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It seems like Chicago has a near-duopoly with Comcast and AT&T being the main Internet service providers. Anyone know of any alternatives that aren't much more expensive? I'm looking for basic residential service, and I don't have a landline. Also I don't need a super fast connection. If anyone has suggestions please let me know. I've found some other providers via Google, but they're either not available in my area, or much more expensive than the big two. I'm in the city, on the south side.

Member Summary

Did you try Clearwire.com?

Did you try Clearwire.com?

No, I'll look into that now, thanks.

eta: Just entered my address and the web site says they cover my area but can't sell new service there at this time. I have looked into Karma Wi-Fi which uses Clearwire's network, and while it looks like a great product, I doubt it would work as my main broadband connection.


skibum43 said:   isp search

Actually I tried that earlier today, but a search for my zip resulted in 168 hits, many of whom are too expensive and/or don't cover my area (despite showing up after entering my zip code). Some of them will tell you on their site if they cover your area or not, and some of them you have to call. So I was hoping to get recommendations from folks here so I don't have to visit all the sites.

LINK
WideOpenWest is available in certain locations.

skibum43 said:   isp search
This search is next to useless. My zip code produces hits for about 20 different states.

Verizon sent me a flyer that states they now support home Broadband over 4g.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/254900/verizon_s_4g_lte_to_the_ho...

Probably more expensive than your other options.

WideOpenWest is not available at my address. Miqie, glad to hear it's not just me...I wish they had a search function on that site that was useful. I went to the Verizon site, it looks like my address is covered for "Homefusion," but they don't have pricing online; I need to go to a retail store. Anyone know what they charge?

Looks like AT&T isn't as willing to offer discounts as they used to be. I've got 3mbps dry loop DSL. I was getting a discount and paying $20/month, which just expired (when I got it they told me it would end in 6 months and I'd have to call back). I just called retention dept and the best discount they said they could offer would be $10 discount, so $33/month. I told them that Comcast has a deal now, that's $20/month, for 3mbps, but faster upload speed (Comcast is 768--I think that's 2x fast as AT&T?). After 6 months it goes up to $29.95, so even then it's slightly cheaper than AT&T and slightly faster. So I canceled, thinking they might offer me a lower fee at that point, but they didn't, which is fine, I'm up for trying Comcast.

I think after 6 months or a year, I could switch back and take advantage of one of the new customer discounts--anyone know about that?

Both Comcast and AT&T suck, but so far I haven't found a better alternative.



ETA: Just found this article about HomeFusion (too expensive for me):

All of the plans are usage-based, which changes the broadband paradigm from one of limited bits to limited bytes. Verizonís plans begin at $59.99 of monthly access for 10 GB of data, and there is a $200 installation charge. If you consider that an hour of watching Netflix consumes about 1 gigabyte, youíre looking at about 8-10 hours of TV a month.

An update, I signed up on the web with Comcast for $19.99 Internet. Signing up was easy, scheduling install was easy, bought my own modem, service is faster than AT&T (same speed, 3mbps).

Then I got the first bill, for $39.95. Called billing, who sent me to the web to deal with it via chat, chatted with two people, got a different number to call, that person said I had to go to one of their centers with the bill. At that point I said I wanted to cancel; they connected me to someone who finally fixed the charge. I asked the guy what happened--the service is still listed at $19.99 on their site, and you don't need to enter a code or anything. He didn't have an explanation, and when I told him it was fraud, he said it wasn't since they fixed it.

Bait and switch, be advised.

jimtron said:   An update, I signed up on the web with Comcast for $19.99 Internet. Signing up was easy, scheduling install was easy, bought my own modem, service is faster than AT&T (same speed, 3mbps).

Then I got the first bill, for $39.95. Called billing, who sent me to the web to deal with it via chat, chatted with two people, got a different number to call, that person said I had to go to one of their centers with the bill. At that point I said I wanted to cancel; they connected me to someone who finally fixed the charge. I asked the guy what happened--the service is still listed at $19.99 on their site, and you don't need to enter a code or anything. He didn't have an explanation, and when I told him it was fraud, he said it wasn't since they fixed it.

Bait and switch, be advised.

I've had that happen with both Time Warner and AT&T. Fortunately both times, I took screenshots of the process. I don't do that very often, so that tells you what I think of those companies.

Both times, they denied ever having such a deal. Even after showing them images and my contract they both denied it. BBB was able to resolve it both times.

Moral of the story... NEVER trust any of those providers. Document everything. They will flat out lie to you.



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