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As Macsimum readers know, I've been running this web site on dial-up for three years now (no really, I do). But we've grown so much that what was once an aggravating inconvenience is now unacceptable. My problem: I live on a road that's less than a mile from a major mall in Nashville, Tennessee, but neither the phone company nor cable company will implement DSL or cable Internet on our road. You see, Luster Road is almost a mile long with only a dozen or so houses, so providing residents on it isn't cost effective, the companies say.
I was very excited when I received a flyer in the mail on Jan. 13 that said that DIRECTV was now offering a satellite TV/satellite Internet bundle in "my neighborhood" (their words). However, when I called to get details, I was told that DIRECTV doesn't implement satellite Internet where I live. Which is nuts. They're not stringing cable or telephone lines. We're talking about installing a dish, for crying out loud. So why is it that I can't get satellite Internet, exactly? I wrote DIRECTTV and here's the vague answer I got:
"Thanks for your interest in broadband Internet service from DIRECTV. I'm sorry for the frustrations this issue may have caused you. We started offering a new service called DIRECTV Wireless High Speed Internet to DIRECTV customers in specific ZIP codes in the Anaheim, CA, area beginning in mid-September. We expect to provide DIRECTV Broadband in other cities, too, but we havenâ€™t announced any rollout plans yet. As for details and commitment requirements, I wouldnâ€™t want to speculate about pricing, availability or commitment requirements until weâ€™re ready to offer the service in your area, but stay tuned and weâ€™ll contact you when DIRECTV Broadband is available in Nashville TN.
"Even though the new service isnâ€™t available to you right now, weâ€™ve also partnered with leading DSL providers Earthlink, Verizon, Qwest and BellSouth to offer affordable high-speed Internet solutions to customers across the nation. Please visit our website at directv.com/DSL for more information on these exciting services or call us at 1-800-720-4926."
I still don't know why the company can't install the TV/Internet satellite antenna on Luster Road since they can do it less than six miles away. There may be a technical reason, but DIRECTTV reps either can't or won't reveal 'em.
It's sort of like the Jerry Seinfeld joke about airplane pilots who say they're going to fly faster and make up lost time. The planes are in the air and there are no traffic cops around, so why aren't they putting the pedal to the metal all the time?
As for DIRECTV's satellite Internet/TV dish, you install it on a house and hook it up. It points at the sky. There's sky at my house, so why can't I get the service?
Anyway, by the time you read this, I will have satellite Internet at my house -- thanks to HughesNet. Check in at Macsimum tomorrow for the first in my series of articles on using satellite Internet on a Mac.
As for DIRECTV's "Macsimum rating," what else can I give it up 0 out of 10?