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ATT hard wired DSL will be capping traffic: starting May, at aout 150gb
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Paul talked about podcasts, which is a way to listen to programs at your convenience rather than at the time of the broadcasts. KVMR has many show podcasts and you can find them by using the above link or, better yet, you can start at the KVMR main page where it talks about podcasts and allows you to subscribe to them.
A couple of years ago AT&T was required to allow customers to take their phone numbers and use them with other carriers — a process called number porting.
Now it's possible to have copper phone wires, originating at AT&T, coming to your house without a dial tone (let alone the phone number).
– This mean you can have what's been called Dark DSL or Naked DSL.
– There was always the assumption that a dial tone was needed to get DSL — not true. You can have DSL without phone service. To find out more go to att.com/dsl and look for "just DSL".
The views and opinions expressed on this show belong to the hosts only.
Paul wondered if a person with phone service & DSL could just drop the phone service. Glenn guessed there would be no penalty, but listeners were invited to call if they've had experience with this.
In response, Thea called to say she ported her phone number to her cell phone and was told her DSL was no longer valid and she had to switch to AT&T Uverse. As a result, her charge went from $15 to $19.
Glenn asked her if she gets TV over Uvers, but Thea didn't know — she doesn't watch TV. Glenn said he'd do more research into the matter.
Thea went on to ask about increasing the volume on her iPhone.
– Be sure the arrow on the left-hand side is pushed to the top. She said it is.
– Glenn said the original intent for the speaker is to ring the phone and it's a futile effort to get decent volume for conversation.
– Use a Bluetooth headset instead of the phone's speaker.
– The guys mentioned Bluetooth car radios that squelch the radio program when a call comes in, allowing you to talk hands-free. Glenn said the ones with built-in microphones aren't as good, due to ambient noise, as the ones with external mics, which can be positioned closer.
– Check if the speaker holes are clogged up.
Stephanie called. She has Hughes Net (a satellite service) for her internet connection and wanted to know how to extend the usage limit on incoming data — the connection slows down when the limit is exceeded. She said she gets spotty service with her Verizon account but was thinking of getting an aircard to use with it, to replace Hughes Net.
– The Verizon air card has monthly cap.
– You can pay Hughes Net more to increase the limit.
– Get a terrestrial wireless service like Smarter Broadband or Digital Path. Terrestrial wireless uses transmitters on the ground (vs. satellite) and requires a clear, direct path from transmitter to receiver. Glenn said, unlike satellite networks, terrestrial wireless is not affected by rain & snow.
– Hughes Net subscribers can check the status of the network by typing in 192.168.0.1 into their browser's address bar.
AT&T is going to start capping DSL service — you'll have a limit in how much data you can receive. Paul thinks it will begin in May.
– In general, beware of charges for exceeding data limits.
– Keep an eye on your cell phone bills. Glenn said he got billed a roaming charge for 3 calls he didn't even answer. The charge was forgiven after he complained.
Up until about 2 or 3 years ago, the only way to know if you were getting close to your cell plan limits is to call AT&T. Now you can punch in *min# to find out.
Paul said he found a free iPhone app called myat&t that allows you to keep track of your usage for voice, data and text. It also allows you to subscribe or unsubscribe for services like roaming, blocking, 411, etc.
Glenn said the FCC might soon require the phone companies to notify you when you're getting close to your usage limits.
Paul said his bank gives him the option to get messages on the cell phone when activity in his account approaches the limits he designates — e.g. when there's an ATM withdrawal of more than $300.
Glenn said bank overdraft protection is now opt-in. If you want your bank to cover your overdrafts, you have to set that up in advance. And be aware of the fees that go along with that. He also said that charges for using ATMs that don't belong to your bank are going up.
Bernie called to say that Digital Path is the least ethical of all the communication companies he's encountered. His tru-put was not measuring up to what he was paying for, even using their top tier plan. They give him the run-around for about 6 months. They agreed to send a technician out, but in the mean time his complaint to the Attorney General resulted in that office sending a letter to Digital Path fingering him as a whistle-blower. Shortly afterward, Digital Path disconnected him without prior notice — though he got his money back.
– It's very important to keep thorough logs of what's going on as evidence.
– Blog about your experience. An example was given of a blogger having trouble unsubscribing from AOL. Blogging about it eventually lead to AOL officials being grilled in front of the national TV audience (possibly the Today Show). When blogging, always remain factual.
– Remember, most internet services share bandwidth among many users. Satellite especially and cable are like that, DSL too, but to a lesser degree. You're not always going to get the highest speed.
– Write back to the Attorney General explaining what happened as a result of your initial complaint. Also complain to the Dept of Consumer Affairs.
Lorraine came into the studio and told a story about the success she had using the Credo Mobile cell phone service when other people couldn't use their Verizon & AT&T phones. At the time, she was in a remote part of Hawaii with a bad tire.
Credo uses the Sprint network and does not charge for roaming. She said they are a conscientious company, give good customer service and a percentage of their profits go to progressive causes. Locally, she said, she's been getting good connections. Glenn said he'd heard that the Sprint service has improved.
Glenn mentioned that Sprint had been sharing some cell towers with T-Mobile and wondered what would happen when AT&T acquires T-Mobile. Glenn said the reason AT&T is buying T-Mobile is to acquire their 4G network.
Glenn wondered if Sprint used GSM. Paul said it does, but they opened Lorraine's phone and it didn't have a SIM card.
Paul quipped that Alexander Graham Bell made the ring of the early phones sound discordant as possible so people would be more likely to pick up — they were charged only if they picked up.
Adam of Smarter Broadband called to explain why they have usage limits (caps). There are limitations on the bandwidth of a wireless system. He said the limits are to make it fair for all of their users.
Until recently Smarter Broadband was paying $80 per meg of bandwidth and his customers are paying less than that, so the bandwidth has to be shared. He said people watching movies from Netfilx hog the bandwidth (Netflix usage accounts for approx. 40% of internet bandwidth). He said people are often unaware of the impact of their activity on the overall cost of providing the connection.
He went on to say that, in the 5 or so years they've been in business, they haven't yet charged anyone for going over the limit but that they do send out notices if someone is going way over their limit.
A tentative agreement was made to have Adam on a future show.
Neko called for recommendations in buying a smartphone or iPhone and the best service plans. There wasn't enough time to answer & she was asked to call the studio after the show.
Last updated: 8:40 PM 3/23/2011