HSA gone the way of the Dot Bomb?


Judging from this email sent to all HSA customers, it looks like broadband access in St. Mary's is looking like a dream again.  Will GMP Cable be able to pull off the equipment buy and keep the customer base?  Who knows?  I don't!  I would like to know!  I am a commercial customer and with less than 32 hours of notice I have to decide if I want to take a chance or move my domain to a web-hosting site.  Let's not consider that it takes VeriSign at least 72 hours to make a change to a domain nowadays, it looks like I will have imposed down time.  Oh well.

Anyone heard anything about what GMP is going to do to keep the service?

---Original Email---

To: all@us.hsanet.net
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2001 5:02 PM

Dear Western Shore Express Customer,

High Speed Access Corp, trading as Western Shore Express (HSA) will be
discontinuing to provide Internet service effective September 30, 2001.
Your Internet service may continue for a short period of time beyond the
September 30th deadline.

* GMP Cable TV is working to establish a way to continue cable modem
service but will only be able to transition current 2-way and 1-way cable
modem customers to GMP Express cable modem service. Some of the current
levels of service and features will not be possible for GMP Express to
continue. GMP Cable TV will contact you in the near future concerning it's
efforts to continue your cable modem service.

GMP Cable TV is not in a position to offer any "dial up" only Internet
service. All HSA Western Shore Express "dial up" service customers will
need to find an alternative Internet service provider (ISP).

We regret the inconvenience that this situation has caused you.
Unfortunately we are unable to continue to provide Internet service. If
you have any questions please give me a call at 301-373-4507.


Western Shore Express


Chairman of the Board
Somehow it seems to me that the customers would have a legal right to sue. Two days' notice is atrocious, especially for someone who depends on it. Nowadays, Internet service is easy to get, but if you have a Web presence on their servers and it's disrupted, that could mean loss of business. This is unbelievable. They had NO CLUE this would happen?
We talked to Tech Support in KY.   And they knew that they were pulling out of St. Mary's.  It has to do with the GMP buyout.  I think it should be a class action suit again HSA and WEstern Shore.  


Well, class action or not, I was able to redirect my domain registration to my control with a provider outside of HSA.  I was lucky, it only took me 48 hours and I barely met the deadline.

Currently my site is still hosted on an HSA cable modem, but if they pull the plug I will be to get up and running again under some other provider, be it ISDN, ADSL, etc.. in a few days.

As for class actions, my HSA agreement does state 30 days notification upon changing rates or terms to my contract, but I am not sure if this will hold up in this case (I am not still clear on what the "case" is yet).

I will be speaking to a lawyer Monday about this.

Ken King

A little rusty but not crusty
PREMO Member
I just opened an account with Ameritel.  Connected first try and so far no problem.  Giving them a try for a year and we'll see.  Phone numbers 301-997-0848 or 0849.
TQCI did not honor my prepaid year when they went through their problem a couple years ago... I wouldn't give them the time of day.  I'll stick with AOL it's better then them.  Ameritel isn't bad so I've heard but I'm already set up with aol.  Just need to change my way of connection


Well, regardless of who you decide to go through with dialup access, GMP is extending service to ALL cable modem users, but they are disconnecting all dialup accounts, and EMAIL accounts.

GMP just wants to be a broadband provider.  They recommend Hotmail for email.

For all current CABLE MODEM users, I am offering FREE email accounts, no ads, no charge!  Go to http://www.prestons.org/scanner/ and click the link at the top of the page.

As for those of us still on cable modem service, a class action against HSA is still VERY possible.  If you read your contract very closely, they state that a 30 day notice will be given to you regarding service and billing changes.  Since they decided to leave St. Mary's in less than 48 hours,  I don't consider this 30 days of notification.  As far as I am concerned this is a contract violation.

I could be wrong about the contract, I am a business customer so my contract may differ from the residential user, but my contract clearly states 30 day notification of ANYTHING regarding my account.  Any lawyers out there want to take a stab at a potential class action?  You typically get 20%+ of the settlement!!!



As for dialup customers, I can not recommend any specific vendor (I am slightly biased in this position being the former SysAdmin for EagleNet)

There are a few recommendations:  TQCI, Ameritel, Radix, StarPower, AOL, Verizon, etc...

As for TQCI and Ameritel, they used to be former competitors for the ISP I worked for, but they are both reliable ISP's.  Radix is another reliable ISP I recommend and use from time to time.  StarPower? Ha!  Verizon, they work but good luck on customer service.

My recommendation is to stick with a local ISP, someone who you can walk into an office and yell at! Go with Ameritel or TQCI (both are withing yelling reach!).  If yelling in person isn't a concern go with Radix.net or Olg.com.  Both are sort of local.


I'm a dialup subscriber with HSA.  I was just about to go for a cable connection until I was sent the notice.

Will we ever see broadband in this area again?  Are there any ISP's that are planning on availability of broadband connection to residential users in the near future?


I used TQCI and had nothing but problems.  Even now I have friends who have problems with them.  For a while I used the free services that were available.  But I now use Earthlink.  They are great!  They have local numbers and are cheaper than AOL.  I like them because they have their own browser/email program that I can set up for my son.  It is based on IE and I can limit where he goes.  Then I use Netscape for browsing and Calypso for email.  I like Calypso because it never gets hit with all those email virus like Outlook.

Rumor has it that GMP is trying to sell out to Comcast.  If that happens I will probably get a dish.  Comcast has about a 1/3 of the channel selection of GMP.


Like I said in an earlier message, Cable Modem service will be staying.  GMP Cable is assuming ownership of the local services from HSA.  GMP even went as far as getting the sub-domain name and keeping the email addresses of the local customers (i.e. user@us.hsanet.net)

At least GMP is trying to save broadband in the area.  St. Mary's County was the pilot county for the entire country, it was tested here, over $10 million was invested in the cable system to enable broadband via cable.  Though HSA is in trouble, with GMP taking a stab at saving it, at least we will continue to have our broadband access for awhile!  Maybe GMP will make it work, I am not sure.  I am hopeful, but I am still making contingency plans either way in case I need to move my site in a hurry.

Here is their latest emailing to the customer base:

-----Original Message-----
From: Info [mailto:info@hsacorp.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2001 1:10 PM
To: all@us.hsanet.net
Importance: High

GMP Cable TV is assuming operational responsibility for the Western Shores
Express Internet service that has been provided to you by High Speed Access
Corp. ("HSA"). Despite a favorable long-term outlook, HSA has been unable to
obtain the additional financing for continuing to offer Internet service and
we are assuming HSA's role,  in order to ensure you continue to enjoy
high-speed Internet access.

GMP Cable TV and  HSA are working together on the transition of your
Internet service, which will be renamed GMP Express, and
that process is already underway.   Effective immediately,  please call
301-373-4507, 301-373-3201, and 1-800-427-0705 between 8:30am and 6:00pm,
Monday through Friday for your customer support needs.

As part of the transition process, your October bill will be sent to you by
GMP Cable TV.  Any customers who have pre-paid for their service will
receive a refund from HSA within the next several weeks and will need to
make their October payment to GMP Express, as noted on the new bills. If you
have any questions concerning billing for prior months, please contact HSA
directly at 1-800-569-6088.

In order to receive GMP Express Cable Modem service, it is necessary to have
basic cable service and expanded basic cable service.  GMP will offer the
following services:

Residential Customers:

                       up to 500K $39.95 per month
                       up to 1Meg $69.95 per month
                       Cable Modem rental $9.95 per month

Commercial/Business Customers:

                       Charges will vary.

The dial up service offering has been discontinued.  It had been provided by
HSA, which is longer involved in providing local Internet service.

Your GMP staff is working hard  to make this  a smooth transition, but we
face significant challenges in updating customer account information and we
will greatly appreciate your support and assistance during this process.
Any former HSA Western Shore Express customer who has not been receiving an
invoice will lose cable modem Internet service as a result of this
transition. All former HSA customers who have not been receiving an invoice,
and all former HSA Western Shore Express customers who were billed by HSA
but do not receive a bill from GMP Express within the next several weeks,
need to contact GMP Express immediately at 301-373-4507, 301-373-3201, and
1-800-427-0705 between 8:30am and 6:00pm, Monday through Friday, in order
for a new account to be setup and for cable modem internet access service to
be maintained.  You may also provide this information via the web, at the
following address:
 http://www.wsctv.com/inetform.htm <http://www.wsctv.com/inetform.htm>  <
http://www.wsctv.com/inetform.htm <http://www.wsctv.com/inetform.htm> >  

We are also asking all current GMP Express high-speed Internet customers to
please provide the information requested on customer account forms that may
be accessed at the following web address in order to maintain uninterrupted
cable modem service.

 http://www.wsctv.com/inetform.htm <http://www.wsctv.com/inetform.htm>  <
http://www.wsctv.com/inetform.htm <http://www.wsctv.com/inetform.htm> >  

During this transition period, you will be able to continue using your
current e-mail and web page addresses. GMP has acquired those Internet
domains, in order to make this transition easier for our customers.

GMP cable's direct involvement in providing your Internet service will
enable us to ensure that you experience the best possible service and we
greatly appreciate your your support and understanding during this process.

Hans Welch
General Manager
GMP Cable TV


Geesh, just read my own reply and it sounds like I am a customer service REP for GMP.  This is not true.

Though I highly support GMP for their efforts to keep broadband in St. Mary's, I am still very peeved at HSA for the sudden pull-out.  

I do recognize that GMP is going out of their way to save the email accounts and web pages of their users, and I congratulate them on this.  They did a great favor to St. Mary's saving the system from HSA's demise.

The decision to drop dialup access wasn't GMP's decision, HSA is still in business and they controlled the dialup access, they (HSA) do not want to continue to do business in St. Mary's.  This is not GMP's fault.  Seeing as how GMP is a cable provider, why would they want to provide dialup?

Ok, now that I have stated facts that make me sound even more like a GMP sales person I am signing off before someone exposes me!

Again, I do not work for GMP but I am greatful that they at least have made an attempt to save broadband in this county, and it may still work.  If it doesn't, Radix has some awesome price plans on ISDN (dialup and dedicated.)


Lets see here, Yes GMP took over the cable modem but it seems to have a higher price also. For those who paid two years in advance with hsa and never recieved a refund and now i have to pay for it all over again. Kinda funky if you ask me. Then they turn the modems off and went to Mac Addresses so they can keep track of you and thier billing. Thats fine but what about us who got screwed by HSA?


I just wish gmpexpress.net would get their DNS records configured so I can access my email accounts on other servers. One of my email account servers checks the forward and reverse DNS to make sure the IP's match, and I can't log in via cable modem. I haven't had access to some email since the 12th except via telnet through a dedicated server I lease (and my DNS is configured correctly!)


b*tch rocket
I've not been able to access my email through gmp for weeks, figured it was just my account.  We never use that account for anything of importance anyway so I've not called to check on it.  What is the deal with it?  How do you go about checking it?  I'm clueless.


Anyone get thier email working yet? It's still down from what i hear. Anyone have a clue?

Rock Quarry

I got my email working through them about a month ago, I had to call them though, they didn't have me in the system. They are also taking new cable modem customers as of yesterday in case anyone is interested.