Originally Posted by zoetmb
My daughter lives 2-hours north of NYC. They do occasionally lose service for a short period, but other than that, their service is pretty good within the constraints of what we expect in the U.S. They have TWC (their only choice).
Unfortunately, it's doubtful that any American company is going to build out a quality infrastructure, especially in a low density area where it would take many years for payback and especially if they don't have any competition. While I personally think this is a mistake, because it's inevitable that there will be eventually be tech that could replace a cable line, like a 5" satellite dish, American companies look at the next quarter, not the long term.
I was at a SMPTE meeting a few weeks ago where they spoke about "over the top TV". One of the persons making the presentation claimed that Comcast just gave him a free upgrade to 50MB service and they also offer 100MB service, but I don't know where he lived. If Comcast is really going to offer that everywhere, that would be great, because using RCN in the city, advertised speed is much lower and actual speed never even comes close to advertised space. For web surfing it's fine as is (except for downloading large files). But for streaming movies in HD, even if starts out okay, about halfway into the movie, it starts to choke. I've always wondered if the cable company is detecting the huge data consumption and throttling the pipe, since it seems to happen pretty consistently.
At other people's homes, I noticed that both Verizon and Comcast had upload speeds equivalent to download speeds. RCN's upload speed is about a tenth of their download speed. (In my building, we only have a choice of RCN or TWC).
I'm not sure sure that I'd want to go with Google. Frankly, I don't trust them not to monitor all of my internet communications and not just when I use Google Search. Maybe that's paranoia, but they have a lousy track record at preserving privacy.
Sounds like your daughter might live in or close to Albany? I lived there for 20 years, and had TWC since around ~ 2003. All I can say is that compared to Comcast, the TWC service was stellar! It just worked. All the time. Everytime. Cable, Internet and phone. I can't remember any short-to-medium length outages. We hardly ever had to reboot the modem or router. HD channels very seldom broke up with pixelation, in fact never did. I wish I could say the same for Comcast.
We've since moved to Western CT and the only service provider available in our area is Comcast - unless I want to go DSL (no thanks). As I mentioned in another thread, we've had Comcast for almost 1 year now, and the quality of the signal and internet reliability is abysmal. We've had tech after tech out to the house trying to figure out what the issue is and have been unsuccessful. We've gone days with no service! Let me also say one other thing... the Xfinity cable box and feature set is - IMHO - just not ready for prime time. Way to many unwanted features that partly work. It's a total waste of time. In fact, I'm thinking of going back to a non-recording basic box. Most people don't realize it and the tech confirmed it, but if you change the channel on the Xfinity remote, the signal travels down the wire, all the way to the closest Comcast CO, to their server, changes the channel, and then sends the new channel back to you! What kind of convoluted approach is that to simply changing the channel?! Urgh!
Finally, we got a 'real' tech (not contractor) that's been with Comcast for 15 yrs out to the house, and he installed a signal amplifier that mitigated most of our issues. He also terminated some dead drops, and told us that our other two non-Xfinity boxes were causing problems with the Xfinity one. We immediately took those out of service. The Internet still goes down, but does not stay down as long as it used to. But still, when you're in the middle of a purchase transaction and it goes down, you never know where you are when it comes back up! You need consistent reliability to function at any level on the Internet.
After spending a good hour at the house and swapping out modems and taking back a couple older boxes (that cause interference with the Xfinity box), we now have our Internet back up. Also, since I'm in the midst of finishing my new media/office space, he said, "When you get your SMC enclosure installed and all your new drops in place, give me a call and I'll come back out and install another amp (if needed in the SMC enclosure.") He gave us his personal phone number. He also said he works these chronic issue installs like ours on the weekend - with approval from his boss. I was happy!
To be fair and in the interest of full disclosure, we do live on the edge of the city limits, but Comcast still services the area. Semi-rural or not, if you say you offer service, and you're paying north of $200 every month I do have every right to expect a higher level of consistant and quality service.
Sorry for getting off-topic.