy if you need another option. The provide good service and have the smoothest installation I've seen. I also got a free PS/2 out of them when I signed up :)
  • Hehehe (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrP- ( 45616 ) <jessica AT supjessica DOT com> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:44PM (#4883998)
    I'm sorry, I had to! [] ::giggles::
  • Portland Jobs. (Score:5, Informative)

    by MAXOMENOS ( 9802 ) <maxomai AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:46PM (#4884020) Homepage
    So, anybody gonna be hiring in the Portland area in a couple months?

    Stream, XO, Powell's, Wal-Mart, Plaid Pantry, Fred Meyer ....

    Oh, you want a high-paying IT job? Better start thinking about your own business, and I don't mean consulting. It's death valley for IT in Oregon right now.

    • by Lucas Membrane ( 524640 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:27PM (#4884289)
      Try U-Haul, Ryder, or whoever rents out those trailers. One of my friends decided to move out of town and found that there was a shortage of trailers for rent, as they have all been rented 1-way outbound. You might get a job retrieving them or building more.
    • Stream :) (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Skuld-Chan ( 302449 )
      I'm a former sys-admin who is working at Stream right now. Its not very high paying, but sometimes helping people out is pretty rewarding. There is a career path - its comforting to know that all my supervisors, site director and service delivery manager all started out on the phones just like me.

      Plus its amazing how much you learn - I know more about the product (desktop publishing/graphics software) I support then probably most anyone on here.

      Also I'm learning a lot about how to deal with diffucult people - a must in almost any job. I've literally made people who were screaming at me apologize for being so rude.

      After all this I still want out because it is a very hard job for the pay. In the end though if I was in charge of hiring someone on a help desk I would look for call center (tech support) experience. Especially when you consider the success rate of most support techs here. Personally I can take a cold call - not know anything about the customers system, its quirks etc (I support mac, windows and sometimes unix products) and well over 90% solve there sometimes complex problem.
  • Recommended New ISP? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by KarateBob ( 556340 )
    I'm on DirecTV DSL right I have 60-90 days to switch to new ISP?

    Funny, last night I was talking to my family about which ISP we should switch to, because my DirecTV DSL was down for about 90 mins, and once it was back up (past 11 pm PST) we went to DSL Reports. I looked at good backbones, Level(3) and SBC look good.

    I'm lookin at PacBell DSL By SBC.

    Does anyone have any good alternative for aDSL with a Static IP? (We are a family with a Linksys router and several switches)
    • by Phroggy ( 441 ) <slashdot3@[ ] ['phr' in gap]> on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:09PM (#4884168) Homepage
      I'm on DirecTV DSL right I have 60-90 days to switch to new ISP?

      If you stay with DirecTV DSL, we'll try to migrate you to a new ISP and make it as painless as possible (no guarantees about that, but we'll do our best). If you cancel, you have to wait for the LEC to release your line before you can sign up with another DSL provider, so you're looking at around a month of downtime if you choose to go that route. However, I have no idea what the new ISP will be, and they may not offer a static IP. Check the web site (don't call!); there may be more info on Tuesday.
  • by McFly69 ( 603543 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:52PM (#4884066) Homepage
    Does this mean I stil have to mail them their modem or I get to keep it permently? I would nto mind keeping it so I can hack around with it. Any ideas? Can it be used as a normal DSL modem?

    The funny thing is.. there is a sticker on it and it still says on it.
    • Once I rented about 6 SNES games and a bunch of shlockey horror movies for a weekend beer drinking/game playing/movie watching bender with a couple friends.

      Lo and behold, there was a big "out of business" sign on the video store when I went back.

      I kept the games and movies!

      Thank you Blockbuster, for driving the little mom and pop stores into the dust and letting me pocket a few choice games!!!
    • Does this mean I stil have to mail them their modem or I get to keep it permently? I would nto mind keeping it so I can hack around with it. Any ideas? Can it be used as a normal DSL modem?

      It's not fake, it really is a router - so no, it won't work with another ISP, unless you could get the ISP to spoof Telocity's servers, which they could only do if they had inside knowledge of exactly what the gateway is looking for when it tries to download configs.

