Eastgate's Verizon DSL has been intermittent again today. By early afternoon, I shrugged and called tech support.
It took 57 minutes with support guy 68919. Eventually, the line came back — perhaps something we fixed, or perhaps it just fixed itself. 68919 tried to blame our Netgear 314 router: was it old? Surely that was the reason we couldn't acquire an IP address from Verizon!
And when this intermittent failure happens next, what should I do? Start over! It might only take 57 minutes next time. (The previous time this happened, it took almost of week of almost full-time effort on my end to get the problem fixed) Can we do anything to get at the root of the problem? No. Is there any reason to think that our Netgear router is more culpable than the line, or whatever gear Verizon has on the other end of the line. No. Can 68919 explain? No.
We're now buying two Internet connections from two different companies simply to get one connection we can trust. Dave Winer just did the same thing. This is nice for the internet providers short term, but it's going to hurt them in the long run: it's a huge opportunity to destroy existing business relationships (we've been Verizon customers since their ancestor, NYNYEX, was created) and create new ones.