Eskimo North


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Qwest/Grid.NET going away




     The port aggregator I have been using to provide dial access apparently
failed financially and was sold in pieces.  The smaller of the two pieces went
to an outfit called FIN Communications which is presently refusing to honor the
existing contract.

     I had no warning that this was to occur.  I had asked the CEO pointedly if
they were financially stable and solvent and was told yes.  Now what I've heard
from third parties is that their contract with Qwest had a certain number of
users that had to be met and it wasn't, and as a result the Qwest move to FIN
was a forced move.

     I'm really saddened by this, not so much because of the loss of Qwest,
StarPOP does mostly overlap it in coverage and works well, and the previous
problem of StarPOP only doing PAP and not falling back to a prompted login has
been fixed.  But I'm saddened by the fact that I had been working with someone
where I could actually talk to the CEO, in fact had his cell phone and pager,
and now the portion that we will be able to continue to work with has been
acquired by a big corporate conglomerate like all the other carriers. 

     My contract with Star was flat-rate, FIN wants to put a 150 channel hour
usage CAP on Qwest and that is unacceptable.  I haven't decided yet whether I
am going to attempt to force the issue legally, if the original corporation is
financially dead then not much point, can't squeeze blood from a turnip as the
old saying goes. 

     Consequently, we are losing access to Qwest numbers, at least until there
is either some legal resolution or I find another reseller that will sell
flat-rate.  The second part was bought be an investment firm in Florida, and
has a CEO that appears to be competent and willing to work with us so the
remaining networks will remain available, EXCEPT, I also have word that
grid.net is going out of business and will cease operations in about a month. 

     If you are on plan A and using a Qwest number, you need to choose one of
the StarPOP numbers in plan A.  If there is no local StarPOP number but there
was a local Qwest number you were using, then contact support here and we will
move your account to another network with a local number temporarily.  The
folks at Star offered to grow into the areas where we have customers that won't
have service on Qwest anymore and for which no StarPOP numbers presently exist
so after that is completed we'll move you back from whatever network we put you
on temporarily in the US.

     If you were using a Qwest number in Canada, we will need to move you to
another network permanently, in which case we'll honor your present expiration
date as paid for but when it comes time to renew you will need to pay the rates
for that network.

     I am hopeful that we will soon have access to UUNET numbers in Canada and
perhaps elsewhere as well. 

     If you are on dial plan B and using a Grid.NET number, to avoid
interruption, switch to using either one of the UUNET or MegaPOP numbers. 

     The way things got split-up also means we won't be able to bundle multiple
carriers in a dialup plan.  As a result, dial plan B is going to be split into
plan B and C, with plan B being UUNET and C being MegaPOP.  We will move you
from one to the other at no charge, they will be priced the same.  Initially,
all plan B users will be put into one or the other based upon your current
usage patterns. 

     At some point the MegaPOP realm is going to be changed from @usb.com to
something else and at that point users using the MegaPOP lines will need to
change their dialup username settings.  I'll let you know as soon as I know.
Unfortunately this all happened with no warning.