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Re: ISP does not 'support' Linux

On Fri, Nov 29, 2002 at 10:35:01AM +0000, Chris Lale wrote:
| Here's an idea arising from the 'Non-Linux-aware ISP: please spoon feed' 
| thread. How many ISP's helplines say 'we do not support Linux'? Most 
| ISP's seem to have a webpage with connection instructions for Windows 
| users. Why not instructions for Linux?

Most ISP's officially don't support linux.  The reason is solely based
on money -- there is a cost involved with "supporting" a given
system and configuration.  Most consumers have Windows or, to a lesser
degree, MacOS.  Thus the cost vs. benefit ratio for supporting Windows
(and Mac) is favorable to the business.

Frontier said that I must have Windows or MacOS or they wouldn't
provide service.  They wouldn't allow me the "self-install" on the DSL
line until I ran their Windows-based line testing program and they
certainly wouldn't have a tech do the install for me on an untested
platform he isn't trained for.  They also don't support more than one
PC at a time connected to the service.  They just don't know that I
have debian and a whole private LAN over here.  The bottom line is
that I met their conditions -- I used my dad's win98 box to test the
line quality) -- and haven't created any support cost on their end.
It just so happens that their service consists of standard ethernet
(into the Cisco DSL bridge), DHCP, and TCP/IP.  The implementation of
their service isn't restricted to Windows, they just don't "support"
anything else.

| Suppose everyone with a dialup account were to email their ISP(s)
| with a customised set of instructions suitable for them to put on
| their website? They might at least start to think about it. I have
| attached a possible template. Comments welcome!

RoadRunner is the local cable ISP.  Their old site had a FAQ, one of
the questions is very relevant to this discussion.  Fortunately google
kept a copy for us :-).

As RR demonstrates, it is possible to accept user contributions and
pass it on as unofficial and unsupported support.  RR didn't incur any
cost to themselves by doing this (linux is still "unsupported" by
them), yet they are open enough to provide the details one needs to
determine that the service implementation isn't windows-specific.

Go ahead and talk to your ISP about posting information like that, or
just post it on your own web site.  Obviously, though, the ISP's site
is a better distribution channel than yours.


"Open Source Software - Sometimes you get more than you paid for..."

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