Wow! Talk about deja vu! This has happened to me too. I tried to upgrade from Verizon's low end to their top tier of 7Mbps for $40, only to have rotten to no internet connection. Verizon then had a tech come out to look at the line and the first thing out of his mouth was that I was simply too far (19,000ft) and to get the 7Mbps I needed to be within 7,000ft.
He checked the line and it was only getting about 2Mbps and said the reason the modem keeps dropping is because the office was trying to push too much info down the line. He said he would go up and down the block to check and/or improve the line. He came back about 1/2 hour later to check the line and was only able to improve it to 2.5Mbps. He told me they should never have sold me the service because of the distance. He told me FIOS was not available in my area (Verizon stopped the rollout due to a dispute with the city) and that I could "try" the 2nd tier, but feared it may still be too much. I did try that, but the connection was still too flaky.
He said my only other choice was to try TimeWarner Cable (TWC). I could get 15Mbps for the same price as Verizon's 7Mbps. So I called Verizon to go back to the low tier, just so I can get some connection.
I then ordered TWC and I'm now hitting between 15-30Mbps. Pretty sweet. We're keeping Verizon for a bit while we get our email accounts fully switched to GMail.
The only other thing I have to clear up now is the charge for the modem(s) (yes they sent 2, one regular and one wireless/router/modem). I was told these were being sent out as no charge, so I now have that dispute to contend with.
My ordeal only lasted about a week before switching to TWC, so, although they sold me a service I technically can't receive, I was able to get the credits for the service change.
Now to deal with those modem charges.
I don't have a problem with this law, per se, I have a problem with what the law constitutes as a "sexual offender". If a man as a pendence to expose himself to little old ladies, even though it has nothing to do with children, I may still not want him around children. However, if an 18-year-old had an indiscretion with a 16-year-old and is now labeled a "sexual deviant", that's different. He really shouldn't be on the list. But that's the way the laws are nowadays. If that list was only truly perverted sexual offenders, I can see where this law could make sense.
Hmmm... let's see... some real world examples of online actions.
Legitimate: Personics - a great but dead business that had kiosks throughout Tower records. The idea, you would go in and make your own mix tapes from a library of songs. You paid about $1 for each song and I believe another $1 for the media itself. I have one of these tapes. It cost $13 = 6 songs on each side + the tape itself. Too bad they went out of business.
Illegal(?): Going to a Tower records (or any music store) that had listening stations with headphones. You could listen to a lot of songs from their library. Where it would come into legality is if you plugged in a line-out type cable instead of the headphones and recorded the music for your own personal use. You're not stealing anything as the store has not lost any of its inventory. This would take some time and not as instantaneous as what you can do online.
How about bittorrenting in real life? One scenario would be with books. Go to a library or a book store that also includes the free use of photocopying. Take a book you want and photocopy perhaps the first 10 pages of it or as much as you can without raising suspicion. Now either you or have several of your friends do it with the consecutive pages at different stores. You would bring all the scans back home and assemble your book. Again the establishments still have a their stock of the book.
This is why I'm glad I bought some VHS copies of "The Greatest American Hero" series several years ago, though low-quality as they are, they preserve the original broadcast shows. The DVD releases have had the music changed. Tragic.
The Greatest American Hero is another show that got the "licensing" treatment. Luckily, before I bought the DVDs when they came out, I bought a set of the series from someone who video-taped the original. I may have to transfer those tapes to digital at some point.