      You'll notice you're on a 4-IP subnet. Add one to the last octet of your IP address; that's the gateway's LAN interface. The gateway also has a WAN interface on a different subnet. It's a router.
  • by cdf12345 ( 412812 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:55PM (#4884080) Homepage Journal
    I would seek a "cancellation fee", hell the wireless and satelite companies have been doing it to us for years, now it's time to get one back.

    Why is it ok for them to charge us to cancel but they can stop providing service at a moments notice and not be liable.

    Kind of a double standard.

    And yes I know it's probably written somewhere in the contacts that they are not liable.. blah blah blah. It's simply unfair to the consumer.
  • too bad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nomadicGeek ( 453231 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:58PM (#4884097)
    They saved me from low bandwidth hell a couple of years ago. They were the first to offer broadband service to my house.

    $50/month with a static IP address. Hughes spent some money when they bought Telocity. When I first got the service (Telocity days) there were a lot of dropped packets and a few problems but it was better than nothing. Over the last year, it has been great. Never goes down, fast transfers.

    I guess I need to go find a new provider now. Good luck finding a static IP for $50/month. At least I write off the service as a business expense so Uncle Sam takes part of the hit as well. Serves them right for their dipshit telecom policies.
  • Why do I get the feelign the same thing is going to happen, as when Flashcom, Winfire and part of megapath went down, a large number of dsl modems will be sold on ebay?
  • Hiring in Portland (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    So, anybody gonna be hiring in the Portland area in a couple months?

    No, they aren't. Leave. Leave now. I searched for vain for a year for any position in Portland/Vancouver after being RIF'd.

    There are no jobs in Portland.

    Run. Run very fast.

  • by TheGreenGoogler ( 618700 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:09PM (#4884170) Journal
    Stay away from Hughes "Directway" Sattelite Internet!!! They have a policy affectionately known as "FAP" (Fair access policy) that effectively turns your "high speed" connection into something closer to dialup... for more information, see this page. []
  • Serves You Right! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Necron69 ( 35644 ) <> on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:10PM (#4884179)
    All I can say is about time, and it serves you right.

    I got nothing but crap from DIRECTV Broadband in the wake of the Rhythms collapse last fall. Despite being guaranteed that my SDSL service would continue, it shut down mid-September. I tried for three months to get it repaired and got repeated promises that it would be fixed. Finally, I "cancelled" (how can you cancel non-existant service?) in frustration. Three months later, the bills starting rolling in. DIRECTV was trying to charge me for two months of service I never got, and they claimed that I cancelled my service!

    Needless to say, I was furiously pissed. I spent six months trading letters and faxes, got sent to collections, appealed, and was denied. I finally deemed the issue not worth my time and paid the stupid bill.

    So, F*ck You, DIRECTV. You got what you deserved. I've spent the last year at 26kbps dialup. Thank God that AT&T/Comcast will finally be completing their broadband upgrade in my city next month.

    - Necron69

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I can never understand why people pay bills they do not owe.

      Did you complain to the BBB?
      Did you write a letter to the President of DirecTV?
      Did you sue in small claims court?

    • You say that you were charged for service that you did not recieve. That's nothing like what happened to me []. Telocity/DirectTV killed my charges immediatly when I told them I was going to discontinue my service, and tollerated me hanging onto my modem for months. They were always polite and considerate. You then say,

      F*ck You, DIRECTV... Thank God that AT&T/Comcast will finally be completing their broadband upgrade in my city next month.

      You will be sorry. We all know what kind of service you get from the local bell. If it were not for them selling my number to telemarketers, I'd never consider paying them for an unlisted number or any of the other expensive anti-anoyance so many fools feel compeled to purchase. Read their ToS, weep, and know it will get worse as their competitors die off. Ever heard the phrase, "You can't fight the phone company"? You will come to learn what it means. Just try telling the local Bell to fuck off, it might be a federal crime.

