DSL FAQ's


Do you have questions about our service? If so, we have the answers.


 

Q: What is DSL?

A: DSL is a technology that uses standard telephone lines to deliver high speed Internet access. DSL is usually much cheaper than other technologies of similar speeds, such as ISDN or T-1. The acronym DSL stands for "Digital Subscriber Line". DSL has become very popular for both business and home use.

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Q: What is line sharing technology?

A: Line-sharing technology allows phone conversations and DSL data to travel over the same physical copper wiring of your phone line at the same time without interfering with each other. This means that, unlike with a dial-up account, you can talk on the phone while surfing the Internet with your DSL line. Your DSL Self-Install Kit contains special filters that you attach to the devices that use your phone line, such as a telephone handset or a fax machine, in order to filter out the DSL signals from your phone conversation or fax transmission. This is what allows you to use your phone lines for two different types of services (a phone call/using the Internet) at the same time. This also means that DSL service is installed on a specific phone line/number at your location. If you have two phone numbers at your location, DSL will be installed on the number that you request to have DSL installed on and not the other number. Therefore it is important to specify on your DSL Agreement which phone number you want the DSL service installed on.

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Q: Can I get DSL?

A: In order to qualify for DSL services you must have both of the following:

1. A standard analog SBC phone line at the location where you want the DSL installed. When we say "an SBC phone line" we mean that local phone service on that phone line must be supplied by SBC. You may choose another phone company to provide long distance service on that phone line, but the local phone service must be provided by SBC. It is possible to have a company other than SBC, such as AT&T, be the provider for your local phone service. If you are not sure if SBC is your local phone provider, we can check this for you. We only need your phone number and the zip code where the phone number is located to look it up in the SBC database. Please also note that you cannot already have DSL services running on this phone line, if you want to order DSL service from us, as you can only have one DSL service installed per phone line. If you have previously had DSL service on this phone line, make sure it has been fully canceled with your previous ISP. Sometimes cancellations take longer than expected to process, and we may have to wait until the previous DSL service is completely removed from the line in order to initiate a new order for DSL on that line.

You are responsible for any wiring issues inside your house concerning this phone line. If you want to put your DSL modem in a particular room in your house, then there must be a phone jack in that room that serves the phone line that you are getting DSL installed on. If the wiring inside your house is faulty for any reason, and this affects the DSL service, you are responsible for getting it fixed. What you might want to do if you suspect that you have sub-par wiring in your house, is to get wiring insurance on your line. This is only a few bucks a month (you may already have it - check your phone bill). Then if you do have problems with your wiring SBC will come out and fix it without charging you. Another thing to note is that the phone number cannot have Centrex service on it - Centrex service prevents DSL from running properly. Centrex service is generally used by businesses, and is not found on residential phone lines. Finally, if you have an alarm system on the phone line, you will need to order the Pro Install ($100 for a Pro Install with Alarm System) from Unwired. This is because special wiring in your phone box is needed in order for the alarm system to co-exist with the DSL service.

2. A computer with a working Ethernet card. In order to connect your computer to the DSL modem, you will need a network card (also called an "Ethernet card", or a "Network Interface Card [NIC]") installed and working in your computer. This is not the same thing as a modem. Most modern computers come with Ethernet cards pre-installed. If you are not sure if you have an Ethernet card in your computer, look at the back of the computer and look for an Ethernet port. An Ethernet port looks almost like a phone jack. (A modem port looks exactly like a phone jack.) You might have a modem AND an Ethernet card in your computer, so make sure that you are scanning the back of your computer in detail. If you do not have an Ethernet card, you can purchase one from a electronic or computer store.

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Q: How long does it take to get the DSL activated?

A: The usual install time is 5 to 7 business days from the time we receive your completed DSL Service Agreement. If you live in a city where we have never deployed DSL services, there will be an additional one week delay to get your Central Office (CO) activated in our DSL database.

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Q: What is a Central Office (CO)?

