You forget to mention in your article about PacBell vs. @Home that pacbell does guarantee a connection rate of ~365kbps as a minimum on most contracts. This guarantee is substantial when making the decision between the two vendors.
Thanks for the note. This is the exact wording on the Speed page describing the PacBell DSL service:
"Minimum connection speed or "sync-rate" (384Kbps or 1.5Mbps) is guaranteed between customer location and DSL gateway. Connection speeds may be higher under optimal conditions. Actual data transfer or throughput may be lower than sync-rate due to Internet congestion, server or router speeds, protocol overheads, and other factors that cannot be controlled by SBC Companies."
This is EXACTLY what I was mentioning in the "Always Fast, Never Shared" article. Sure, you get dedicated service to the DSLAM (what they call the "DSL gateway"), but at that point all bets are off. The service is shared and there is no actual minimum guaranteed real-world throughput. They know it, they say it and I agree....
Incidentally, I never contend that the PacBell service isn't Fast...at times. My problem is that it is SOMETIMES FAST and it is a shared service (ALWAYS SHARED) once it hits the DSLAM or "DSL gateway." I have issue with their advertising slogan much more than the actual service they deliver....although I still think they should improve their customer service.
I do think that either service is far better than narrowband....and that folks should buy one or the other if available. Additionally, folks should purchase a firewall to protect their home network.