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DrewJ's avatar

What alternatives to Time Warner Internet are there in NYC?

Asked by DrewJ (383 points ) March 5th, 2014

I deperately need your help. I just moved to NYC and the company I work for is letting me work remotely from home. This means my livlihood depends on my internet connection.

I have Time Warner and it is total garbage. Before you go through all the “have you called them?” – Yes, I have been through it all and they have been TERRIBLE and not helpful. They keep switching their story too and if my service issue stumps them or the agent has no real answer they’ll fall back on “There is a service issue in your area and there is currently no ETA.” – Which is either a total LIE, or is completely true and there is a service issue EVERY SINGLE DAY – I don’t know what is worse but either way this can’t go on.

Verizon, unfortunitley, does not service my area.

What else is there? And what can you guys reccomend I try next? Do I have Any options here or am I totally screwed? I just signed my lease and can’t move.

P.S. It is no my wireless router. I tried TWO difference wireless routers and also plugged directly into TWC’s modem (Which the crooks make you RENT for $5/month)

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25 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

In my aunt’s building she can also get Verizon fios.

DrewJ's avatar

Verizon does not service my building

JLeslie's avatar

If you are having a lot of service problems my recommendation is call Time Warner and insist on speaking to a supervisor. Do not explain your sutuation again to the person who answers, even if they try and insist you explain it to them. Just tell them you have called three times (or, whatever the truth is) already and are tired of telling the story.

marinelife's avatar

If all you need is a fast Internet connection look under ISPs in the Phone book or online.

LuckyGuy's avatar

When you get a chance, go to speedtest.net and run a test from your home. It will tell you ping time, upload and download speeds. At the end of the test you can share the result and spread the word. Also they keep track of the results so there will be a record of your providers poor response. This will arm you with data rather than saying my provider is not good.
I hate to say this but you might also try a 4G tethered approach through your smartphone. Upgrade to unlimited first.

DrewJ's avatar

@XOIIO Thanks for the link, that was very helpful. RCN is also not available for me and Clear just got bought by Sprint and I guess does not offer Home Internet anymore. sigh – contacting Optimum later today.

@LuckyGuy Speed is not the issue actually. When Internet is up it is awesomely fast. (Or at least I am satisfied with it) The problem is that it cuts out sporadically. I suspect that if I run a speed test when it is running, the results will look good and not paint the picture of the problem I’m having. – I can’t imagine a 4G tethered approach being sustanable in the long run. I need this for work first and foremost, but I NEEDZ by House of Cards Fix too man! haha

LuckyGuy's avatar

@DrewJ I hear you re. your Needz. I just finished Breaking Bad via Netflix. It would have driven me crazy if the service dropped just as Walt decided to——- the——- in————-. Darn dropouts!

Run the test anyway. It takes less than a minute and the results are good to know. If you are paying for 13Mbps download service you should be getting it. This is your record from an independent source. .

Pachy's avatar

I sympathize. I don’t live in NY but am stuck with T-W, too—and hate it. I’m waiting for Google to enter this market soon.

XOIIO's avatar

@DrewJ If it cuts out a lot, a temporary option might be to torrent it, that way you download the whole file and have it ready to play. You have to wait for it to download of course, but then there are no drop-outs, and if there is a connection drop out it won’t screw up the video or force you to reload the page, it just continues to download.

DrewJ's avatar

@XOIIO Appreciate the advice. SO watching netflix is one thing I want to do but really I need connection to stay consistent for work. I can’t be in the middle of something online and have connection time out. I do everything online.

bolwerk's avatar

RCN, CableVision, and Comcast each have a presence in NYC. At least as I remember it, the problem is the same as everywhere else though, with the cable companies organizing themselves into a checkerboard pattern of micro-monopolies that don’t actually compete with each other.* So, for terrestrial broadband, you usually only have two choices at most, and usually one is Verizon.

