Apart from devoting far too much of the last few weeks to trying to get the phone bills under
control--initially, ICG was raising the monthly bill for the local dialup lines by about $1,000.00.
That might not sound like much to you, but for a little ISP like Nyx, that's a big jump. And thus
ensued a campaign of trying to find somebody--anybody--who could provide information on
their rates at any of the other Denver-area Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs).
You'd think this wouldn't be so hard; most of the time people complain about phone companies
being too aggressive at promoting their services and trying to get people to switch over to their
services. The situation changes completely, however, when you're talking about trunk lines. Given
the dollar amounts involved, you'd think they'd be at least as eager to gain an ISP as a
customer, but on the contrary, what I encountered was 1) hardly anybody even knew who
handled that kind of thing in their company, they were just sure that it wasn't them; 2) those who
did handle such things generally didn't return phone calls; 3) if they did handle ISP services and
return phone calls, then they didn't actually know what services they offered, what PRIs and T1s were,
or what they would cost.
It took a little under two weeks to get calls back from AT&T, and Qwest. Pretty much anyone who
responded faster didn't provide that kind of service in this area, anyway, though Allegiance Telecom
was far and away the most enthusiastic, so much so that the representative I spoke to wanted to drive
right on over to discuss the matter. One drawback with Allegiance is that they didn't provide PRI or
other trunk line services in this area, but he was sure they were going to be expanding out this way
sometime soon. I figure we can talk about it then.
In the meantime, the folks down at ICG ran into someone who knew what an ISDN PRI line was; it
only took about three weeks, and then we were able to make some progress towards unsnarling
the billing situation. Part of the problem is that some of the services they were billing for were not
services that Nyx was receiving or had any need for, part of the problem was that they were adding
taxes onto the bill that were either inapplicable or inappropriate (e.g., city taxes for cities several
miles away from here), and part of the problem is almost certainly some stuff we still haven't figured
But it's progress. And the phone lines are still working, which makes a difference.