If you’re trying to dump Comcast, there are a lot of people that feel the way you do, and after all of my bad experiences, I feel like I’ve investigated all of them.
Sadly for me, I live in a what seems to be an underserved area of Portland Oregon, because literally NONE of the competing services seem to be available.
Rather than make you hunt around the web, here are all of the available options I know of locally, and where I keep checking almost weekly, to see if something new might have spread my way.
Qwest is offering standard DSL service over your phone line in most places, and while it’s not as fast as cable, cable just isn’t very fast anymore, is it?
NEAR my home, Qwest is also now offering fiberoptic service too, in ever increasing availability. I can;t get it myself yet, but I’m hoping the neighborhood will be soon.
If you’re in Verizon country, you’re also offered the same two options, with DSL and their version of fiber, called Fios.
Fios is newer technology, and provides better, faster and cheaper access to the internet over fiberoptic lines, instead of copper
The DSL service is similar to Qwests, with variable speeds and prices available. Also like Qwest, it’s not available to all customers, so you do need to get pre-qualified.
Wireless & Satelite
I’m excited about this new technology, and have decided to order it for my home to use as a backup just as soon as it’s available.
If it tests out to be as reliable as I need, I may end up replacing Comcast altogether. Even though Comcast may be faster, I need stability and consistency more than anything else.
Also, if you’re lucky enough to live in a rural area, with no other services available, this is frequently the one you need.
You’ve always got the cellular options available from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, and any number of small carriers.
In some cases you can tether your phone to your PC, and while that’s inconvenient for frequent use, it’s faster than dialup!
For more regular cellular use, you can simply buy a dedicated USB modem and you’re done with any “home service” whatsoever. While the download speed over these services isn’t great, it’s certainly passable.
If you get hundreds of e-mails per day though, or you work online for a living, you can’t possibly justify the time spent having a cellular connection . Personally though, I’d never be without one when I travel, and I use it as a backup when Comcast goes out.