* a capitalist wet dream

DrewJ's avatar

Guys…. Things are really bad… The following companies do not service my area:

RCN
CableVision
Optimum
Earthlink (only 15mbps)
Verizon

ANythign else I’m not thinking of?? This is a godamn nightmare. How am I going to keep my job?

hearkat's avatar

FYI: Cablevision and Optimum are the same. I’ve had them as my only cable provider since 1980, and my only ISP since 1999. We get their basic internet – not the Boost – and it is reliable. The only time we’ve had problems, it was a bad splitter or similar hardware issue. I’m in NJ, about an hour outside NYC.

johnpowell's avatar

Have you tried talking to your neighbors and seeing if they are having the same problems. It might help pinpoint where exactly things are failing.

I had a lot of problems with Comcast and switching DNS servers resolved it. I used the ones offered by Google. Info and directions can be found here.

Buttonstc's avatar

AT&T UVerse is also fiber optic. Have you contacted them?

We used to have them for both TV and Internet. We switched TV providers but kept AT&T for Internet because the service was so good.

We only had one problem ever and they came out and changed the router and everything is fine.

I’ve had Comcast in the past and they are just awful. I can’t find enough words to describe how execrable they truly are.

DrewJ's avatar

@Buttonstc Damn…. AT&T does not service my building either.

Am I seriously just shit out of luck?

Side question: Does anyone know of any kind of progress for how fast Verizon is expanding Fios in the cty? Or at least information on it where they were at X point in time and where they were at Y point of time? OR, better yet, are there any locations in the city that even have Both Fios and TWC? I am beginning to suspect this Grid-like organized monopoly over buildings is intentional and will last forever.

bolwerk's avatar

@DrewJ: you can try commercial grade service from companies like panix or inch (warning: probably need to call for pricing info). It’s not so much faster, but it’s probably more reliable.

johnpowell's avatar

I wouldn’t hold your breath for FIOS. It looks like they have stopped rolling it out.

hearkat's avatar

Here’s a website that tells you what broadband options you have based on your address: http://www.broadbandmap.gov/

Credit to a former Jelly who answered on my shared Q on FB. I’d like to lure some of them back.

DrewJ's avatar

It’s pretty much decided…. I am totally screwed. I even went as far as to look into what it would take to start my own small internet service company that would service just the East Village in Manhattan – Exciting idea while it lasted but looks like I’d need to either have millions in startup capital or lease lines from TWC, which would defeat the purpose, lol

I know it is just internet, but internet is no longer a luxury, it is a neccesity, you’re expected to have it in our society today. I feel like this is a great injustice and one company having a monopoly over a group of people is downright criminal. I feel really helpless right now. Even if TWC worked properly, this is not the way things should be.

XOIIO's avatar

“You don’t like the internet? go make your own” lol.

Honestly you can do everything expected by society today on your smartphone, email/facebook/whatever correspondence is on there no problem, everything else is really just filler.

DrewJ's avatar

@XOIIO That’s partially true, I mean, I wouldn’t classify Facebook and social media things like Twitter and all that as things “expected by society” but yeah email is one.

I guess you can do it all on a phone but…. not really! Without internet on my laptop it’s a hassle to work on anything in a word document and then email it to someone in my company. I can’t get Microsoft Word on my phone and even if I could, WTF, no way, lol.

I feel like I’m complaining about First World Problems right now. I know there are starving people in this world and I’m sitting here in my Manhattan apartment that I can barely afford complaining about my internet… but it’s the POINT. At the very least we should have two options for internet so TWC has at least SOME incentive for keeping their shit together. Right now, they simply could not care less about any of my complaints.

dabbler's avatar

Verizon did build out a LOT of FIOS in lower Manhattan last year, mostly because all its copper was toast after hurricane Sandy put it under salt water. They lost several thousands of phone customers to TWC and RCN because restoring phone service would take months.
My building got the whole works, new risers etc, that finally went live in November.
But if they have not reached your building in the Lower East Side they may just not be planning to go there.

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