I'm on a modem connection.....no other choice.
I've always appreciated your detailed reports on various builds / experiments. All the more, now I realize what you suffer to post them.
The phone company keeps promising DSL access "very soon". They've been saying that for over two years.....
Same thing my phone company says. I found a local company offering wireless. About $10-15/mo more than DSL would be. I've used them for going on 5 years. Google for "wireless broadband" OR "wireless isp" AND "YourCityNameHere", and see what comes up. I get 1.5Mb/s (limit set by my WISP). I have a 802.11b xceiver and a 10-inch square antenna on my roof, with line-of-sight to their access point atop a hospital one km away. A ruggedized cat5 cable carries 10-BASE-T up/down, and power up, from/to my home router in my hall closet. The technology is pretty reliable, at least for distances of a couple or three miles, and if you have half decent line-of-sight. These companies (mine is no exception) tend to be small local ops. So overall reliability depends on the technical & managerial skills of the people. My connection goes wonky occasionally (once or twice a year), and it's usually because they upgraded something, and didn't plan for or think through all the consequences. I'd probably switch to DSL when/if Qwest ever fixes/upgrades the last-mile wiring to make that possible. But I'm very happy to have the WISP until then. Also, since it's unrelated to phone lines, a WISP user could ditch their local phone company entirely, and use VOIP etc over WISP. In theory.
Your mileage may vary, of course.