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Phosphorus and Lime

A Developer's Broadsheet

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Earthlink WiFi: Anaheim
Signed up last week. Modem arrived Monday. A Day 2 review:

Why I Picked Earthlink
I'm started renting a small office between Disneyland and City Hall in Anaheim earlier this year and just about the time I was ready to set up internet access, I heard about the ribbon-cutting on the new Earthlink municipal wifi service. My options basically boiled down to SBC Small Business DSL and this [click here for summary].

I'm right on the fringe of the initial coverage area, but I can see the connection from my second-floor office, so I signed up last week. It's more of an individual account than an office account, but even if my partner were to sign up, it would be cheaper than SBC. And eventually, we should be able to roam the city, and maybe even work from home.

Why the Modem
I thought this was wireless, right? Well, though I can see a Earthlink Feather connection, I cannot seem to connect from my built-in laptop wireless card. Earthlink sends you a modem with an antenna and CAT-5 connection as a sort of signal amplifier. With this, I am able to connect easily. A local browser page tells me my current signal strength, which generally ranges from good to very good but never full strength and somewhat inconsistent.

Rather than assess the service as a whole, I figure I'd break it down and assign letter grades for a set of representative sites and services I use most frequently:

Google : B
Slashdot : C+
Blogger : C
Yahoo LaunchCast : D-

All in all, I'd say it's on a par with good dial-up service. I'm hopeful it will improve.

The ultimate verdict will be whether I decide to keep the service or not -- and whether I'd recommend it to others. I have until the first week of September to cancel my 1-year contract with no penalty. Right now, I'd say it's worth the money -- provided the service improves and expands to cover the entire city. I'm inclining to keep it.

I'll post updates as I go.