Comcast vs. BellSouth

October 31, 2008 at 10:00 pm 3 comments

I live in Jacksonville, FL.  Here, we have a few options for high speed Internet access:

1. Clearwire wireless.  Up to 2 Meg service for about 34.95/month, I believe.
2. BellSouth (AT&T) DSL.  Up to 6 Meg service for 42.95 a month with a phone line, or 47.95 naked.
3. Comcast Cable.  According to what I can gather from their website, 6 Meg service with a burst capability.  Normally priced at 42.95 a month, but a $19.99/month promo is available.

I’ve gone back and forth between DSL and cable several times over the last 12 years.  Each time I’ve left a service, the competition looked better in terms of performance once I got it installed.  So, this means that both services have continuously gotten better since I’ve started using high-speed Internet service.  Mostly, I’ve left a service because of service problems.

Up until very recently, my provider has been BellSouth.  I began having intermittent connection issues over the course of a few weeks, called them to complain, finally got a tech out who “fixed it”, only to have the problem come back very soon (since it wasn’t happening when the tech arrived, how would he know if he fixed it?)

My first stab at replacing them was Clearwire.  The idea of picking up a box at BestBuy, driving home, and jumping online was very appealing.  DON’T.  Resist the urge.  Clearwire is bad news and I urge everyone to avoid them.  They throttle your Internet connection.  If you download torrents of any kind, don’t even think of this is a viable way to handle things.

About this time, I found out that my old friend Comcast was offering a 19.99/month deal for 6 months on their 6 Meg service.  I decided against the “burstable” option, but after the service was installed, I found that it was something they couldn’t just turn off.   In my case, they couldn’t get their standby Motorola units to work, so they installed this “Touchstone Telephony Modem”, even though I didn’t buy the cable telephone service.  When I go to download files now, I’m regularly seeing just over 1 Megabyte per second downloads.  This is just insane.

Needless to say, I’m happy with the speed!  Chalk this one up to Comcast!

Here’s my speedtest.net result:

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3 Comments Add your own

  • […] is another side of the coin, and one that isn’t so negative. This post is written by a person who lives in Jacksonville, Fla. It’s a medium-size city (the twelfth largest in the country with 805,000 residents). Not […]

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  • 2. genethomas2095  |  November 12, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Comcast vs. BellSouth

    You have COMCAST service, paying for 6 MB download and only getting 1 MB and you are very happy customer.! Am I missing something here? What happend to getting what you paid for? CLEARWIRE is violating the FCC law by slowing the internet. Thought this was settled when COMCAST go caught and was forced to stop.

    Reply
  • 3. ptaylor  |  November 12, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    To clear up any confusion, I’ve updated the original post to show my speedtest results. Yes, a whopping 19 Megabit per second down.

    Comcast is selling 6 Meg service – which really means 6 Megabit. When I download using their service, I’m getting over 1 MegaByte per second. There are 8 bits in a byte, so I’m getting more than 8 Megabits per second, much faster than AT&T’s Extreme 6.0 DSL. Note that these are real file downloads, not just benchmarks, but real world results. With my previous 6.0 DSL service, the fastest I remember downloading actual files was around 500-600 Kbytes per second, about half of what I get now. So, yes, Comcast is reallly fast, at least here in north Jacksonville.

    Reply

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