Conclusion

It looks like our AT&T deal is the worst of all of the internet/TV packages and that we should switch to Comcast. The 175mbs speeds for $170 would be a 7x speed improvement on our current 25mbs for roughly the same price. The survey has alleviated my concerns about downtimes with Comcast. If it were up to me, I would go with the 250mbs internet only for $70/month and just use Netflix, Amazon prime and Youtube but my parents like to watch sports and news and are more comfortable with traditional tv than streaming services and my dad feels that streaming does not have high enough definition. Another possibility would be to drop our AT&T internet but keep the DirectTV and add the $70 internet only on Xfinity.

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Comments

There are some interesting comments in here particularly with how to renegotiate with your provider.


I pay $40 for Comcast (internet only) 88 down/6 up, suspect it is a bit
slower in the evening.

The service has been totally bulletproof on Portola Valley Ranch even in
power outages.

I just have two modems and bounce back and forth between my name and my
girlfriends name every year and cancel/renew, to keep the rate. There is
no downtime on the switch. They are hardnosed about letting you keep
the introductory rate on the same account now, which used to be easy if
you threatened to cancel. They use an AI to figure what rate they want
to offer you.

I would not fool around with ATT. The quality of the copper pairs is
terrible especially when it is wet. They bond two pairs to get it to do
a decent speed so 2x the chance of it failing. If you can get ATT
Fiber that is a whole different story. I think Ladera has it now.


Sounds like a useful study. I’d be interested in seeing the results.

My data:
Xfinity, with TV and Internet.
We have a midrange TV package; no HBO or other premium channels other than a regional sports package ($8/month). They call it Digital Preferred. I own my own set top box, so no rental charges.
Internet service is called Performance Pro, which I believe is 1 step below the highest speed they offer. Again, I own the modem and routers so no rental charges.
Price is bundled at $176/ month, with no contract (I can walk way any time). They don’t break out price separately, but I looked at what cost would be if I dropped the TV portion and I believe it cuts the price by about 50%. I’ve had this for 6 years now, so no teaser rates.
Internet speed wired is 176 Mbps download and 11.5Mbps up. Those are as measured today. I believe the spec from Xfinity is that they will give us at least 100Mbps (download).
On wifi the speeds are lower, driven by the wifi speed. I measured 63 up and 11 down on my iPad Pro. I have multiple access points, so speed is fairly consistent through the house.
As for downtime, it has generally been minimal. Maybe once a year something happens to the system (tree fell on the lines last year) and we were down for a few hours. But other than those force majeure sorts of things they have been reliable.
When PGE shut off our power for 3 days last month we had internet for about 4 hours, then it died. I presume that was the limit of the battery backup on the Xfinity system. Once power came back on the system came up immediately. ATT’s cell service worked for us throughout the entire power shutdown, though the signal is weak at our house so it was like being on old dial-up modem speeds.


There are only two internet/TV providers in town that I can find: AT&T/DirectTV and Comcast/Xfinity. They both have a deceptive practice where they will only tell you the first year pricing and you have to wait until the end of the contract to find out what the renewal pricing is. I would like to fight against this by polling Portola Valley residents to see what people are paying on their longterm packages so we can all get a sense of what the options are and see if there is a better choice out there.

It would be good to know:

A) Which provider you have.
Comcast/Xfinity

B) What the package provides. (Eg. internet speed in mbs, number of TV channels including addons like HBO, etc.)
lnternet and phone: $90/month. Free calling anywhere in the world (or almost, Morocco not included) for $9.95/month, 300minutes

C) How much you pay and how long is the contract. (Eg. $X/month for 1 year)
$90, 2 year contract. I call them towards the end of each contract to renegotiate the next two years.

C) How long you have had this package. (Is this during the lower-priced first year or have you had it for 2+ years?)
Many years! 15?

D) What your actual internet speed is. (You can run a test on https://speedtest.net)
85Mbps download, 6Mbps upload
Comcast upgraded us recently for free with an uptick in speed of about 50%!

