As you may have surmised from my increased posting volume, I have internet access at home once again. Earthlink took about a week and a half to activate my naked DSL line and deliver the hardware.
About midway through that waiting period, I noticed that my old Westell DSL modem was picking up a data connection through the phone line, but failed to authorize the user account with my given Earthlink login info. Hence it came as no surprise when the Earthlink equipment arrived — a branded Zyxel P660R DSL modem with only one CAT-5 port — and, on connection, also failed to authenticate my user info.
It took a quick call to Earthlink Tech Support (a very helpful offshore Indian rep who called himself “Robin”) to get my account working. I have a feeling that Earthlink keeps accounts deactivated to discourage users from connecting their own hardware before the crippled co-branded Earthlink modem arrives. Part of their offering involves paying an extra monthly fee to get a router to allow more than one computer to connect — although once the ISP actually allows you to log in, there really is nothing to stop you using a Westell 327W which may already have been lying around.
IP Chicken has confirmed that Earthlink DSL in my area is indeed provided by Verizon. Given my moving experience with them, I’m wondering if I should stay with this. It helps that Earthlink billing and support are tons more helpful and scrupulous than Verizon ever was to me, even with that sleazy “pay extra for more LAN ports” promo.