U.S. Hotel Broadband Sucks

Holy C%&^@. Does the broadband in this hotel ever suck!!!! Seriously, I’d be better off with a 56k modem and trying to dialup my Covad access. This week I’m staying in Austin TX at the Candlewood Suites, which is an extended stay portion of the Holiday Inn empire. At $119 a night its not dirt cheap, and they promote the free broadband as a major feature. It’s wired too, which is normally better than free wireless.

However, it’s provided through an outfit called SuperClick. They suck. I spent 30 minutes on the phone to them this evening just because their captive portal arrangement was so slow that it never offered me a login page.

Their tech support was operated out of Montreal, which is nice…I love Montreal…IMHO its one of the greatest cities to visit in North America.

Je suis Canadien, j’adore Montréal. New Orleans as well.

But even after they got me logged in the service was barely functional. For some insane reason they backhaul everything to a location in Atlanta. Any web service that makes an effort to guess my location by IP thinks that I’m in Georgia.

Maybe this will be the motivation for me to sign up for an EVDO service, or perhaps WiMax eventually. Since T-Mobile is finally rolling out its 3G network maybe I can tie a new wireless broadband service into my cell account. I spend enough days on the road that lack of functional broadband causes serious frustration.

Do you hear that Mr Holiday Inn? I will not be staying here again. I’ll be at the new Hyatt Place or Marriott down the way. G’night.

The GSM Gateway: Part 1 Online Soon

The first part of the article about GSM the gateway is off to the publisher at www.smallnetbuilder.com. The first part covers my motivation for adding a cellular trunk. It also describes the differences between ITSPs addressing the broad residential voice-over-broadband marketplace vs those addressing the SMB/Asterisk user space.

The ability to provide ones own 911/411 service is perhaps a greater concern to end-users who select ITSPs that target SMBs (or Asterisk users) as these are less likely to provide 911/E911 service.

Part 2 will deal with the specifics of installing & configuring the gateway device, as well as my experience using it these past few months. It’s been very reliable, as has the T-Mobile service that it rides.

Many thanks to Tim at Small Net Builder. He’s been very supportive of my efforts, which helps me to undertake ever more projects. It’s a pity that my day job gets in the way sometimes. However, they too may soon be drawn into evaluating some HD Voice hardware.

Now That The HD Disk War Is Over….

It certainly appears that HD-DVD lost. But it also appears that Blu-Ray did not win. Yes, this was a classic lose-lose situation. For all it’s back room dealing Sony may blow this in the end.

Blu-Ray sales peaked for a few weeks in January but have since slumped. Consumers just may not see value in the price of the players or the media. Ars Technica has the details.

Wait, the price of Blu-Ray players has actually been on the rise since Toshiba conceded the battle! Even I, who still has a first generation Toshiba HD-XA1 HD-DVD player, won’t be buying a Blu-Ray player any time soon. They’re just too expensive.

Continue reading “Now That The HD Disk War Is Over….”

Spectralink 8002 SIP Wifi Handset

The rumor has been confirmed true, I’ll be writing a review of the new Polycom Spectralink 8002 SIP WIFI handset. It arrived Wednesday. I’ll be installing new WMM capable wifi APs in order to facilitate this review. The review itself will eventually appear at www.smallnetbuilder.com.

I’m really looking forward to this. Many thanks to the folks at Small Net Builder and Polycom for making it happen.