E) Do you have any downtime issues?
Every time there is a power out. Which is not often but annoying when it does happen. Our T-Mobil service was out as well during the last PGE shut down.


We have Comcast/Xfinity for internet and DISH for TV.
Our download speed is 170 Mbps, which is pretty awesome.
I can recall about two times in the past 6-8 years when Comcast was out.
I can’t recall the prices, and I’m not home now.
We are very happy with both services.


A) Which provider you have. Comcast
B) What the package provides. (Eg. internet speed in mbs, number of TV channels including addons like HBO, etc.) 1GBPS down / 35 MBPS up
C) How long you have had this package. (Is this during the lower-priced first year or have you had it for 2+ years?) Less than 1 year
D) What your actual internet speed is. (You can run a test on https://speedtest.net) 600 MBPS down / 35 MBPS up
E) Do you have any downtime issues? No


A) Internet – Xfinity. For TV – we use streaming ATT TV Now, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus
B) Internet download speed 175 Mbps (performance plus internet + performance pro). ATT TV Now – comes with HBO + 150+ channels (all local channels, all sports, all standard national cable channels) + 20hrs of DVR recording
C) Both services for over 2 years almost 3. ATT TV Now was direct TV now previous and recently changed to ATT TV Now. We did get grandfathered into the directTVnow/ATT TV Now at a cheaper rate. We started at $35/month, but after the switch to ATT TV they went to $65/month which is still cheaper than regular cost – which I think is around $85?
D) I’d have to check this when I get back from work, but I would say it is pretty fast – download and upload speeds.
E) Typically no, we normally have the TV streaming, two-three laptops running, and 2 cell phones using the internet service at once. We occasionally download movies which can take a lot of data, but even when that is happening all our other devices run perfectly fine.

Adding the question about cost:

Xfinity + performance pro + modem/router rental = around $97/month – we are no longer in a promo or contract
ATT TV Now (150+ channel) + HBO + DVR = $65/month
Disney + = free for 1 year with verizon unlimited plans
Neflix = $13 or so a month
Amazon Prime = free w/ prime membership


I too have been a long term subscriber to Direct TV now owned by ATT. What I find is that once a year I have to call them and insist that they keep my bill low. I don’t use their internet service or their cell phone network. They always comply, but only with a 1 year extension. Direct TV and Comcast (I have Comcast in San Francisco) both are eager to keep subscribers. The competition from streaming services is intense. Most young people do not have cable style subscriptions. Eventually, I probably won’t either, but for now, having access to local stations and traditional networks is something I want to keep.


I’m happy to gather our info for you. However, I noticed that you appear to be measuring your wireless bandwidth. This is most likely going to be lower than your provider is giving you and is not in their control. To test the bandwidth you really should connect directly into the router with cables and equipment that have bandwidth at or greater than what you are being provided.

A) Xfinity
B) Everything (all premium, all sports, etc). We also have gigabit internet with no monthly cap. Also 2 phone lines. We pay about $250/month all in.
C) We have had Xfinity for over a decade. I shook them down on price and bandwidth by threatening to switch 2 years ago
D) In practice we get between 600 mbps and 800 mbps at the router
E) Xfinity very rarely goes down


We live in Palo Alto now and have ComCast Internet only. No TV – you can get anything you want except certain sports via streaming these days.

Each year we renegotiate and get whatever deal they have. Currently we’re on 250Mbps downlink and we pay $70/month.

For TV we pay for Netflix per month ($15 ?) and have Apple TV+ for free with a recent device purchase. We also pay for Hulu but may stop paying for that and get Disney+ (which I think includes Hulu).


Search the forum archive. Sonic.net is quite good IMHO


I’ll just reply to you, and you maybe can consolidate later? I was thinking of doing this myself a while ago, will be interesting to see results.