  • I posted a Programming position in the Oregonian and all I got was 20 replies. I mean, just cus your out of a job doesn't mean you should stop looking. Where are all the real programmers? So is the market really that bad? Flyondawall
  • Just yesterday I got through a week and a half of tech support of finally getting my dad's DSL up and running without going down for hours at a time and they hit me with this. I just hope whoever (if) takes over has as good tech support. Seriosuly though they had some great tech support personell, very helpfull.

  • Many of the posters in this thread seem to be unclear on what is actually happening. DirecTV DSL is shutting down. DirecTV DSL is just plain old regular DSL being sold by DirecTV.

    DirecWay, which is the satellite internet through DirecTV, is still around. (See the line in the FAQ at DirecTV-DSL Faq [] "Is DIRECWAY closing? No. DIRECWAY high-speed satellite Internet services remain unchanged.")

    For those of you complaining "now I can never get internet out in the boonies", you can still go to [] and sign up.

  • by wart ( 89140 )
    Wait... Directv is _my_ DSL provider! it's kind of sad that I hear about this on slashdot before I hear about it from Directv. I wonder how long they're going to wait to tell me...
  • by brickbat ( 64506 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:58PM (#4884458) Homepage Journal
    I'm surprised no one has picked up on the fact that DirecTV DSL's demise was largely due to the failed merger [] between Hughes and EchoStar (owner of the Dish Network). Anytime a large merger fails, the losers have to jettison the dead weight that might have otherwise been supported through the strength of the combined companies. DirecTV's broadband operations are expected to lose more than $100 million this year, so it's not surprising that Hughes pulled the plug. Especially when you consider the service did not share infrastructure with the satellite operations (essentially Hughes bought Telocity a year and a half ago and repackaged it with the DirecTV service).
  • Speakeasy is a good service, but expensive, and upload is capped at 128K (Covad) for low-end residential ADSL vs SDSL.

    Replace DirectTV DSL with Cyberonic (Worldcom/UUNet reseller)...
    1500/768, static IP, no port blocking, $40/$50 []

    There are consumer reviews of their service here: []

    I had Speakeasy for two years, excellent, but pricey. With Cyberonic (dumb name!) I get similar pings to my Speakeasy SDSL, and massive uploads.
  • Bah (Score:3, Informative)

    by wolf- ( 54587 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @09:13PM (#4884804) Homepage
    Just FREAKING great.
    Damn Slashdot finds out before the freaking customers do.
  • Warning! (Score:3, Funny)

    by FakePlasticDubya ( 472427 ) on Saturday December 14, 2002 @12:50AM (#4885519) Homepage
    New TV Spot from DirectTV DSL:

    "Warning! You really have reached the end of the internet. With us at least."

  • by toybuilder ( 161045 ) on Saturday December 14, 2002 @04:34AM (#4886093)
    For my situation, Telocty (aka DirecTVDSL) was the best deal from technical and economic standpoints. Damn. They offered rock-solid static IP service that was down for only 2 hours out of the last two years. Damn. Their autoconfiguring routers were a joy to use and get up and running. Damn. I really don't want to go to SBC/PacificBell(SpecificHell) for my connectivity. Oh gawd no. Damn.
  • by MattTC ( 45020 ) on Saturday December 14, 2002 @11:24AM (#4886973) Homepage

    I have a little horror story of my own about these guys. About 7 months ago, my internet stopped working. I called up DirecTV and ask them why...they say because my credit card had been declined. I say oh right, I forgot to tell you I switched, have my new card number.

    Here is where it got ludicrous

    "I'm sorry sir, I can't reactivate your account. You'll have to go through the 4-week provisioning process again."

    "What! Why? I already have the equipment."

    "Because your account has been cancelled."


    "Because its been three months since your card worked."

    "So why didn't you notify me, or turn off the service before cancelling my account entirely?"

    "I don't know sir."

    "So you won't turn my account back on?"


    "Then why should I pay you?"


    I went round and round with them for an hour, with exactly no results. I'm now using Earthlink DSL...and I kind of like PPPoE, even if I don't get a static IP anymore.

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.