Get the new best Internet service. Cable and phone companies spend millions hoping you will buy.

Decade old Internet services from phone and cable companies get touted as new. Don't  fall prey to their big ad budgets.

Decades old Internet services get touted as new. Don’t fall prey to their big ad budgets.

We live in a world that’s all about new – especially when it comes to the Internet of things.  “The new iPhone is coming and I’ll be first in line. My new tablet is so cool. Check out this new #awesomeapp I just tweeted.”

Our desire to be “in the know” with the latest and greatest trumps all else.  No wonder why cable and phone companies spend millions of dollars to make “old services” look new and cool.  Which means, if you’re not hip to this old telecom and cable stuff, (yes hip, because some of this dates back to the eighties), you could fall prey to a shiny new name.

Case in point.   Have you heard about the new Ethernet over Coax service? Sound interesting?  It’s got the latest buzz term in its name – Ethernet. But look behind the name and you see it’s the same old cable modem service that cable companies have peddled since the eighties.

The true meaning of Ethernet refers to the protocol that controls and passes information between various computer systems to form a local area network. But more recently it has become the sexy new term that makes everything sound better.  Ethernet Dedicated Internet, and Ethernet over Copper are two more names that come to mind. EOC has received lots of marketing juice of late, promising to deliver high capacity Internet.   But when you look behind the façade, you see it’s really just a SDSL service – an old service delivered over bonded copper lines fancied-up to look like new. Just like DSL and SDSL, it is a best effort Internet service based on your proximity to the provider’s central office.

So if new is so important, what is keeping these big companies from innovating? We see R & D budgets in their financial reports, but what are these guys developing? Surely they can innovate more than just naming configurations.

With all this marketing hype and proliferation of renaming, it’s hard to determine which is the best Internet service for you. My advice to you – see what’s behind “new”.  Dig down and see how the service is actually being delivered, review the performance specs, ask if there is a Service Level Agreement, and make sure you know exactly what you will be paying for. Because decades old Internet services wrapped up with sexy new names is just not new. In fact, it’s old and tired.

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