First, we are in Ladera (not PV proper).
a) we use xfinity (with ‘burst’) for internet; TV service has been via directv @ $135/mo, but i just cancelled this today and changed to youtube tv for TV service @$50/mo (no contracts etc). Directv couldn’t come down to this price and i also checked with comcast to see if switching would be any cheaper, and they said no.

B) Xfinity broadband, we get 150Mb/S pretty consistently. Sometimes as much as 200Mb/S. Internet only no phone or TV as mentioned (our phone is an IP phone, via ooma)

C) We pay $95/mo, no contract. We own our modem. (but also now pay $50/mo for youtube tv on top of this)

C-1) We’ve had this for 10+ years…i suspect a lower price tier would suit us also

D) see above 150mb/s +

E) no downtime. I have an alarm system that would detect if there was internet down, and it’s happened like once in the last year, and only for like 30 min when i wasn’t home. I find it extremely reliable.


We have Dish network (have had for 20+ years) for television, and Comcast for internet only. Dish Network gives us “America’s top 250” in regular and HD, plus local channels, and monthly rentals of equipment for $147.

Comcast is $143 and we get 90+ megabits. (Measured with the Speediest app on an Apple TV v4 connected with an ethernet wire.) I know there was an introductory price, then the price went up, and I don’t remember how much it was. Our family was constantly going over the bandwidth limit, so I got tired of paying overage charges so just went with unlimited for an extra $50. When other Comcast subscribers in town would complain about outages, we’d be fine.

One “hidden bonus” of Comcast is that when I visit people/places that are also served by Comcast, my Mac laptop jumps right on their network just like I was at home. Actually it’s not on their network, it’s one called “xfinitywifi” that all Comcast modems provide.

For telephone service, we moved away from AT&T (moved our numbers to Vonage) years ago and haven’t looked back. It was all because AT&T couldn’t fix my DSL circuit. We have three lines with Vonage for about $40/month and it works really well. When someone leaves a message, the sound file magically appears a few moments later in my email, plus a text transcription. The transcriptions are often so good I don’t even have to listen to the message.

My wife and I both have iPhones on Verizon with the “create a hotspot” add-on. Works really well pretty much anywhere we go.

One last data point .. we have a second home in the Uvas Canyon (in the hills behind San Jose) and we pay $50/month for 9-megabit internet service. Right. Only 9 megabits. And internet only, no telephone line. But our phones are hit and miss there, and the mobile hot-spot thing doesn’t work all that well, so even 9 megabits is fine.

Please let us know what you decide to do.


We use Coastside. Pay about $150 per month. Don’t know the speed we get but we’re very happy. Can stream videos and use 3-4 computers at the same time. Their number is 650-712-5900 if you want to call them. Service has been great so far.

Includes internet and cable tv.


A) Which provider you have.
Comcast

B) What the package provides. (Eg. internet speed in mbs, number of TV channels including addons like HBO, etc.)
Base price of $59.95/month includes most basic cable (just the broadcast network channels really) and 75 mbps download bandwidth. I also pay $9/month for the CableCard needed for my Tivo to work, and also $9/month for one extra digital box.

C) How much you pay and how long is the contract. (Eg. $X/month for 1 year)
$79.59/month 12 months

C) How long you have had this package. (Is this during the lower-priced first year or have you had it for 2+ years?)
I call them every 12 months and threaten to leave, and they give me a new 12 month cycle of the current promotional price

D) What your actual internet speed is. (You can run a test on https://speedtest.net)
89 down, 6 up

E) Do you have any downtime issues?
No. Well sure, in 20 years there has been a glitch or two, but I’m satisfied with the uptime.

You may be amused to know that I got tired of Comcast raising the price every year, and I was getting near $150/month. So I called and said “what do I have to remove from my account to get my total monthly bill, including all taxes and bullshit addon fees, to be under $100/month.” The solution was to drop down to the lowest possible selection of TV channels. We don’t watch TV much, so we’re not unhappy. (And we do some streaming services when we really want to watch something).

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