Chris says that when it comes to Net Neutrality, the consumer would benefit with more competition, not less. But most cities have internet monopolies with only a few providers and that keeps the cost up. Third party DSL services have helped, and when the FCC issued must carry rules for them, it helped a lot. A true free market with choices would solve the net neutrality issues.
Autumn has been having buffering problems while trying to watch YouTube videos. Leo says there are a number of things that could be causing this. It may not even be her internet, it could be her computer. Autumn says her computer is a five year old Lenovo that doesn't seem to be slow otherwise. It's not unusual for DSL to have trouble with bandwidth as well. The problem with DSL is that the company that sells it is at the mercy of the phone company.
Frank was sold on the notion that DSL was always on, but he's had cases where it get drops out quite often. Leo says that by comparison to dial up, DSL is always on. The drop outs are possibly due to being too far away form the central hub, as the farther away, the worse it gets. It could also be a signal that his router is starting to fail.
Leo says while DSL does come over the copper lines, there's no technical reason that he would need to have phone service to have DSL. Having DSL without phone service is called "Dry Loop DSL." Rob will need to talk the provider into offering it.
Steve isn't seeing much of an improvement after being upgraded to fiber optic DSL because he still has copper lines coming into his house. Leo says that Steve should ask for fiber optic directly to the house. Otherwise, it's essentially little difference. Could he upgrade it himself? That's a good question. But buying his own fiber optic switch isn't cheap.
Peter's parents have AT&T DSL and it's terrible. Leo says that's because DSL is reliant on the phone lines, and the farther it is from the central hub, the more problematic it can be. If the phone lines are antiquated, that's even worse. He can demand that AT&T upgrade its wires, but then he's really dependent on their good measure. One thing he can do is turn off the Wi-Fi capabilities of the router they gave him and connect his own router. That's likely going to speed up the wireless speed tremendously. Leo like Asus routers.
Margaret wants to get on the internet, but she's on a tight budget. Leo says that Margaret already has a cable subscription, so she could get a deal through them. She should ask what their cheapest package is, then shop around. DSL will be slower than cable. And the upload/download speeds they boast will be ideal max conditions. For standard email and surfing with little streaming, she should be fine with 1.5 Mbps up.
David got a new modem called an ActionTek, but it doesn't work very well. Can he buy his own? Leo says he's not a fan of ActionTek. But David will need to call his provider and ask them if he can use his own modem. They will almost always say yes. For DSL modems to buy, Netgear makes a good DSL Wi-Fi router/modem. Zyxel also has good router/modems, but they're more expensive.
Jim is learning that having business service is way more expensive than consumer grade service. Leo says that's crazy but all too often true. Jim also says that the DSL in his building is terrible. Leo says DSL often has issues being too far away from the central hub switch, which can slow it down and affect the consistency of the service. The closer you are the faster and better it will be. Going with a third party service like DSL Extreme can be handy because they fight to give you better service.
Laurie is frustrated with her DSL because it's constantly dropping off. Leo says that DSL often comes on old copper wiring and the farther away you are, the more likely you'll get drop offs. The inside wiring may also be an issue. Laurie's provider also has an inside wire plan she can pay for, but it sounds like Laurie is pushing the edge of her existing technological capabilities. And since they're pushing Laurie to go FiOS, they have little motivation to fix the old lines. But FIOS uses Fiber Optics and it's more reliable and faster. It can also be more expensive, though.