General Question

Spargett's avatar

Anyone know an alternative ISP in San Francisco besides Comcast?

Asked by Spargett (5377points) October 29th, 2007

I posted a previous question about Comcast throttling torrents (here). I’d really like to just switch to a new ISP, but I can’t find any other broadband providers besides DSL, which is way too slow for me. Does anyone know of a good one? I really don’t want to support Comcast’s terrible ethics.

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8 Answers

u101547's avatar

There are four categories of internet service.

Dial-up service, Cable service, DSL service and T-1 service. The availability, speeds and prices vary.

Dial-up is the least expensive, most available, but the slowest (56 Kbps).

Cable and DSL are relatively similar in availability, price and speed, depending on variables like, how many people in your neighborhood are using the circuit you are on at the same time you are online….how far away from the telephone company’s equipment site (called the “CO”, or “Central Office”) you live. Your cable provider choices are usually limited, because it is typical for a city to award the contract for cable service in any given area to only one provider, who then is your only choice for cable service: “Deal with us, or do without,” could be their motto. DSL service is usually offered through the local Bell phone company or through other companies that lease the service from the Bell phone company.

T-1 service is the fastest and the most expensive. 1.5 Mbps, dedicated to your site, not shared. Not available in all locations. Costs between $700 and $1,200 per month.

Spargett's avatar

Realistically, dial-up and a dedicated T1 line are equally ridiculous. As I stated earlier, DSL is too slow.

What I was referring to was if there are any other cable internet providers in San Francisco. Or has Comcast successfully earned their passing title of “Communistcast”.

richardhenry's avatar

Sounds like your situation sucks if there is just one ISP. Over here (UK), we have ten or eleven ISP’s to chose from nationwide, I thought the situation would be much the same over there. Maybe you can find a very small start-up if you ring around, maybe call directory enquiries? I’d usually advise against choosing a smaller provider, but in your case it might be worth trying.


evhead's avatar

I’m in San Francisco and switched from Comcast to Speakeasy
a year or so ago because I was sick of Comcast’s reliability issues and crappy service. I’ve been much happier. Yes, it’s DSL, not Cable, and theoretically not as fast. But I haven’t noticed much difference—granted, I don’t do a lot of torrent downloading.

Also, they’re now offering 15Mbps

tsunami_r's avatar

If you live in a condo building, you might have Webpass ( available, where you can get up to 45 Mbps full duplex for $40 a month.

andrewj's avatar

I use Astound (formerly RCN). They’re also a cable provider, but seem to be better than Comcast. I get 10Mbps up/756 kbps down for $40/month.


Hi Spargett, I too am SICK of Comcast’s unethical ILLEGAL practices. They just settled a class action against them for suspending customers services while the account/s were in dispute over billings. i believe i got the notice just two months ago, with a bill from them re: the settlement terms because i was included in the time and therfore the class, i have been a dispute do to overbilling and accounting/book keeping that seems maintained by the equivalent of the non bipedal zoo animals trained to mimic english but with literally no comprehension of the language. Although i have made near endless demands for refunds owed me on multiple accounts that though over billed, duplicate billed and just plain seem to trump up charges for, they have now suspended some of my services rather than address any of my demands for full accounting, acknowledgement of my payemts, demands for refunds. In addition, on the ethical level, they literally call and harass me some four times a day in an effort to get me to pay the essentially, extortion associated with B.S. billings. This is one of the exact same things they were just successfully sued for and settled just two months ago. UN-FLIPPEN BELIEVABLE! Obviously the judge in the class suit did not make sure the finanicial pain for Comcast was sufficient to prevent such future actions as they LITERALLY are at status quo in thier illegal actions. I WANT TO DUMP THEM AND FOLLOW THROUGH ON MY PROMISE TO SUE THEM. In fact, I intend to write to the Judge who over say the most recent settlement and admonish him for failing to sufficiently penalize the egregious actions of Comcast. ...Sorry, i am venting kause I am sick of these b..tards and thier virtual monopoly. If you have had any success in replacing them, please advise. thanks pamela :))

Chreese's avatar

You can try iStep they offer bonded DSL which is faster than cable.

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