A: A Central Office (CO) is a building on your neighborhood that serves all the phone lines in your neighborhood. It is owned by SBC, and inside the CO is DSL equipment called a "DSLAM". Your DSL modem will be communicating with the DSLAM when your DSL service is activated. The distance between your building and the CO determines the speed of data transfer you will be able to achieve with the DSL service. If your building is close to the CO, you will probably qualify for high speeds of DSL. (Please note that higher speeds do cost more per month.) If your building is far away from the CO, you may only qualify for the Basic speed of DSL (up to 384K), or you may not qualify for DSL at all. We can check your phone number in the SBC database, which will give us an estimated distance between your building and your CO. Although this is only an estimated distance, this is usually accurate enough to initiate DSL services if it shows that you qualify for the speed of DSL that you ordered.

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Q: What is ADSL?

A: ADSL stands for "Asymmetric DSL" and it is the type of DSL service that SBC will deploy (unless you order the "Symmetric" service). Asymmetric DSL means that the download speed (the speed the data travels from the Internet to your computer) and the upload speed (the speed the data travels from your computer to the Internet) are NOT the same. The download speed will be faster. But for general netsurfing purposes, the data you send out (i.e. your browser requesting a Web page) is much smaller than the data you receive back (the Web page and all the graphics), so this works out fine. ADSL is appropriate for home uses like netsurfing and sending e-mail. It is not appropriate for businesses that host busy servers.

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Q: Are there any other fees besides the monthly fee?

A: Yes, there is a government tax which we are required to assess (and which we pass on to the government) called the Federal Universal Service Fee, or FUSF. The current rate for the FUSF is 9.15% of your monthly fee, so this will add just under $3 to the monthly fee for Basic DSL service.

You will be also be charged sales tax (currently 8.75%) on the DSL equipment as well as a $12.95 shipping and handling fee (or $8.95 if you pick up the DSL Install Kit from our office instead of having us deliver it to you).

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Q: What happens after I give you my completed DSL Service Agreement?

A: We will input your order into SBC's DSL order database. If SBC sees no problems with deploying DSL service on the installation phone number, they will give us a due date for the DSL service activation. The date is generally one week from the date that we input the order. Once we receive the due date, we will notify you of the date, and also let you know about your Self Install Kit.

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Q: You mean I have to install the DSL myself?

A: If you wish to avoid an installation fee, then you can set up your DSL service yourself. It is not difficult to do, even for folks who are not technically inclined, and we provide the DSL modem (LinkMax HSA300A bridge/router), the DSL filters, a phone cable, an Ethernet cable, full installation instructions, and free phone support. If you do not want to set up the DSL yourself, you may choose our Pro Install option - for a flat fee of $60 we will come to your location and set it up for you and configure your computer.

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Q: When will I receive my DSL install kit?

A: After we enter your order into SBC's DSL order database we will call you and let you know the DSL activation due date and send you your DSL install kit. The shipping and handling fee for the kit is $12.95.

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Q: How many computers can use the DSL line?

A: Because the DSL modem has a single Ethernet port in the back, if you have more than one computer that needs to use the DSL line, you will either need to purchase a hub (a network device that splits a single port into multiple ports) and lease extra IP addresses from Unwired, OR you will need to purchase a router.

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Q: Do I get a static or dynamic IP address?

A: You will be provided one static IP address; however, you can purchase more if necessary.

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Q: What if I move to another location - will that affect the DSL service?

A: YES! DSL service is installed ON A SPECIFIC PHONE LINE AT A SPECIFIC LOCATION. If you move the phone number (i.e. ask SBC to port it to a new location) it will break the DSL service. If you move to a new location, the DSL service will NOT automatically get moved with you. If you attempt to transfer the billing of your phone number to a new person, it might break the DSL service. If your phone line gets suspended or canceled by SBC because you did not pay your phone bill, the DSL will break, as it is dependent on the phone line's functionality. Make sure you leave the phone number intact and pay your phone bill.

The only way to get DSL service to your new location is to order DSL anew, and make sure to cancel IN WRITING your DSL service at your old location. You may be responsible for an early termination fee if you have had your DSL service at your old location for less than a year and you have signed a year contract for the DSL. Please think about this if you are ordering DSL and you know that you will not be at that location for at least a year! If you suspect that you will be moving within a year, then you may want to consider going with a month-to-month contract instead of a year contract. Please note that if you sign a year contract, you are obligated to pay a monthly fee for the DSL service for a full year REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU USE THE DSL SERVICE.

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Q: What if I need help?

A: Unwired is here to help you 24 hours a day 7 days a week!

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