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Doug's Mailbag: Where Do You Turn for Internet?

Doug asked readers to send in some thoughts on today's broadband landscape:

DSL in Southern states (Texas, the Bible Belt, etc.) is, in fact, a lot faster (blazing) than cable. Cable on the west coast (Arizona, Washington, etc.) is, as the industry says, more "blazing" than DSL.

It depends on where you are geographically located to see which service is faster. Satellite service in Arizona is your best bet, as only a fool would have satellite in Seattle.

Everyone lays claim that they provide better service than the others. Any broadband user can go to a speed reporting Web site and run a speed test. Unfortunately, providers allow for data bursts, and your results will not even be close to what your true download speed is.
-Christian

Broadband! (DSL is not really broadband technology -- and it shows.) My local provider is Comcast. When I first signed on (month-to-month, no contracts), the performance varied a lot -- based upon neighborhood load. Total bandwidth was probably under 5Mbps. Today, it is 15Mbps, and I do not experience noticeable losses based upon the time of day. And the service is rock solid, with help being accessible 24/7.

The service is $45 per month, but I get a $10 discount for having digital TV service, so the net cost is $35 per month -- no contract. It's more expensive than DSL but it is also faster and more reliable and it doesn't limit the number of HDTV shows my family can watch at one time.

Satellite suffers from latency problems (and up-front costs), and DSL is dependent upon your Telco supporting your neighborhood with "fiber to the door." Plus, you sign a contract with the Telco, and the cost for truly high-speed service start at about $80 per month.
-Marc

Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to dbarney@redmondmag.com. Letters printed in this newsletter may be edited for length and clarity, and will be credited by first name only (we do NOT print last names or e-mail addresses).  

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/30/2010 at 1:18 PM


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