Thursday, January 08, 2015

Frontier DSL

We've gotten our internet through Time Warner for the last six years. I've been reasonably happy with it, because it's more reliable and consistent than our old BellSouth/AT&T DSL was. But, one thing that's bothered me about Time Warner is that we don't have access to ESPN3. If you get both television and internet from Time Warner, then you do get ESPN3. But, if you're an internet-only Time Warner customer like me, then ESPN3 is blocked. Like Time Warner, Comcast also takes a lot of crap for being an awful telecom provider, but even they give their internet-only customers access to ESPN3. (This is sort of separate from WatchESPN, which does require a TV subscription, no matter who your provider is. This only concerns ESPN3's online exclusives.)

ESPN3 airs a lot of low-grade college football and basketball, and also the CFL, among other things. I've always figured I could live without all of that in the name of better internet service. UNTIL NOW:

ESPN today announced it has acquired the rights from the Canadian Curling Association to deliver more than 300 hours of live action from the Seasons of Champions curling events on ESPN platforms [i.e. ESPN3] in the U.S. through March 2015.

First off, what took so long? If you ask me, the Canadian curling events - specifically, the women's and men's championships (a.k.a. the "Scotties" and the "Brier") - are as good as it gets. Given how many other obscure sports ESPN3 has in their catalog, why did it take them so long to add Canadian curling? Surely, the broadcast rights for the Canadian curling events couldn't have cost ESPN that much.

In any case, now I have a choice to make: downgrade my internet back to DSL so that I can watch ALL THE CURLING? Well, good news: DSL technology is better than it used to be, and the company offering DSL in my current neighborhood - Frontier - is (supposedly) better than AT&T. And, Frontier offers the same (advertised) internet speed that I currently get through Time Warner, but for $20/month cheaper.

We actually switched to Frontier three weeks ago. So far so good, and today we get to watch curling!

(Side note: Literally less than a week after we switched to Frontier primarily so we could access ESPN3, DirecTV/ESPN announced a new agreement that would offer authenticated WatchESPN + ESPN3 access to its television subscribers, including us. But, it sounds like that won't be implemented until later this year, likely after curling season is over. So, we made the right move, plus we're saving a good deal of money on a seemingly - so far - equivalent product.)

(Side note #2: Everyone says that Time Warner likes to make it hard to cancel your service, but the guy I talked to on the phone wasn't difficult at all. Still, I'm half-expecting them to keep sending me bills.)

No comments: