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Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Let's talk about all the companies we hate (or love) that provide us with access to the internet (and occasionally moving pictures that are first broadcast and re-transmitted through wires).

Here's the basic layout of ISPs in the US today.

Cable

Coaxial cables. This is what most people traditionally think of when they think of cable tv/internet. One major advantage cable has is in upgrades to the DOCSIS protocol which dramatically increase speeds. The 3.0 upgrade brought 100Mbps service within easy reach. The forthcoming 3.1 upgrade is said to bring Gbps service (previously only the domain of Fiber services) to everyone.

However, cable connections are shared between multiple subscribers. During heavy usage periods, you should expect to not get the speed you are paying for.

Here are your big players:

Comcast (aka xfinity)

The largest provider of cable tv and internet in the US. Owner of NBCUniversal among other entertainment giants and overall behemoth. Consistently rated at the bottom of customer satisfaction for any company. Has close to a 50% market share of cable internet subscribers.

Time Warner Cable/Charter

The second and third largest cable companies, respectively. They are in the process of attempting to merge, pending government approval.

Cox

Yes, it sounds hilarious.

Assorted Others
Most of these are regional players that don't extend beyond their core area. These include Brighthouse, Wow!, RCN, and Cablevision.

DSL

Phone lines. DSL offered a path towards higher speeds in the late-90s when dial-up was your only other option. However, the technology is limited by distance from a "node" or a central point of service where customers' phone lines connect to the network's fiber network. If you are beyond a certain distance, you are not allowed to sign up for this service.

It is also limited by its own technology. The max speed of a "high-speed" DSL line is about 20Mbps though you could get up to 45Mbps if you're really close to the node. However, cable internet has long since surpassed the speeds offered by DSL and continues to grow faster with newer DOCSIS tech.

The major players here are:

AT&T U-Verse

Figures that an old phone company would be the major player in internet access over phone lines.

Verizon High Speed

Ditto but laughably slow.

CenturyLink

Mostly located in the western US. Not as many subscribers as Verizon but the speeds are better (but still don't meet the 25Mbps threshold for broadband in the US).

Fiber

Oooo, shiny!

Specifically, Fiber-to-the-home service is a relatively new concept for US internet service. The reason it's newer is due to the high upfront costs to building out a new network. Fiber cables are fragile and expensive and are usually buried. That means building a new network involves tearing up and patching streets and property. Building permits, contractors, fees, taxes, and more. Cable and DSL have the advantage here of being able to use existing infrastructure. Very few existing neighborhoods have existing fiber networks to take advantage of.

Still, the outlook on fiber is good as some DSL operators are switching over to fiber to get competitive and a certain internet giant is getting involved in select regions. Consider this the wild west of the ISP landscape.

Major Fiber ISPs:

Verizon FIOS

Consider yourself lucky if you live in an area serviced by FIOS. Verizon isn't expanding the network any further due to the aforementioned costs of building the network. You have access to 500Mbps service but it's still pretty expensive.

Honorable mentions:
Google Fiber

FIOS may have been first on the scene but Google is making a splash by providing 1Gbps connections for a relatively inexpensive monthly cost ($70 per month versus FIOS's $250 per month for half that speed). However, their footprint is still very small with only the Kansas City (both MO and KC) area and Provo, UT areas being hooked up. They are actively looking at expanding into several different metro areas across the US.

AT&T U-Verse with Gigapower

Confusing co-branded with U-verse, this is AT&T's future shift away from DSL and building out something that can compete with cable. Also, it was mandated by the government in exchange for merging with DirecTV.

Municipal Fiber
Congrats on living in Chatanooga, TN, Sandy, OR, and a handful of other locations. You get low-cost fiber service with excellent customer service that's operated like a local utility. High speeds are the norm but expansion is limited beyond the municipality.

Satellite Internet
HughesNet

If you live in the middle of nowhere and have no other option, you can get 15Mbps from a satellite ISP. The pings are atrocious so expect online gaming to be a non-starter and it doesn't even qualify as broadband anymore.

Mobile ISPs
You get the Internet from the air. Mobile ISPs are not suitable to home usage as the low data caps prevent you from doing much of anything before hitting overage fees. Here's the links to the existing mobile network threads:
Verizon Wireless
AT&T
T-Mobile
Sprint

Wireless ISPs
Differing from the mobile operators, these start-ups utilize line-of-sight radio signals to create a wireless network. Nextlink, Rise, and, recently, Vivint have begun to offer service to under-served areas. Speeds are better than DSL but can't match cable. They do currently meet the 25Mbps definition of broadband though. However, without direct line of sight to a tower/transmitter, you will be denied service.


Competition
The major thing about the US broadband picture is the absolute lack of competition across most of the country. Building a network is expensive and to get the initial build out completed, many regions granted actual or defacto monopolies as incentives. The FCC estimated that about 75% of the US has access to 25+Mbps through only 1 ISP.

You can call satellite or wireless service as active competition but those networks do not compare to the kind of usage you expect out of a home internet connection. The reason Google made such a splash with their Fiber roll out was the low cost of monthly service. Almost immediately, those areas services by Google saw the existing ISPs lower costs and increase speeds. Noteably, AT&T's Gigapower service is $110 per month in areas not also serviced by Google and $70 where Google Fiber is present.

Maybe Fiber-to-the-Home deployments will encourage a new age of competition but it'll be years before we see it happen, if at all.


Anyways, use this thread to ask questions about your local/regional/national TV/Internet provider. I'm sure a number of goons are in the employ of the above companies and can provide insight as to why the cable guy didn't come during his window and then proceeded to kick your puppy into the neighbor's yard while installing your new XJoey5 Blazing modem.

Thwomp fucked around with this message at 21:15 on Jan 8, 2016

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Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

To kick things off, I find it incredibly weird that I have access to both Comcast and WOW! plans but I've never found WOW! to offer competitive prices. You'd think they would try to best them on price if they can't match Comcast's speeds.

warcraft_boyfriend_99
Aug 12, 2007

I think immigrants are trying to "sneak in and pollute our culture"

I have Indianapolis Brightouse. I pay $118/month after tax for 150/10, its upgrading to 200/15 next week. I have had it for almost a year now and couldn't be happier. It's gone down exactly once at 4am on a Sunday morning and was back online by 5. They provide free access points for their internet service too if you live in a big house. I wish Comcast was half as competent as these guys are.

Admiral_eX_laX
Jul 8, 2009

Historically Inaccurate


My apartment is locked in a contract with ATT - DirectTV is included in the rent ( nice ) but ATT is the only ISP I can use while I live here ( bad ).

So I've had 12 meg Uverse for the past 2 years and all of a sudden it starts dropping. Techs come out 4 times and never get it straight. Ultimately they tell me they need to bump me down to 6 meg to stabilize the connection...something about my upload speed being too high on 12 meg and disrupting the connection?

What the hell happened and are they full of bullshit?

buglord
Jul 31, 2010




Buglord

Also worth mentioning that Hughesnet has data limits as low as 5gb/month during regular hours and 50 for off-time hours. They used to do a 200mb daily cap, but I assume people kept hitting it rather easily. I used to at least, when I committed the high crime of watching youtube for an hour. Atrocious pings are no joke either, I averaged 600-800ms. Unless you live in the literal woods, there's usually DSL available. I switched as soon as AT&T came to our area. <100 ms ping, x4 speed, half the price, free installation.

Comcast has been utter garbage in my experience (surprise surprise) and whenever I have to deal with them at my parent's house I have to resort to cancellation threats. I never did figure out why our outage was going on. They had two no-shows (which I negotiated to be free of services charges because they wanted me to pay per visit) and would pingpong me around to different departments. It's sucky because I imagine the outsourced tech support people hate their jobs, I hate their service, and its a crappy situation all around.

Right now im on Suddenlink in the pacific northwest. Despite my initial hesitation, they've been my favorite ISP so far. They gave us a free speed upgrade a while ago across the county, from 50mbps to 75. I've had about 3 hour-long outages in the 8 months I've had them. Luckily they're always resolved themselves. Happy camper with them so far.

td4guy
Jun 13, 2005

I always hated that guy.



I've been paying $115/mo for a Charter Spectrum business-class line. 80/5. I guess Charter doesn't offer any faster upload speed than 5Mbps.

They appear to have no SLA and only limited hours when you can call and talk to a human.

I got business class because I was afraid that I'd run up against some unpublished bandwidth caps, by doing ~1TB/month.

Have I been wasting my money on this not-so-business-class internet when I could've just been paying normal consumer prices this whole time? What do you all think?

Git Mah Belt Son
Apr 26, 2003

Happy Happy Gators

Not sure if Charter is different in other parts of the country, but I have the consumer version of charter and have never run up against any cap issues and I probably go through 750gb/mo.

I'm one of the rare people that had fios and switched to charter. Where I am the service is pretty good and they offered a deal I couldn't pass up. I was paying $165/mo for fios and switched to Charter with more channels and more internet speed for $90/mo locked in for 3 years. They're going after people in fios areas hardcore right now.

adorai
Nov 2, 2002

10/27/04 Never forget

Grimey Drawer

td4guy posted:

I got business class because I was afraid that I'd run up against some unpublished bandwidth caps, by doing ~1TB/month.
I have 75/20 comcast consumer broadband and regularly exceed 500GB per month and have seen no consequences. I don't see why it would be different for 1TB, I am already exceeding their "cap" every single month and they have yet to say anything.

Daily Forecast
Dec 24, 2008

by R. Guyovich


Thwomp posted:

Verizon FIOS

Consider yourself lucky if you live in an area serviced by FIOS. Verizon isn't expanding the network any further due to the aforementioned costs of building the network. You have access to 500Mbps service but it's still pretty expensive.

Switched from Comcast to Verizon FIOS late last year, as soon as they hooked up my apartment, and couldn't be more pleased with it. Went from paying $106/mo (yeah) for 50/10 to $35/mo for 30/30 which honestly feels every bit as fast. gently caress Comcast, those greedy pricks.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Avocados posted:

Comcast has been utter garbage in my experience (surprise surprise) and whenever I have to deal with them at my parent's house I have to resort to cancellation threats. I never did figure out why our outage was going on. They had two no-shows (which I negotiated to be free of services charges because they wanted me to pay per visit) and would pingpong me around to different departments. It's sucky because I imagine the outsourced tech support people hate their jobs, I hate their service, and its a crappy situation

So this is something that has always caused that weird itch in my brain to go off.

Maybe it's because I'm in the suburbs and I don't share my Comcast connection with a giant apartment full of people but I've always had great service. I mostly get the speeds I'm promised and the reps and technicians I contact have been really nice and responsive.

I'd love to do the goony thing and make a spreadsheet of people with awful service and maps them out to see where the real bad apples/problem connection areas are.

adorai
Nov 2, 2002

10/27/04 Never forget

Grimey Drawer

Thwomp posted:

Maybe it's because I'm in the suburbs and I don't share my Comcast connection with a giant apartment full of people but I've always had great service. I mostly get the speeds I'm promised and the reps and technicians I contact have been really nice and responsive.
I agree that comcast experiences can vary. I live in a small midwestern town, and I have never had an issue with comcast. My personal service has always delivered the promised speeds and been very reliable, and commercially, comcast is my most reliable and responsive carrier. Hands down, they have the best commercial NOC of anyone I deal with (I have 8 major carriers i have data circuits from).

They're great from that standpoint.

buglord
Jul 31, 2010




Buglord

Thwomp posted:

So this is something that has always caused that weird itch in my brain to go off.


I read somewhere on this site that Comcast is broken up into multiple zones across the US, managed by different branches/divisions/whatever. Seems to make since, as its a monumental company spread across a pretty large country. But it may explain why service is horrendous in some areas and spectacular in others.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

That would make sense.

Relatedly, The FCC reported today that 10% of Americans still lack access to broadband home connections. The vast majority being rural Americans. It's an improvement over 2013's 17% and 2012's 20%, especially since the FCC redefined broadband last year as 25Mbps down/3Mbps up.

Ars has a nice write-up. They especially note that while the report doesn't have anything major to report, several indications allude to 2 possible future changes: the FCC could be looking at possibly introducing minimum required speeds for mobile networks and they are indicating that future broadband redefinitions would require access not only to speedy home connections but speedy mobile connections as well.

life is killing me
Oct 28, 2007



Small though they are (and upstart, basically), there are companies offering wireless radio internet service in my area (DFW). Nextlink, Rise, and, recently, Vivint (you might know them as a wireless home security service provider with newfangled touchscreen pads) have begun offering service out here and I think they all offer no data caps and reasonably high (at least, good enough for gaming with more expensive plans) speeds. Those speeds can't compare to cable or fiber, however. The thing is, you need clear line of sight to a radio/cell tower so the techs can install a dish to receive the signal. If there's anything at all blocking the line of sight, you're denied service and installation. The companies don't charge for installation attempts if they can't get clear line of sight. I think there are some locations that don't require a dish, but all these companies said my house would need a dish. None were able to get line of sight from my house. The Vivint rep I spoke to flat-out said that they just barely started here so don't have many towers in the area yet, and wouldn't even make an appointment to come out. They recommended Rise, which is how I heard about said company. They came out and couldn't either. I live in an area within DFW that has a smaller population density (even though it's two miles from good internet), and there are lots of trees. The trees killed any possibility of me having good internet.

That said, OP, might not hurt to throw dedicated wireless ISPs in the OP. What I'm talking about is different from wireless phone service and data providers like you listed.

AT&T is the only company that services my area with conventional cabled internet and the highest speed they offer (due to their dated underground cables) is 768kbps U-Verse. No other company offers service, again due to population density. Just down the street from me, a neighbor was denied internet service by them. We only pay $20 a month for this internet, but it's so slow it's like having nothing at all most times. I can't game, we can't watch DirecTV on-demand, we can't watch Netflix. AT&T reps I've spoken to deny that their regular DSL would be faster, but they said their regular DSL service is separate from their U-Verse internet service. They can't provide any timeline as to when they will eventually upgrade the cables out in our area, so I'm thinking never, as long as we don't have enough people out where I live for them to justify the cost (2-3 miles of cable is over 15,000 feet). For this reason I turned to wireless ISPs, and they couldn't deliver unless we cut down two big elms that are inhibiting line of sight in our backyard. We're not doing that because we like the trees and they improve property value. I'm not complaining; I have been through all that, and now I'm in the acceptance stage of grief. One of my close friends works as an installation tech for AT&T and said that in a town pretty near me, they have started running overhead fiber cables along telephone poles, but I'm not sure if that will ever take off or make it to my area.

The last option was a mobile WiFi box. I did a lot of research into these and they were all reviewed as mostly slow and unreliable, whether describing the network or the hardware. Finally, I found a little thing called Karma Go from Karma Mobility. It's a tiny little box about the size of a sticky note that grabs a cell signal from the air and provides WiFi. There is no contract, and there are two plans. There's pay-as-you-go, wherein you can purchase data and once it's used up you're not charged, to keep surfing you have to purchase more data. The more data you purchase up front the more money you save, allegedly; and there's a $50/mo plan that has no usage/data caps and up to 5mbps. It's useful for streaming and such, if not gaming. When each month is up, again, you're not automatically charged for the next month--you purchase the next month yourself. It runs on battery and the battery life is not great, but is chargeable via a USB dongle, which is useful when you're using it on your laptop because you can just keep it charged through one of the USB ports. They recently did a promotion that cut the cost of the hardware down to $99 plus the first month's data. The catch is, (where the product's name comes into play) anyone (up to 8 people with the regular pay-as-you-go plan and 3 people with the Neverstop plan) can just jump on your WiFi signal and you can't lock it with an encryption key to keep anyone from getting on it. Whoever jumps on it gets a free 100mb and gives you a free 100mb in return, so there is potential for unlimited data if you're an on-the-go type person who uses it in coffee shops or bars. But security is a potential issue as well.

All of that said, literally the same week I had this thing delivered to my house, they send out an email saying, basically, that too many people have been using too much bandwidth by streaming HD Netflix, porn, whatever, and straining the service. So they experimentally throttled the speeds and are looking into lowering the speeds permanently to deter people from "over-using" it--anyone who is thinking of getting a Karma Go should keep this in mind. What got me is that they state the possibility or potential of streaming video with the Neverstop plan on their website and then they go and decide they might throttle speeds permanently due to people doing a thing they advertised as a thing people can do with it (to get people to buy it I suspect), which kind of defeats the whole reason some people might buy the thing. They did offer a full refund in this email, however, and it's still faster than my current 768kbps internet. Karma Mobility used to only run off the Sprint network on a protocol that is now defunct, so it's good they upgrade in that respect, but literally after reading on their website that they may offer higher speeds in the future, they send out an email saying they're probably going to throttle the gently caress out of it. I noticed it was slower than advertised this week and wondered what the hell was up since I get a good LTE signal out at my house--couldn't stream or do much with it. Now I know I wasn't just imagining it.

One final drawback of the Karma Go is this: whenever you connect a new device to it, you must be able to bring up a webpage to log in to your Karma account. This effectively renders it useless with anything but mobile devices, PCs and laptops. Smart TV? Nope. XBOX One or PS4? Nope, won't automatically launch a browser, and though they'll connect to the Karma, they won't recognize an internet connection so you can't go log in. DirecTV box? Nope. I've heard that you can make this happen with some other hardware but that means you'd be spending more money, so if it's worth it to you, I guess go for it. There's also some WiFi as WAN routers that can make it possible.

tl:dr -- There are wireless service companies that can provide reasonable speeds with no caps in some cities/areas, and might warrant an addition to the OP; useless whining about my lack of broadband options; possible alternative for those without access to broadband at home who just need it to surf the web and do email without going over on their phone data plans.

life is killing me fucked around with this message at 17:29 on Jan 8, 2016

Aphrodite
Jun 27, 2006



I have wireless like that, I'm paying for 30/10 but get closer to 40. When they first installed it I pulled 70-80 before they set my limit though, so the technology can definitely do fast enough.

They told me they have 5ghz and 2.4ghz receivers. If you're absolutely clear, they use the 5 but if there's some trees or minor stuff they use the 2.4. Anything solid is a no-go of course.

Our town is small though and the equipment is on a church bell tower, so most people in the current service area are fine. All houses and mom and pop stuff, nothing tall enough to block line of sight to the church tower.

WISP (for wireless ISP) seems to be the common name for them.

life is killing me
Oct 28, 2007



One thing I'm trying to work out is whether or not my modem (an Arris/Motorola NVG510 provided by AT&T) has a WAW mode, because I'd like it to pick up my Karma Go's signal and use it as the internet source so I could make it work with my TV and DirecTV box. Anyone have any experience with WAW?

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

life is killing me posted:

tl:dr -- There are wireless service companies that can provide reasonable speeds with no caps in some cities/areas, and might warrant an addition to the OP; useless whining about my lack of broadband options; possible alternative for those without access to broadband at home who just need it to surf the web and do email without going over on their phone data plans.

Added a section dedicated to wireless ISPs and renamed the old section mobile ISPs. Thanks for the info!

Daily Forecast
Dec 24, 2008

by R. Guyovich


Thwomp posted:

I've always had great service.

My Comcast service was flawless. I was getting what I paid for and I think I remember only one instance of downtime.

$106 a loving month, though.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Yeah I'm paying only $40 a month for 50Mbps for Internet only (promo rate). It's a great price but I do have to call every six months to get it renewed.

MagusDraco
Nov 11, 2011

even speedwagon was trolled


Daily Forecast posted:

My Comcast service was flawless. I was getting what I paid for and I think I remember only one instance of downtime.

$106 a loving month, though.

Meanwhile I'm in a rural area in Florida and my Comcast service is totally fine until something major breaks. For about a year there was an issue where everyone would drop to like 3 megabits down during primetime hours, 7:30pm to like 11:30pm. Everyone here means everyone in 3 or 4 towns handled by the same Comcast branch. That was fun. They fixed that and things were fine until last week where around 9:40ish pm on most nights internet just dies for like 5 minutes. It'll come back up but be slow and high latency (1000ms ping to google, etc) for about another 5 minutes before stabilizing.

I noticed that one of the Bonding channels had a ton of correctable and uncorrectable code words compared to the others. Like say compare 13 or 0 correctable codewords with 66,000ish and the normal 1400ish uncorrectable with 350,000ish uncorrectable so something is going on.

MagusDraco fucked around with this message at 19:58 on Jan 9, 2016

Daily Forecast
Dec 24, 2008

by R. Guyovich


Thwomp posted:

Yeah I'm paying only $40 a month for 50Mbps for Internet only (promo rate). It's a great price but I do have to call every six months to get it renewed.

How'd you manage that? When I called and complained they pretty much said "lol don't like it? go gently caress yourself dweeb"

td4guy
Jun 13, 2005

I always hated that guy.



Daily Forecast posted:

How'd you manage that? When I called and complained they pretty much said "lol don't like it? go gently caress yourself dweeb"
You act like you're calling to cancel your service and then they transfer you to the retentions department and offer you a deal.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

Yeah that.

It also helped that another (but less speedy) ISP had sent an offer mailing I could use as a reference.

The key really is to be willing to cancel and retentions will give you an offer that'll last 6-12 months.

The fact that most ISPs will do this and not just lower prices across the board is the true crime here.

Daily Forecast
Dec 24, 2008

by R. Guyovich


td4guy posted:

You act like you're calling to cancel your service and then they transfer you to the retentions department and offer you a deal.

That's what I did. I basically just got "Oh, sorry to see you go, I can cancel your service from here, sir!"

Maybe I just got the guy who was wise to that bullshit.

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

The first set of DOCSIS 3.1 modems have been certified, officially signaling the start of the new 3.1 era.

Comcast had started some trials earlier with 3.1 modems but those were test hardware and not certified. These all meet the new standard and will, presumably, go into consumer products. Cable ISPs still have to upgrade their network to support the new standard. And of course, you have to pay for the multi-Gbps plan.

life is killing me
Oct 28, 2007



I like how AT&T won't bury any new cables out in my area, but now that they are apparently hanging fiber cables for Gigapower from telephone lines, it's looking like they won't even do that out near me.

I wish, since they go off population density, that they'd just consider the population density for the entire city of Fort Worth rather than just the most populated suburban areas and just leaving everyone else out in the wind. There's very few people alive right now who don't need or use internet for some purpose, so it seems to me they are missing out on long-term and even short-term profits by bypassing less populated areas (my area is less populated, but is literally surrounded by higher population density--we're a dead zone in the middle of everyone else).

Thwomp posted:

The first set of DOCSIS 3.1 modems have been certified, officially signaling the start of the new 3.1 era.

Comcast had started some trials earlier with 3.1 modems but those were test hardware and not certified. These all meet the new standard and will, presumably, go into consumer products. Cable ISPs still have to upgrade their network to support the new standard. And of course, you have to pay for the multi-Gbps plan.

Nice. At least I won't ever have to worry about getting a new modem that supports multi-gbit transfer since I don't even get a real-time data transfer rate anywhere near even a mbyte. Less than 50kb/s out here.

Are these modems being offered by the ISPs with install or do you have to buy them for hundreds of dollars at Best Buy?

life is killing me fucked around with this message at 19:38 on Jan 14, 2016

Daily Forecast
Dec 24, 2008

by R. Guyovich



Internet speeds were part of the reason I left Dallas.

This is not a joke

life is killing me
Oct 28, 2007



Daily Forecast posted:

Internet speeds were part of the reason I left Dallas.

This is not a joke

Shoot, at least Dallas gets FiOS, and Keller was the first suburb in DFW to get FiOS. Most of Fort Worth just gets screwed with companies who want to pick and choose who gets their faster internet because of population density. Everyone in less-populated areas gets screwed the most with internet that is so slow, it's like not having internet at all. Mine is literally only barely faster than 56k and due to the reclassification of "broadband," it's not broadband anymore. poo poo, I don't think you could have called it broadband before the reclassification of the term. But AT&T likes to tell us that it's U-verse and DSL would be slower. No, that's actually just their way of saying, "Not enough people live where you are living even though you're surrounded by higher density, so gently caress you." All I see is internet speed capabilities inching higher and higher with ISPs, and I'm stuck in the stone age. Trying to throw money at them and they don't want it because it's not enough money for a multi-billion-dollar company to make.

I'd kill for better internet. I'd kill for even 1mbps right now. The Karma box blew up in my face when they decided to throttle the speeds literally the same week mine shipped to my house so it's no longer going to be 5mbps, and you can't use it on anything but mobile and computers anyway. Meh.

life is killing me fucked around with this message at 19:56 on Jan 14, 2016

Thwomp
Apr 9, 2003

BA-DUHHH



Grimey Drawer

life is killing me posted:

Are these modems being offered by the ISPs with install or do you have to buy them for hundreds of dollars at Best Buy?

I imagine the first set of consumer modems will be pricey. It'll likely be more cost effective to rent one from the ISP until they become more common.

Then again, if you're paying $500 a month for the Xfinity MegaPower Juice with Beats plan then you could probably afford your own hardware.

life is killing me
Oct 28, 2007



Update on Karma mobile wifi:

As I mentioned a while back, Karma had recently sent out and email saying they were testing lower speeds on the service due to "strain." Apparently, people were doing too much of a thing Karma advertised as a thing that could be done, and that thing was Netflix and other streaming. This was mostly on the second of two plans, Neverstop, for $50 a month. You'd think $50 a month was more than enough cost to justify being able to watch Netflix every now and then at 5gbps, but I digress. They also included a survey in this email. The survey was basically asking how we use the service, how often we use it, what we do with it, etc.

So they send an email out this morning saying they had read the surveys and had decided not to throttle. Great! Continue reading, and they are offering 15gb of unthrottled data a month for Neverstop users, and after that data is up, the speed will be throttled and only usable really for email and light browsing while still retaining "unlimited" data. They ARE offering full refunds, I'll give them that. So OP, can you add that (if you added the Karma at all) to the main post?

But I admit I'm unsure what possible strain could even exist on the service? How is it that there are "too many" people streaming? How is it being slowed down when there's actually thousands of people on the Sprint 4G LTE service daily? What are those of us without access to broadband internet where we live supposed to do when they throttle/limit the speeds and data of any alternatives we might be able to use to get internet access?

mediaphage
Mar 22, 2007

Excuse me, pardon me, sheer perfection coming through


It's probably that they're saturating whatever amount of bandwidth they buy from Sprint to operate the service and it's costing them more than they want to spend.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


Thwomp posted:

To kick things off, I find it incredibly weird that I have access to both Comcast and WOW! plans but I've never found WOW! to offer competitive prices.
What are the prices you're looking at?

I just switched to WOW! from Time Warner Cable this week. TWC has been charging $55.99/mo (non-introductory) for 15/1 service and announced on their last bill that price is going up to $59.99 next (this) month. WOW! charges $55.0/mo for 30/5 as a non-introductory price, and $25-35/mo introductory ($25/mo first year, $35/mo second year). TWC's game is ridiculous, and so far WOW! has been just fine. I suppose in two years when it actually goes to $55/mo I can reevaluate and switch back to TWC if it makes sense to, but at this point it would not.

Competition is a good thing.

The Slack Lagoon
Jun 17, 2008



I pay 58 for 100/?? with RCN, along with local channels and HBO. Speed test puts actual speed at 92-98 most of the time, even during the evening high usage times. Pretty happy with it overall.

Daily Forecast
Dec 24, 2008

by R. Guyovich


Man I have to move, and the new apartment we're going to has Frontier, but not FIOS, so I can't move my service. Even if I downgraded, I'd only be getting 7mbps, and LMAO, I live in loving 2016

Comcast has pretty good service there, though, and as much as I hate it it looks like I gotta go back until Frontier gets around to wiring up the new place (which the guy said they might soon because they're expanding in this area, but no promises). Any chance I could get Frontier to waive my ETFs since I'm moving to an area that's out of service?

life is killing me
Oct 28, 2007



Daily Forecast posted:

Man I have to move, and the new apartment we're going to has Frontier, but not FIOS, so I can't move my service. Even if I downgraded, I'd only be getting 7mbps, and LMAO, I live in loving 2016

Comcast has pretty good service there, though, and as much as I hate it it looks like I gotta go back until Frontier gets around to wiring up the new place (which the guy said they might soon because they're expanding in this area, but no promises). Any chance I could get Frontier to waive my ETFs since I'm moving to an area that's out of service?

Yeah, Frontier bought part of Verizon, I had thought it was the fiber optics part since Verizon isn't planning on expanding FiOS any further than where it already is since apparently it's costing them too much money and not bringing enough returns.

Couldn't speak for Frontier, but you could ask them. If you want faster than 7mbps (lol I'd kill for that speed, it's literally more than 7x faster than what I have) you could just go to Comcast for a year or however long it takes for Frontier to expand to your area.

How are you out of their service area if your new apartment complex has Frontier though?

Daily Forecast
Dec 24, 2008

by R. Guyovich


life is killing me posted:

How are you out of their service area if your new apartment complex has Frontier though?

Because they have Frontier, but not Frontier FIOS. Which is really weird but that's what the guy told me. I guess that complex just hasn't been upgraded for FIOS yet, but he said that it might happen soon-ish.

life is killing me
Oct 28, 2007



Daily Forecast posted:

Because they have Frontier, but not Frontier FIOS. Which is really weird but that's what the guy told me. I guess that complex just hasn't been upgraded for FIOS yet, but he said that it might happen soon-ish.

I get it now. Yeah, Frontier is not the greatest of companies. Then again none of the big ones are great. You're saying the best Frontier offers out there is 7mbps? I'd still kill for even 1mbps out where I am, but 7mbps is pretty lovely.

stevewm
May 10, 2005


Daily Forecast posted:

Because they have Frontier, but not Frontier FIOS. Which is really weird but that's what the guy told me. I guess that complex just hasn't been upgraded for FIOS yet, but he said that it might happen soon-ish.

It will never happen. If Frontier customer service tells you something, it's a lie, always.

Daily Forecast
Dec 24, 2008

by R. Guyovich




At least we're only here for a year, which is coincidentally exactly how long Comcast's price guarantee lasts.

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life is killing me
Oct 28, 2007



Daily Forecast posted:



At least we're only here for a year, which is coincidentally exactly how long Comcast's price guarantee lasts.

The only problem with them really is that it's cable (AFAIK) and if a bunch of people in your new apartment complex have it, it'll slow down. But I'd bet their cable can offer faster than 7mbps.

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