Verizon quotes $420 in setup fees for business DSL, and that doesn't include the actual DSL

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Think you have it bad as a residential customer? Businesses get it much worse.

I posted a while back about getting WiFi from my home to my office. It's not going well, even with a directional antenna from MacWireless.com to replace my homebrewed cruft. So I decided to call Verizon and get DSL hooked up in the small, 350 square ft. office unit. Verizon, however, doesn't really want my business, describing a host of setup fees, contingency fees and high prices that could result in a $470 bill, plus taxes and fees, in my first month.

Read on for the breakdown, as explained to me by an otherwise very helpful and friendly CSR.• The cheapest decent dry loop DSL plan (i.e. no phone service) is $50 a month for 3 Mbps. There's a $40 a month plan, but it means dropping to 768 Kbps/128 Kbps. I have no problem with this cost, it's the part I expected.

• There is an unwavable $100 setup up fee. Fine.

• I have to buy a $100 modem from them. At first it was $80, but the CSR realized during our chat that dry loop DSL apparently mandates a particular model. Grumble, but still fine.

• There is a $120 charge for the installer to verify that the service works. Getting uncomfortable by this point.

• There is a $200 further charge if the installer must verify the line quality from demarc box to office unit. That such a fee may exist is reasonable, because Verizon isn't responsible for the office building's interior wiring, but its size seems excessive: that's a total of $320 for post-installation line testing on top of the basic $100 installation fee.

One problem is that I just can't afford to throw away $420 in possible setup fees for the sake of basic 3Mbps DSL. The bigger problem, though, is that after signing the lease on a $350-a-month office unit—my quiet space to my work out of my home—I don't know if I can afford not to.

So again I turn it over to you, the readers. I should...

• Suck it up. Once it's installed and working, you'll have good internet and you won't care anymore. Increased productivity will eat it in no time at all. Downside: living with myself.

• Try Evdo Rev. A with a USB stick. You'll only get a few hundred kbps of throughput, but it's only $60 a month and you'll get almost a year of service for what Verizon will charge just to turn DSL on. And you can take it with you. Downside: is it really going to have the latency and throughput to get work done, 10 hours a day?

• Go back to getting 300ft covered with 802.11n. A few brick walls and a roof shouldn't be that hard to blast a signal through given enough directional antenna.

In the office there is no cable. But In my heart there is sadness, for I was dumb enough to lease an office without looking up the true cost of non-residential internet.

About Rob Beschizza

Follow Rob @beschizza on Twitter.
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